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Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the it-is-very-important dept.

Biotech 243

ros256 writes "I help out a relatively small (100 employees) medical device company that does not have a dedicated IT department. Instead the network admin reports to a manager in the Clinical department. Although this seems unusual to me, the organization isn't really structured at this point to have IT staff report to a department more relevant to the work they do. I've been giving thought as to where within the organization would make more sense. So, I pose this question to the Slashdot community: Where does IT fall within the organizations you work with?"

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Few places... (4, Interesting)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594176)

A few places I've worked IT fell under Operations, the same people that keep the lightbulbs changed, the warehouse shipping and the driveway plowed.

Presently I work at a smaller business, where I represent the department. I'm lateral to Operations Director, sales director, etc and report directly to the President and VP.

Re:Few places... (1, Interesting)

dotgain (630123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594386)

I used to alternate between writing the in-house accounting system, and helping out in a fish-packing shed. The jokes you make about women who work in such places are entirely true.

The boss seemed to think my time in the shed would help familiarise me with fish species. That it did, but they couldn't understand how that knowledge was next to useless to me for the job. They also didn't understand how being the highest paid person in the shed on my first day wouldn't stir things up.

Re:Few places... (2, Interesting)

ewg (158266) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594694)

Used to be under Facilities in a company I'm familiar with, but management found that most if not all projects had deep, expensive IT consequences. Elevating IT to the level at which strategy was developed improved planning a lot.

Re:Few places... (2, Informative)

Nzimmer911 (1553899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594712)

I work for a wholesale building materials distributer with ~400 employees and ~300m in sales. IT is a department of 5 reporting to the CFO.

Re:Few places... (2, Informative)

PcItalian (1835114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594936)

IT Department holding back ~250 employees with a IT department of 2 all reporting to the CFO as well.

Re:Few places... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32595066)

Interesting how all those smaller companies do it. I work for a company of 60,000 people and we have an entire operating company called the IT Co. It probably has 1,200 employees. We report through various levels to the CIO for the corporation who reports to the CTO, who reports to the Executive VP of Technology, who reports to the CEO. Of course, with a large company like this, there is also "embedded IT" in the other OPCOs (although not a huge amount, but they do have some). Those likewise report to their OPCO CIO and from there it is the same as the above, going to the corp CTO, etc.

Re:Few places... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594802)

We report to the director of Company Processes.

Re:Few places... (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594960)

the same people that keep the lightbulbs changed, the warehouse shipping and the driveway plowed.

That makes sense, assuming "setting an employee up with a computer" to be comparable to "setting employee up with a desk". I've seen some companies where IT operates under the Finance department. I've never really understood why, except maybe because early computer use in many companies was limited to accounting, and it stuck in Finance for legacy reasons. I've seen other companies where there's a dedicated IT department that traces up to the CIO, and it kind of runs independently.

I think it depends on the company, but a lot of companies miss out by failing to integrate IT very well. They treat the IT support guy like a handy-man who is completely divorced from the company's strategy, and meanwhile the entire business is running on computers. Not that I object to the comparison between support personnel and a handy-man, but if the productivity of your company depends of effective and efficient use of computers, then you might want to involve some people in your strategic decision-making who understand computers really really well. I've seen companies ask employees to spend hours going through a process that a computer could automatically complete in minutes, just because they never bothered to ask the IT guy if there was a better way to go about things.

Re:Few places... (5, Interesting)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595002)

It has been structurally different in every company I've been in. Especially smaller ones. Sometimes IT reports to the CFO to keep costs in check. Sometimes to COO to get business processes automated and computerized. And if you're lucky you have a CTO who reports to the CEO/board but is free to make decisions.

Most companies view IT as pure overhead and try to micromanage it's budget out of fear of excess spending. I can't blame them. Once upon a time all you paid for was an office and some basic office supplies. Now your yearly software license costs alone rival your rent.

A better motivation would be to stick close to their IT department to make sure both sides understand what the businesses goals and visions are.

