Masochistic tendencies

Just why would you get out bed?

I'm asking because I've been researching the issues and challenges facing IT professionals. When listed, the challenges look like enough trouble to convince any sane person to keep his or her back wedded to the mattress.

But why?

Fellow IDG columnist Frank Hayes reckons that "rigged demos and dazzling dog-and-pony shows are easy", but actually making IT work is really, really hard. It's hard because products don't work, technologies are misapplied, costs are hidden, requirements are underestimated, and admitting failure is political suicide. And then there are endless obstacles in application integration (consider the new payroll at the very big bank) and trouble with new technologies we don't really understand.

Just some of the issues, and let's call them challenges (as mentioned by IT managers in Computerworld's 5 Mins With column), include software bugs, software pricing in US dollars when the Aussie is low and, pushy sales reps who won't take no for answer, end users who think they're "special" and want the systems adapted and "to hell with the other 400 users", Microsoft's upgrade policies, system crashes, inadequate backup, discovering hidden costs while working up a budget, endless documentation of the ever-changing procedures, vendors not delivering on warranties, deciphering hype, politics, lack of time coupled with long hours, and days that wind up being end-to-end meetings.

The answer is that done right, the technology does work, and solving challenges, meeting user expectations and delivering new business efficiencies is all about making IT make a difference. On the other hand . . .

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