Once upon a time, your company might have had a computer...
IT was large.
IT was complicated.
IT was VERY expensive.
IT frequently didn't do what you wanted/needed IT to do.
Worst of all....
IT required appeasing a priesthood that spoke in cryptic language that was supposedly too hard for mere mortals to interpret.
Of course now that the computer is on your desktop and the "big computer" is just the network that ties them all together, very little else has changed -- internally that is.
"IT" is no longer a thing....but a THEY!
IT (Information Technology or IS Information Services) is probably not a competitive advantage of your company. But like a zombie, IT doesn't realize it. IT thinks that IT is the reason you're in business. That the world revolves around IT.
I would venture to guess that NO WHERE in your company's mission statement does it say anything like:
Our goal is to be a world-class IT/IS company providing timely valued services to our customers...
In fact I highly doubt that they even think that way in terms of their own charter. As I blogged before all businesses run like a supply-chain -- IT just hasn't figured out that YOU are their customer.
To put it bluntly: IT is rarely a profit center for the company. And if they are not generating money they are spending it. And don't be fooled by the siren song that they sing about "saving money" -- you're paying them -- directly as a cost-center -- or indirectly as a shareholder.
I would argue that for the amount of money that companies spend on their own internal resources that you'd think they would demand a higher level of service in return. If they were paying an outside vendor you can be sure that they would hold them to a higher standard. But somehow the internal IT department has convinced you that you report to them. Or at a minimum they control the resources. Who died and made them king?
This is provocative -- change agent material:
IT is a service to the organization (a vendor) -- if IT/IS unwilling or unable to provide the service you need, you should be free to source it from someone who will.
They obviously did not get the memo. Remind them of that the next time you have a trouble ticket they don't want fix for you, or block access to social network sites. Or my favorite, the arbitrary and capricious blocking of various WikiPedia entries all under the guise of protecting you from yourself -- or "its policy". Ask them, "...so how much money did you make for the business last year?"
You won't win any friends, but since they probably already hold you in contempt, it's only fitting to return the favor! After all they are just not-so-subtly treating you the way they obviously want to be treated....
And since there is already a high-turnover-rate, the problem is largely self-correcting. But just in case it's not correcting fast enough, consider outsourcing your next project to someone that actually wants your business.
As my former business partner Jon used to say, "It's really no coincidence that half of SHIT is IT!"
So, today's big idea is this: Ask your IT department for a copy of its mission statement.