"We want to mobilize out sales force"
"We want a stronger web presence"
"We want ensure 24/7 up time even in the case of a disaster"
"We want to make X process and Y process work together more seemlessly using available technology"

Getting lost in small details or second guessing the decisions of the IT people you pay to make IT decisions for you ends up hurting businesses. Like "Hey! Stop buying $100 antivirus software buy $19.99 ones!" If IT has to waste time cleaning viruses and reformating machines then they have no time to plan for future growth or to research solutions to real business problems. It stifles growth and wastes money in other areas.

Not sure how much this will help you specifically (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594186)

I recommend reading The Geek Gap [] . It might give you some further insight into the topic (and, if nothing else, it might help your boss and their boss understand the importance of a proper department).

I also would recommend anyone in an IT or management position to read that book. It's a great read that can be finished over a weekend.

Re:Not sure how much this will help you specifical (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594260)

So are you Bill or Minda?

Re:Not sure how much this will help you specifical (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594486)

I would be Bill, although most of the people I work with internally are on the Minda side of the equation. It's my job to listen to their business needs and translate it into a way that we can achieve it from the technical end...I'm something of a translator between the two sides.

Re:Not sure how much this will help you specifical (1) (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594750)

So you're saying you have "people skills"...

Re:Not sure how much this will help you specifical (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594840)

I have been accused of such things, yes :-)

To be more specific, I have a ton of knowledge about the technical side (insofar as my responsibilities are concerned) and enough knowledge about the business side to not only understand their needs, but also why they need them. Acting as a liason between the two seemed like a logical placement.

Re:Not sure how much this will help you specifical (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594876)

I have been accused of such things, yes :-)

Then you are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take him away!

Re:Not sure how much this will help you specifical (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594920)

I've been accused of that, too :-(

Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization? (5, Funny)

bragr (1612015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594188)

Hopefully not to far, servers don't handle drops well. Keyboards seem to do alright though.

Re: Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594850)

The old percussive maintenance technique doesn't work as well with the newer SSDs either.

Re: Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization? (1)

monkeySauce (562927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594946)

That reminds me of the time somebody was telling me about getting a good deal on a "dropped server". I sat there trying to figure out what exactly he meant-- perhaps it had some kind of special low/thin or pivoting chassis or something-- but then he continued on about how the server fell out of the back of a truck before it was delivered to whoever ordered it initially. They had refused it and my friend snatched it up at a bargain price.

Funny thing is, it didn't last too long because it had all kinds of stability problems. I'm sure that was just coincidence though.

Under the library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594198)

At a law school.

Nowhere (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594202)

Where does IT fall within the organizations you work with?

Nowhere, really - IT just keeps on falling, and falling, and falling.

Re:Nowhere (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594262)

Information Technology - meeting your needs at 32 feet per second squared.

Re:Nowhere (5, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594644)

When I worked at Freescale, there actually was no real IT department there: it was outsourced to an Indian company. They got paid based on the number of tickets resolved, so they were always trying to make up more work for themselves to do, such as creating tickets to set up IM on an employee's computer, or various other trivial tasks.

Idiots (5, Funny)

Tongsy (1188257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594236)

In my organization, it essentially stands for "Incompetent Technician"

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594418)

And and my company you're the person that forces me to spend hours of work undo-ing their fix because they "knew what they were doing."

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594666)

If you had fixed it in the first place, laypeople wouldn't be required to try desperate hacks to get their systems working. Face it, with the burden of antivirus, firewall, software license management, remote maintenance apps, ON TOP OF whatever actual business apps are in use, support is a nightmare and even decent technicians can't keep everything working. If only the technicians had the balls to stick their problems to management and insist on purchasing high quality solutions instead of the status quo that keeps all the screwdriver drones employed...

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594736)

In my organization, it essentially stands for "Incompetent Technician"

Well, if it's your organization, why not hire more competent ones?

we report to coo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594246)

we have an it department but we report to the COO

in the past when i've worked for smaller companies as a sysadmin i've reported to the accounting department, since they tended to use the computers more and asked for more reporting than any other it made sense.

i feel if the it department is there to support business and improve workflow it should report to ops if its there for fixing computers and writing reports, then its more of an accounting function

operations (5, Interesting)

Ubertech (21428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594250)

I'm also in a smaller IT company (~140 ppl). We have a department of 6 and fall under the Operations area. When we were smaller, it was a wandering soul of a department, but now that we have an IT manager who really knows his stuff, it's great.

