The Hardest Job in IT

“The hardest job in IT right now is being the Manager of End User Technology” – Kirk, my VMWare Rep

This week I got to meet with two different manufactures of Virtual desktop equipment. Citrix and VMWare. During my meeting with VMWare, Kirk dropped that line, and I sat there thinking oh good thing, the hardest job is my job….

So why is it the hardest job to have? I mean aren’t you just the guy who says no to everyone? While saying no is often what I have to do, the issues are that we in IT face are from all sides.

End users: who see the greatest product ever just announced in China, or use something fantastic at home and don’t know why they can’t use it in the office. These are also the people finding ways around every system you have ever put in place.

The accountants/Budget: who don’t want to pay for anything they don’t absolutely need. For example a new version of MS Office costs me $300 a license and we have 1000 users, so your saying this will cost me $300,000. Or something like Google Docs would cost $50/user/year or $50,000/year.

Executives: They are those who want things to run exactly as they want them, and it does not matter what anyone else says. Hey they are the ones in charge, so they are right, right???

Legal, Security and Compliance: These are the people who read every single EULA and deal with all of the governmental, Payment card, and required regulations.

With all of these groups all seemly to not want to work together how can you handle it?
Well I certainly have less hair then I used to, all kidding aside I have to rank each item in order of importance and who is the person who needs to way in the most. Also, I have to make sure that any single decision is decided upon by at least 2 of the groups, if not all of them. With the general exception of the end user, I go on a one no is sufficient approach.

While this can cause issues and my coworkers to hate the fact I am just the messenger, there are too many other tasks, projects and tickets to worry about it. If you don’t like the answer, I will gladly tell you who you have to convince.

There are many times I am able to find a creative way to play within the rules and still accomplish every ones goal, most times these four competing groups just can’t all be satisfied. So pick the important one or two, and be honest with the rest of them.

As my one coworker always says “It ain’t easy only the best can do it”


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