Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Canadian ISPs take spam fight into their own hands (May 31)

It’s about time someone does something about this. Any of our clients presently on Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape or Hotmail

is blocked at the source.

These particular service providers are the worst. We’ve blocked the whole domain which means we can’t receive any e-mails from any of these big spammers!

So it’s only justice that the polluters pay for their own pollution!

Mario Perazzelli

Re: Canadian ISPs take spam fight into their own hands (May 31)

Very happy to hear about this initiative. In the past year, I know at least 10 people who have cancelled their Internet service altogether because it simply was not worth the spam irritation and the constant steps to eliminate the barrage of unwanted e-mail. Add virus protection on top and for a lot of users, the Internet has changed from a fun and useful way to get information to simply not worth the trouble. I hope this initiative serves as an example to the international Internet community as a way to stem this tide of spam.

Kathleen Watson

Re: Who died and made you CIO? (May 19)

It is time that corporations realize that IT must become decentralized to be effective. IT staff should take on the role of consultant and be farmed out to the departments so that they not only reside in the department for which they are assigned but are given the chance to really learn and get a feel for how the department operates, what constraints it faces, what its needs are. This way they can work closely with everyone in that department and develop the best tools and provide that instant service since they are dedicated to that department. Of course the department’s budget needs to account for the services of the resident IT professional for the time that this person is there.

You still can set a standard and still centralize such things as disaster recovery, backups, corporate system upgrades, etc. With knowledge workers having spent time in the department IT provides the information in advance that an upgrade will have a negative impact in a certain area before the fact and not after the rollout.

IT people need to spend time to learn the business if they are to continue to be an asset to the company. Though IT people are well trained in software, hardware, and communications, most know little if nothing of the departments they serve.

It’s time to bring the IT department down from its ivory tower and put it in the trenches where it will truly do some good.

Peter Zoeller

Re: Who died and made you CIO? (May 19)

I read with interest your article on the creation of shadow departments that were used to sidestep IT units. Yes, they are inefficient. Yes, the creators often get in over their head and yes, oftentimes they’d like nothing better than to dump it back on IT once the product or application has been built. But the question has to be asked: Why would anyone (in their right mind) engage in this sort of activity, given the concerns I’ve noted?

Culturally, organizations indoctrinated their IT specialists to become gatekeepers by relying on them inordinately when staff were not computer-literate. A generation later, the IT team still feel the need to advise and even dictate, but the other staff are catching up. They’ve made it a point to learn the language, if not the code and they can now talk the talk. They know what they want and can enunciate it, if not build it.

Having IT lead the development of technical projects will still yield efficiencies, accountable budgets and stable product development. But the IT staff need to develop a service delivery mindset, and they must come to the realization that their own colleagues are often the client. The solution? Keep content-savvy staff in the picture right from the beginning. Ask more, tell less. And think service delivery.

Chuck Bowie

Re: Who died and made you CIO? (May 19)

Often in large organizations shadow departments and informal IT “”experts”” are a user reaction to poor central IT management, response, applications, standards and services. If an organization is going to come down on shadow departments and user-implemented solutions, the IT department better be prepared to reorient itself as an internal business unit that perceives and treats its users as customers and their issues as necessary concerns to deal with rather than just as annoying phone calls from users who simply “”don’t get it.””

I encounter this culture most often in large hospitals which have such incredibly heavy IT bureaucracies that user requests aren’t even recognized as a valid source of serviceable requests or issues. While shadow departments and user-experts create some messes they also introduce tremendous innovations that lead to the recognition of wider issues and work elements that go unnoticed when CIOs do their top-down planning. I would not be so quick to condemn them.

Be careful what you wish for; you may get it.

Jay Patterson

Re: Who died and made you CIO? (May 19)

The “”Who died and made you CIO?”” article was quite interesting from the perspective of dealing with the symptoms and not the root cause. Essentially, now that the “”business”” wants to do things for themselves, how do we deal with that? I suspect there are a number of reasons why this has occurred and I feel it can be summed up as: they are just not happy with the service. It’s time IT departments focus on rapid high value quality work and find ways to reduce costs.

Denis Clelland

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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