I'm a Floating Island (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594266)

I work for a small office, less than 50 people. I am the IT department and I report to the director of engineering, a guy who is one level under VP. Why? I'm not really sure other than that most other managers have more than enough employees to deal with anyways, and I don't have quite enough power to make calls on big money decisions like buying new servers and the like. So I mostly manage myself in keeping things running, up to date, etc and talk to the boss when I need to clear a large purchase or major change.

Don't know if that helps at all but it seems like in smaller companies IT falls under whoever has the least other employees to directly worry about, so they get you.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594278)

For us IT folks where I work at, we report to our VP Finances... we are a small/med business, 25 stores, a couple warehouses.///

A few areas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594280)

IT can fall into diffrent "sectors". There can be Operations - Manages Servers Day-2-Day Stuff
Dev - Interface and S2S (System to System) Inferfaces
SA - System Administration (Servers & Apps)
Most of which just reports back to a CIO who translates upper management objectives.

"Corporate Services" (2, Informative)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594288)

This group also includes HR, training, health & safety, legal counsel... All the "overhead" stuff we don't sell directly to clients (we are an engineering & construction company).

India (5, Insightful)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594290)


well... (5, Informative)

peteinok (1825618) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594294)

since I work at a top-10 Fortune 500 company, IT is it's own dept. We do report up through the same executive structure as Accounting, Travel, etc. based on geography and who's located here vs. at HQ in another state.

Follow the money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594296)

Follow the money. Our spark chasers report to the IT Manager who reports to the IS/IT Director who works for the VP of Finance.
In a small office, I would guess there is at least an Office/Business Manager, probably start with that person.

India (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594298)


I don't know... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594308)

I put in a request for a machine 6 months ago and still haven't received it.

Re:I don't know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594784)

For the last time, your request for a completely separate computer so that you could dedicate one to and the other to productivity is *denied*. Please continue to use your current computer for whatever mix of and productivity you feel is necessary to not get fired.

Your IT department

Accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594310)

Every small/medium sized company I've worked for puts IT under Accounting. I guess the idea is that IT spends a lot of money and should report to the CFO.

Re:Accounting (2, Insightful)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594526)

Although I understand the historical reasons why IT was frequently placed under finance, the world has changed. In ancient times, IT was centralized and capital-intensive. I worked in a state agency that had about $3 million worth of mainframe hardware in a big room. The users had terminals. I was spending between $500,000 and $1,000,000 on capital expense per year. Salaries in IT were rather high as well; even an entry-level programmer was well-paid compared to the rest of the organization. Since the goal of IT was to promote efficiency, you needed the involvement of finance to make sure that the cost of IT was justified.

In the modern world, IT is decentralized. If you think about the cost per employee, capital expense is a fraction of what once was. Half of the IT employees make less than an executive secretary. Although the official goal of IT is still to promote efficiency, the reality is that most projects are mandated by some type of policy compliance or to keep pace with competitors. Not much of this is truly discretionary. The linkage of IT to finance has (in my opinion) outlived its usefulness. I have seen too many dumb ideas leak from finance into IT.

Big vs Small (1)

kniLnamiJ-neB (754894) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594320)

Currently, in big business (healthcare), my company has a CIO. However, my last job was as IT Manager of a small company (~300 people). There I actually reported to the Continuous Improvement Manager.

First people to be asked... (1)

scalpod (666558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594322)

...and the last to be told about anything.

With me, pretty much... (1)

fyreous (1621223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594326)

I am the sole IT guy for a small CPA firm. I only work part-time though, as the general workload here is relatively small for a firm of 14 accountants. But accounting software is very unpredictable (especially old versions) so I can keep fairly busy fixing errors every week that crop up, and in my spare time I do consulting work for some of our clients. Anyways, to answer your question - it falls pretty much to me alone. Even the owner asks me to make all the decisions involving IT (i.e., if I think something is a good idea, I just tell him and he says do it). The only thing I really go to him for is approval to buy new equipment or software, which is pretty rare. If you are the sole IT guy at your workplace, I'd hope that whoever you do report to would recognize your expertise in the area and let you pretty much manage it.

