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Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1) 64

by dave562 (#47578621) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

As much as I am not a fan of government regulation, my professional experience has shown me that the only time people get IT anywhere close to right is when there is a risk of financial penalty involved in getting it wrong. Regulation seems to be the only solution to people working for peanuts. The people who work for peanuts make mistakes. If those mistakes cost the company more than the company saves by hiring those people, they will not hire those people.

Out of all of the industries that I have worked with, the financial services industries seem to be the most together. They are not perfect, but the penalties associated with losing customer data makes them more careful.

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1) 64

by dave562 (#47578503) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

You bring up a good point. Given the extent out of the impact of the change, they probably should have just declared a disaster and gone with Plan B. Yet, given that they blew a system change and did not have a rollback plan, I am fairly confident that any sort of DR strategy is equally broken and worthless.

Situations like this always put a smile on my face, because I know that my job is secure. If an organization as large as the United States government cannot get these basics right, but I can... I know that I will always be in a position to make improvements somewhere, and will never be faced with a shortage of things to do.

I see the same thing with the major Fortune 50 corporations that I work with. I am thoroughly convinced that from the smallest shops, up to the largest organizations, the majority of IT departments are barely functioning and are just one bad change away from serious down time with no hope of recovering in any sort of reasonable amount of time.

Comment: Re:Bite the bullet / replace the apps (Score 1) 156

by dave562 (#47577921) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

The decision was made before I got here. Most of the Notes functionality was replaced with ServiceNow. Notes was being used for things like IT help desk, inventory (hardware, software, etc) management, and change management.

There were a few administrative centric applications that were replaced by equivalent SharePoint sites (I know, I know...)

Comment: Bite the bullet / replace the apps (Score 5, Informative) 156

by dave562 (#47577207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

We are still going through this where I work. Previously IT was run on a bunch of Lotus Notes / Domino databases. Those have since been replaced by PeopleSoft and ServiceNow.

You have to see the opportunity for what it is. You can have real conversations with the departments about what their real needs are. It is going to take a while, but you will have to produce documents that detail the core application functionalities for all of the applications. Then you will have to map those functions into the ERP system. Once you have done that, you will have your gap analysis and be able to focus your developmental resources. You have to get buy in from across the organization and get people committed to and willing to do things differently. The ERP equivalents of the current applications will not be apples to apples. If you try to do that, you will never get through it and will end up failing. If you are just going to recreate the apps, you might as well not even bother. The key is to focus on the functionality. Focus on the business needs / business cases for the applications.

For something that big, you are going to need at least 3+ full time employees. A project manager to keep everything organized and fight back against scope creep, a senior developer / architect to make the technical decisions and provide guidance to the team of developer(s) who will do the actual work. In all honesty, what you are proposing is a significant investment for the organization and a shift in culture. Each one of those employees is easily a six figure salary, so figure over half a million dollar in salary (plus benefits, etc.) Good developers are hard to find and building a successful development team is a challenge. You will obviously need an executive sponsor who can help you figure out where to position this new group / department in the overall organizational hierarchy.

The long term benefit to your organization is that you free yourself from the vendor. The risk that you run is that you might end up with incompetent developers or management on the new team and find yourself worse off than before.

Have you considered bringing in another vendor? At the very least, you can use that as leverage to negotiate more favorable conditions with the current vendor.

You should have enough experience with the current vendor to determine how accurate their project quotes are. Use that knowledge when you ask them for quotes on replacing / reproducing the current application functionality. Then compare that to what it will cost your organization to do it in house. It should be clear very early on in the process if you are going to save enough money to justify such a drastic realignment of the management, operation and development of the systems.

Comment: Re:Surprise! (Score 2) 137

by dave562 (#47523949) Attached to: Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Good points. The first thing that I thought when I read the summary was that the only way there could be a 100% increase is if the number of previous vulnerabilities was very small. Finding two vulnerabilities in the same period of time in which one was previously found is a 100% increase. Just like finding 60 when the previous amount was 30 is also a 100% increase.

Comment: Re:Slashvertisement? (Score 1) 92

by dave562 (#47510677) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

What are you talking about? USB 3.0 is significantly faster than USB 2.0. I work in a business where we have to transfer data on physical media due to the volumes involved. We ship hundreds of drives a month. Our clients refuse to accept anything other than USB 3.0 anymore because the previous generation is too slow.

Comment: Re:Why is it always developers? (Score 1) 89

by dave562 (#47509915) Attached to: Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

Of course they get measured. In the long term if they deliver too many screwed up projects, their superiors stop giving them projects.

Ultimately it is the developer's responsibility to push back against stupid managers and give them honest feedback about what can and cannot be done.

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer