Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




working for core vs non-core of business

Hi all,

What is your experience and observation regarding the differences between you working in the core or non-core/support function of the business?
For example:
1. What is the differences in the salary, benefits, facilities
2. How is the treatment or recognizition from the business?
3. Contracted vs non-contracted or fully outsourced?
4. Do you think the treatment/differences is FAIR? (for the core and non-core personnel)
5. etc

Thanks for your answers,

Crispin Luxton
Monday, December 01, 2003

CFO told me just a couple weeks ago:

' 2 things matter: product, and sales. The rest, is just.... '

Matt
Monday, December 01, 2003

My last client was a small, albeit very profitable, client-facing division of a global investment bank.  I was doing day to day trading system support, and servicing client requests (data xfers, custom reports,  etc)  This group was making money hand over first.  The floor I was on had oak desks, and oak bathrooms.  Top of the line PC's, desks, dual monitors, etc...Like a cigar bar.  I was getting paid as an expensive consultant well into 2002, with the end barely in sight...(until I resigned, ...see all my past quality of life postings for details)

On the other hand, upstairs, was the traditional IT dept, (In-house People staff doing long term dev. projects, unix admins, and DBA's)  Crap PC's, crap monitors, crap bathrooms.  They were getting stiffed on annual bonuses...Like you were in a different office building. 

Pretty hilarious, now that I think about it.

Bella
Monday, December 01, 2003

Bella,

Interesting post.  One IT dept was seen as contributing to the bottom line, hence the royal treatment and the other IT dept was seen as a necessary evil, taking away from the bottom line, hence the step-child treatment.  Would you say that most IT depts are seen as just, "taking away from the bottom line" ie cost-centers?  It reminds me of those microsoft commericals where the IT guy explains to his boss that he implemented some new technology, throwing around acronoyms, and his boss gives him some blank stare.  When the IT guy explains that they saved X amount of dollars implementing the new technology, then the light goes on for the boss.

Cletus
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

What is the difference between assets and costs? You want to grow the former and minimize the latter. always be an asset if you can (which is one of several reasons I believe "give the software away and well make money on the the compliments" business model is bad news for developers).

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"Would you say that most IT depts are seen as just, "taking away from the bottom line" ie cost-centers?"

Probably. It would be interesting to see companies (try and) run without them, however. Same applies to other services like security, cleaning, etc.


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

IME:  working in cost centers sucks.  working in profit centers sucks less.

ted
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

actually, ime:  writing internal apps sucks.  writing shrinkwrap sucks less.

ted
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I've been working in the finance business for the last few years, and have seen the same division that Bella referred to. I worked for the "business unit" at my last gig. I had roughly the same base salary as my peers in the IT unit, but they were not eligible to participate in the "incentive" plan (which for me was equivalent to another 40-50% of my base salary).

I would say, though, that the interests of the IT units were completely misaligned with the revenue generating parts of the business. They truly were a "cost center". By watching the missteps of this unit, I really got an education about just how easily an IT shop can be replaced.

Addition by subtraction, as they say.

Anon this time
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I wonder if most IT jobs that are being outsourced are of the 'Cost Center' type?  Although this may not always be possible, in looking for potential IT jobs, it seems that it would be wise to try to seek out "profit center" type gigs. 

Cletus
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Of course it matters whether you work in the core or non-core part of the business. The perception of management, and *not* reality nor performance, is what governs your compensation and quality of worklife.

This whole issue of working for "core" business functions versus "non core" functions really pisses me off and it's one of the cardinal reasons I got out of permanent employment in this f***ing industry.  If you work in the wrong part of the business, you're wrong, "pure overhead", and blameworthy before you even open your mouth.

Companies mouth hollow platitudes about how "we're all one big happy team helping each other" but the reality is that many companies anoint Golden Boys and Golden Girls who just happen to work in a politically favored end of the business, and often crap on the poor schmucks who make-do in the disregarded but equally vital portion of the business.

At the same time, companies scorn and smack down the envy and bad karma that results from this kind of favoritism and blame the underlings for a political climate that they engineer to "keep the pot stirred".

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

'The perception of management, and *not* reality nor performance, is what governs your compensation and quality of worklife.'

Bored,

The whole hipocracy of the matter is that it doesn't matter how hard the folks work in the 'non-core' business side, they will get sh*t-canned if they come up on the wrong side of the ledger on the bean counter's report for the quarter,
no matter if they double their helpdesk tickets, work a bunch of 'unpaid' overtime, crank-out a bunch of internal apps, etc etc.  IMO, it is this attitude from mngmt that has led to Warm Chair Attrition:
http://www.cio.com/archive/081503/reality.html

The fish does definitely stink from the head down.

Cletus
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home