I'm at a university (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594330)

I am at a university, and the computer science department has 5 IT staffers who simply report to the central IT office for the entire campus. Most of the large departments in science and engineering have one or two IT staffers who serve a similar role, but since CS has somewhat heavier computing needs, we are assigned extra people. Basically, the department's IT staff serve as points of contact: they do what is in their power when they can, or if they cannot, they forward the request up to the appropriate person. For example, when I received my new workstation, a university-wide asset number had to be assigned to it, and the CS department firewall had to be configured to allow SSH traffic to the machine; the IT staff forwarded the asset number request to the central office, and took care of the DNS entry themselves.

Re:I'm at a university (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594352)

That should read "firewall modification."

Re:I'm at a university (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594576)

Well, now that you have ssh, and you can tunnel absolutely anything over ssh, I guess that part should read as "firewall modification" also, so to speak...

Re:I'm at a university (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594382)

I'm also at a University:

IT is the responsibility of each department. The College which those departments also has an IT department, which handles whatever the college tells it to (Up to and including taking care of all the base needs of the departments, so they only need IT if they have special needs), and that department is run out of the Dean's office. There is ALSO a few University wide IT services, and THOSE are run out of the Provost's office.

In other words: It falls anywhere and everywhere.

Depends on the people (2, Insightful)

dirk (87083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594336)

I started with a small Medical Contract Research Organization right out of college (25 people) as the first IT person. At that point, I was a member of the data management department, but I think it more importantly depends on the people you have. If you don't have a dedicated IT department, the best idea is to see who has the most knowledge and more importantly, who WANTS to do it. In my case, the head of DM had the most knowledge and had been doing it up until they hired me. In your case, if the head of Clinical has knowledge and wants to do it, they are probably the best choice.

In most case something like Data Management or Stats or something along those lines will be best, since those people are usually a little more tech savvy. But if they don't want to do it, then it doesn't matter how tech savvy they are, IT isn't going to get anything from them.

One word (1)

Firemouth (1360899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594346)


Healthcare, eh? (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594350)

Our IT department is split into two/three areas depending on how you look at it. The main division is between the Clinical Applications staff and the Network/Desktop Services staff, with a further division in the latter section. IT itself falls along a line equal to all other areas and directly below Administration.

IT at a 400+ Enterprise Software Company (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594358)

There's a reason I'm posting as Anon.

IT at my company reports to the CFO. And as a result they definitely don't support the needs of the Engineering Dept. So the Engineering Dept. has its own IT group that effectively does things like making sure the automated testing system is up, making sure backups are done, making sure programmers can do their job without having to worry about hardware infrastructure. The CFO IT still handles stuff like the phones, the network, internal security (which they're notoriously bad at actually notifying users of changes).

Having IT report to the CFO is exactly how I would _not_ do it if I had a say.

Re:IT at a 400+ Enterprise Software Company (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594782)

I work for a largish company (7000ish staff). We have a separate division for IT. They provide infrastructure, manage the PC hardware support subcontract, mainframe, aervers etc, however they have everything locked down so tight it is silly and getting them to make any changes for anything other than a director level project is near impossible.

As a result most departments have pockets of people who (like me) are employed to do a regular job in that department but unofficially do what they can to keep local stuff running, make improvements as far as we can within the IT Division's restrictions and provide help people who are less capable.

As a result, I am officially a Printer Operator (for fast 10k pages/hour web printers) however I spend all my time working on applications written in MS Access databases (the most powerful programming environment they will allow anyone who isn't an official IT developer), maintaining our production print server (which thankfully is under our direct control) and supporting everything from management information (for all levels of management up to director) to complex mailmerges (100k+ letters per merge) to team leaders that can't figure out how to add up a column in Excel.

