Why an IT Manager needs a consistent environment

Sometimes people ask me why we in IT are always pushing back against them and trying to “prevent them from doing business”. The fact of the matter is, we are not.

Our role, as an IT Manager is twofold; we are here to protect the business, and to ensure consistency. Often when talking about a business, like Caribou Coffee, you talk about what it looks like, smells like, and feels like, no matter which one you go to. If they offer the same coffee, the same pastries, and the same coffee cups, they even have the same carpet and same tile at all of their facilities.

  • Why should IT infrastructure be different at each site?
  • Should the IT be different because one guy does things differently?
  • Should differentiation be made because the Mocha Latte that guy makes is better than the one at another Caribou coffee shop?

When you look at all the popular chain restaurants you realize something, they don’t generally have the best product, and they have the most consistent product. You go into a Chipotle and order your chicken burrito, and it tastes the same at each one, the layout is the same, the feeling is the same. When you go into a McDonald’s, you find the same hamburger, from Las Vegas, NV to Minot, ND. Is it the best hamburger? I don’t think so, but it is the same. You know what you are getting.

So if you as an IT Manager can maintain consistency you can solve problems once. In solving that problem develop a path to resolve them and have a nice repeatable process anyone can follow to solve the problem in the future, or better yet, you can solve it once and never have that problem again.

Don’t get me wrong consistency is a hard thing to achieve, and may never fully happen. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.




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