Please, Please, Please Stop Centralizing Everything
April 22, 2013
I have witnessed first hand the centralization of a process. And also witnessed first hand how miserable it failed, without the proper training and resources given to the centralization. STOP.
I have witnessed first hand the centralization of a process. And also witnessed first hand how miserable it failed, without the proper training and resources given to the centralization.
Two recent cases in particular stand out.
The centralization of a help / support desk
For a long time different geographical locations had their own support. The support was broken down into categories, like IT, building maintenance, etc. And things were good. Could they have improved? Sure, but they were good.
Then it was decided that all support tickets ranging from PC updates to changing a light build would be handled by one system and routed to a off-site group that would then route the ticket back on-site to be handled, when necessary. I repeat, ranging from PC updates to light bulb replacement. That should have been the first red flag. Another red flag should have been that this reeked of playing telephone as a kid.
This system was greeted with customer uproar and within a year was removed and replaced with the old. I have no idea (and don’t really want to know) what the cost of all of this was.
Centralizing IT OPS
It’s a centralized system where an IT Operations (OPS) team is required as part of the process to move code and database changes from a development environment to a testing environment to production. They are responsible for roughly 30 systems. I’m not sure how big (resources) the OPS team is, but it’s not big enough … more resources are required.
This process causes delays in bug fixes, causes versioning issues (sometime production is as many as 3 versions behind testing and more for development), slows the development release cycle and gives everyone a headache.
All 30 systems can’t be a priority, otherwise none are a priority. But ask any system owner and they are THE PRIORITY. The cost here is also unknown and hard to figure out. But without a doubt if these systems had their own OPS teams many of the issues would be resolved, or at least much easier to handle.
Centralizing makes sense in some cases, but not all, and even when it does please be prepared to devote the appropriate resources, money and manpower. Or better yet just STOP IT! Especially for web development.