Some days I yearn for small...

ERP system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594360)

because our POS ERP system costs so freaking much to maintain, IT reports to the finance department.

King of the hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594378)

The absolute top. After all, we're the most powerful people at the company. We control everything that is worth money and without us, there would be no business.

Wait ... that's the truth but not reality.

On the floor (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594380)

Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization?

On the floor, then usually rolls under some file archive and gets lost. On a more serious note though, it's mostly outsourced but what's left is under Operations.

I had a management setup like this once... (4, Interesting)

supremebob (574732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594406)

I was the sole system administrator for a finance software development department in a big company, and reported directly to the manager of the finance team. She wasn't a technical person, and had an home office 1,500 miles away. Amusingly, I NEVER saw her in person for the 18 months that I worked for her.

The good thing about working for her is that she didn't understand what I did, and didn't particularly care to learn. She didn't bother asking questions as to what I was up to, just assumed that I was doing a good job, and gave me great reviews every year. The flip side of that is that she didn't understand why we needed things like new equipment, new software, or training... which left me running the entire development department on 6 year old refurbished equipment that I could "borrow" from other departments.

That said, it was a good time. I thought myself a lot of useful skills during my downtime, which made me a better sysadmin later on. I wish that I had more managers like that now :)

Re:I had a management setup like this once... (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594692)

The good thing about working for her is that she didn't understand what I did, and didn't particularly care to learn.

I've worked several jobs like that. Most of the benefits of contracting, combined with most of the benefits of full time employment. Frankly, having a boss that could understand what I'm doing, would creep me out a bit, after all these years (decades now) of accomplishing goals unsupervised, it would be like "too many chefs in the kitchen" type of feeling.

What is an IT department? (1, Interesting)

kachakaach (1336273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594414)

What IT department? We are a 90% Mac based non-profit (12 million/yr, 100 employees), I am assistant director, and do IT work as a sideline due to personal experience. Everything works, servers, anti virus and backup centrally controlled, all servers and workstations mirrored, back up on and off site via Crashplan, volume licensing covers compliance. Users are pretty much self sufficient on Macs. End of story.

Re:What is an IT department? (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594618)

Unfortunately, not even Macs can magically replace themselves during the annual hardware replacement cycle, nor can they create new images of themselves with departmental software for rollouts and refreshes. They also can't create new AD (or other directory service...) accounts for new users or manage groups and permissions on their own. Additionally, in case of hardware failure...well, I guess they can actually cover you pretty well there (aside from the fact that you can't do a lot on many models yourself in a non-warranty-voiding fashion :)).

Oh, and they can't write and maintain the Web apps, but that's probably the least favorite part of my job (grumble, grumble...web apps for what should be an ordinary desktop aop...grumble, grumble).

Re:What is an IT department? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594756)

Macs can magically replace themselves during the annual hardware replacement cycle

Ha ha. The average mac lasts significantly longer than the average employee. Average meaning Mr Spreadsheet optimizer, or Ms powerpoint tinkerer, or Mr document writer, not so much Mr CAD dude or Ms video editor.

I suppose if you worked at McDonalds the same situation could also exist with PCs where the average mean time between virus infestations would none the less be longer than the average length of employment.

Re:What is an IT department? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595224)

Oh, and they can't write and maintain the Web apps, but that's probably the least favorite part of my job (grumble, grumble...web apps for what should be an ordinary desktop aop...grumble, grumble).

Actually, if the web apps are built to be standards compliant, you should be happy. You can start replacing workstations with thin clients, Windows CE machines, or linux installs. Hell, even ChromeOS could be a suitable replacement.

I have been fighting for, and would love it, if our internal tools were rebuilt as web apps. As it is, maintaining these legacy pieces of crap built on Filemaker and other kludges are holding us back to older OS and workstation setups, and preventing us from doing "modern" office innovations like IMAP/ActiveSync or calendar invitations.

Re:What is an IT department? (3, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595084)

Sounds like a company fit to be in an Apple commercial. Back in the real world, there are a lot of companies that can't unbox the computer in front of the employee, let them set their own password and then get busily to work. Having worked for a lot of these places, I can say that very little time is spent on OS related tasks (that magically are "better" on a Mac). Niche third party apps (or worse, home grown apps) that are business critical can quickly monopolize time in rollout, maintenance, and user training. Macs are not special when it comes to this; you just happen to work at a place that uses computers casually enough that basic software fits your needs. Good for you.

BOFH to the rescue once again ;-) (0, Offtopic)

DaveRexel (887813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594416)

Planned outages FTW! ;-)

Unplug the lot o' them at the firewall


Work under where the money is at. (2, Informative)

Yoshamano (1424781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594428)

I work in a similar sized company that manufactures kitchen and bath counter tops and has retail kitchen and bath design showrooms. I'm the only IT worker there, and I work there part time. Well, part time is kind of a misnomer, I work there whenever there is a problem, or whenever I want. That being said, I work about 20 - 30 hours a week on average. I'm responsible for about 45 desktops and 3 servers spread out over 7 locations. We have 3 owners of the company who are the CEO, CFO, and President. My boss is the controller and he works under CFO. Basically the only time I have to go to my boss is when I want to make a company wide policy change, or if I need some money to order parts.

TL~DR Your boss should be someone with purchasing authority.

Where does what fall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594430)

Please, tell me what "it" is. Also, I'm not very organized so I might not have a place for "it".

Administration. (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594446)

We fall under the administrative division, specifically, the business/technology subdivision. I guess we're big enough (a couple hundred full-time employees and perhaps an equal number of student employees and a few part-time workers) to do that.

Web design (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594450)

I work in an office that does the web design and web apps for a large company. We're under the larger PR department, along with the publications office.

Right next to the redheaded bastard stepchildren (5, Insightful)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594454)

When shit works right - "Why do we need an IT department? They're just an expense!"

When shit breaks - "Why the hell are you using shit that has to be kept together with duct tape and bailing wire???"

Re:Right next to the redheaded bastard stepchildre (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595136)


When shit works right despite being underfunded: "Why are we paying so much for the IT department? They're just an enormous expense, but there's no benefit because everything is working anyway!"

When shit breaks because of being underfunded, "Why are we paying so much for the IT department? They're just an enormous expense, but there's no benefit because they can't keep anything working!"

Cost centre vs investment centre (1)

danpat (119101) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594476)

The excellent book "The Practice of System and Network Administration" has a chapter on this topic that would make very good reading. If I recall correctly, they assert that organisations usually structure IT depending on whether it's considered a "cost centre" or an "investment centre". "Cost centres" often simply end up reporting to the finance department. "Investement centres" can usually justify reporting to the head of the business.

distributed IT (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594478)

He have distributed IT here.

There is a genuine IT department by name, which is mostly extremely generic typical business IT support. The printer is broken again. Can you move this PC from the old cube to the new cube? You don't want to work there, except maybe for some plum spots at the top. They report to ... like finance or something, as a cost center. Everyone in the company is their boss whenever something breaks.

Then there are IT-type people attached to certain departments to run specialized technical resources that are not found at every business office full of computers. They/we report to the boss of that department. Our boss is responsible for certain goals requiring specialized technical devices, and I support those devices. That's a very nice place to work. I have one boss.

We mostly treat other IT groups as almost separate companies, no teamwork allowed, but sometimes it happens anyway. For example, when I had some production gear living on IT's LAN, those SOBs statically double-assigned one of my server IP addresses to a printer (Personally, I think they were getting even for the time I wiped a IT PC that was "their property" for use as a temporary server). So, I went begging to yet another little team in a separate department that happened to run their own separate LAN and got access and IP space from them, so the general employees living in IT-land now have to access our production gear thru the firewall between the separate LANs.

The idea that I would pull cable for some secretary is about as ridiculous as the idea that a "generic cog in the IT machine" could support our specialized production gear. Most grunt laborers from IT probably wouldn't even know the acronyms much less how to install and repair the gear, and I have no idea how to change printer toner cartridges, and I like it that way.

So "Informational Technology" lives here both as a generic support team reporting up their own separate IT chain of command, and also as a widely distributed small team/individual basis reporting directly to their local manager.

Flat on it's face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594482)

I'm the IT admin for a small (130 employees) multi-national firm. I'm also the only IT professional. I report to the Director of Finance & the VP of HR. The DF at least has an idea of how a computer works, whereas the VP of HR has trouble with copy/paste.

Where do IT fall... (2, Funny)

Cyclloid (948776) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594498)

...All over the place.

Re:Where do IT fall... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594650)

Here we're expected to fall on our swords. Although, as often as we're shoved, it's usually under the bus.

:*( boo hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594554)

Pretty much all over our facility... anywhere the jocks decide to trip us and poor slurpies on our heads.

determine $amount & body count - 50% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594572)

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When it was a ~50 man biotech... (1)

frooddude (148993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594590)

IT (me and the dba) reported to the VP of development. His job (and his underlings) was to develop algorithms to deal with the data produce by the DNA analysis systems run by the research group. Since they were the primary "real" server users it was a reasonable match. Back office and desktop support were my problem as well, but I reported those issues directly to the Pres/CEO since that's where my budget came from and the VP of dev didn't care if the secretary at the front desk couldn't get her email.

"real" in this case meaning the DB and data crunching systems, the stuff used for product development. As with a much larger organization that side of IT got a completely separate budget from standard services and DT support.

Finance (2, Informative)

plebeian (910665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594598)

In my 400 person US based non-profit, the Director of IT reports to the CFO. It actually works quite well as they have to work together on most of the strategic planning initiatives.

Re:Finance (1)

Chakotay (3529) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594704)

Same here. Local IT reports to Finance, which is a good thing, because all IT does in the views of the "bigwigs" is "spend money" anyway :D

at my job ... (1)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594602)

At the company i currently work as a summer extra, the IT deparment is a part of the finance department.
I don't know why but I guess that's the closest to any department connected to IT we can come in the company (a in US terms small company of 3-400 ppl). Worth mentioning is that it's an Internal IT department (worth mentioning because it's a betting company) and we have a lot of different department when it comes to different parts of the IT stuff.

Finance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594620)

Our CIO reports to the CFO

I work in a fairly big shop (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594634)

We have about 1100 IT folks (includes telecomm, workstations, server admin, app development, the whole she-bang) supporting a bit more than 110,000 users in an org with gross yearly revenues exceeding $2.6 trillion USD. We're our own department. Despite the fact that we've shrunk over the last few years from 3100 to 1100 employees, I tend to believe we'll remain our own department for the foreseeable future.

Re:I work in a fairly big shop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594790)

Let me guess, that sounds like you work for the IT department of the

Re:I work in a fairly big shop (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594818)


If I had my druthers... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594700)

under a bus.

IT within an IT orginization. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594714)

What happens when your entire company is IT. We know where IT fits internally, but their role is larger. Desktop support is handled by Facilities. the IT department more or less makes sure our enterprise functions so we can deliver the products we do. OPS, Server mgmt, IS, etc then are indirectly under us. Very tricky. Makes calling our department IT sad. So we call it R&D. :)

Where? (1)

Chadster (459808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594732)

At the bottom of...well, everything.

IT should be infrastructure only (5, Informative)

boristdog (133725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594734)

IT infrastructure should be handled by an IT department (network, server & storage support, basic desktop supply and support) but it should NOT handle such things as database development and management, application development, etc.

Unfortunately, many companies class anything to do with a computer as "IT" and treat a DBA the way they treat a desktop support flunky. Many times I have worked for organizations that decided to grab every departmental programmer or DBA and bring him/her into the IT department, to the severe detriment of the department he/she used to support.

At one company I worked for they outsourced all the IT and made the programmers, DBAs, developers, etc. go work for the contractor. Lots of them quit and went to better jobs, so the contractor brought in many of their folks from India to fill the open positions. It was a disaster. Eventually most of the departments hired developers, DBA's, programmers, etc. of their own and just gave them all generic "Engineer" titles.

Below Janitor (1)

NetServices (1479949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594760)

IT is right below the janitors position. Or in some cases, it is the janitor. No kidding!

Years of untalented managers made IT a cost center (2, Insightful)

David_Nix (1835102) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594788)

Allow me to speak in generalities, and feel free to not bombard me with one off "nuhhhh-uhhhs." Unfortunately IT is becoming more and more like plumbing or electricity. Argue all you want, but when your CEO see's your CIO (our whatever acronyms equate) walking into his office he can almost always be sure that the conversation about to occur will (a) not make the company any money or (b) cost the company some amount of money. Years of untalented managers have allowed IT to become a cost center / black hole. You don't have to agree, in fact I encourage you to continue riding your unicorns at LARP conventions. Regardless, your managers have failed your chosen discipline. The technical skills that get you promoted into upper management aren't really the skills you need to be successful, or make your company successful. This is why CIO's are always going to be second string to sales, marketing, and finance leaders. Sorry, I don't make the rules. -d

Varies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32594856)

I've worked in IT for a few companies:

Bank was under Operations
Manufacturer was under Accounting

parallel to operations (1)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594890)

I work in a small independent pharmacy chain in Texas, we have about 15 stores and maybe around 110 employees total.

Our IT department consists of me (Senior developer), a Junior developer, a Sys. Admin, and my boss who has the title VP of I.T. My boss is at the same level as the CFO and COO even though he doesn't have a "C" title and they all report to our CEO/owner. My projects mostly cross in to the operations department but the I.T. department has its finger in all departments. Our system administrator deals mostly with the pharmacies themselves where I mostly work with the corporate staff but also deal a lot with the pharmacies. My boss has the most experience (aside from the CEO) with the pharmacy business of all the executives so he basically consults for the other department heads. We routinely work on accounting concepts and ideas for the CFO as well as managing profitability with dispensed drugs for Operations.

Unlike most grunts I have 100% confidence in my boss and the other executive level people here. I think I got that way because they're very upfront and candid, no sugar coating, no jargon, no exec speak. If your project rocks then it rocks if it sucks then it sucks and they've been 100% right so far (i've been here 10 years).

CFO (1)

Solitude (30003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594896)

--> CFO

Ees not my yob, mang. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594900)

A 100-employee design/manufacturing firm doesn't have someone considered to be an Operations Manager or General Manager?

Sounds like the CEO or VP is passing the buck for Getting Things Done to the Clinical department manager.

Where does IT fall within your organization? (1)

Phydeaux (82550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32594970)

Right between the cracks....

in my workplace, an international agency (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595050)

IT was introduced in a democratic way, having the users themselves pave the way out of mainframes int the PC area - with the now stronger IT Division claiming that for "security reasons" they step back to central controlled computing.

Win XP boots into a usable Outlook in about 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, Word works after 20 minutes - on a 2x2.5GHz 2GB machine.

Splashtop boots in 10 sec and I can access my ! company e-mail ! including logging on with my password in about 20 seconds!

for me our IT Division with its US-american Director is part of BigBrother!

BTW we are back to a single US manufacturer for all computers, servers etc and also a single US manufacturer fro network devices.

I can smell the Trojan Boot Loaders there!

50 employee company (1)

bflong (107195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595076)

I am the IT department. I have the org chart right here. It looks like this:

      |  |    |    |
   Peon  Peon Peon Peon

It works out great, although the VP is cluefull.

i cant speak for others, but (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595180)

in my organization it falls around the copiers and printers. it sits there for weeks and i dont think anyone notices it.
it falls in the breakroom too mostly around the microwave, and people never clean it up.

tl;dr Accounting (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 4 years ago | (#32595188)

I'm the sole IT guy for a small credit union (4 branches across 3 counties in TX). Before I worked here, there was no IT staff; They relied on vendor support and 3rd parties. The most knowledgeable guys were in the accounting department, so that's who wound up doing most of the computery stuff and subsequently hired me. I'm still part of accounting, but I'm kind of a spin-off department. I'm actually quite used to being a department of one; In all my work experience I've always been the lone tech guy.
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