A (Sort of) Fresh Start

Yesterday was a sort of melancholy day. While I’ll still be reporting to the same place to work, and I’ll be doing pretty much the same job, I’ll be working for a different agency. Yesterday was my last day working for the New York State Higher Education Service Corporation, where I started almost 27 and a half years ago. Today is my first day working for the New York State Office of Information Technology Services.

The change is part of New York’s IT Transformation initiative, whereby all agency IT shops are being combined into one central IT agency and then each agency will utilize the central IT agency as sort of a contract service, paying for programming, design, system maintenance, computing resources, etc.

It’s a good idea and will eventually save the state a lot of money, but the process required to get there will by necessity be similar to laws and sausages. The end product may be good, but you don’t want to see it being made. For our agency, this phase is kind of like approaching the grinder at the sausage factory.

The IT resources are basically being split into two types of area. The central services will be provided by the ITS Enterprise group, and will include all back-of-house functions from mainframe and server support to networking to user support, to middleware and platforms to data center operations. The agency-specific services will be provided by seven Clusters, which will further be divided into agency-level Business Service Groups. The Clusters and BSGs will provide project management, information security, design, development, and other agency- and application-specific services.

The eight groups that I manage are being split in two by this cluster/enterprise split. My mainframe support, server support, network operations, and user support groups are going to the enterprise, while my asset management, release management, accounts management, and help desk teams are staying with the BSG. I had to choose which half of my staff I would continue with.

Since I see a much smaller role for myself if I stayed with the BSG, I decided to instead go with the managed services group with hopes of getting attached to one of the major centralized towers. My tagline for myself is “I Fix Things,” and quite frankly I have already done most of the fixing needed with my groups at HESC. I’m hoping to have the opportunity to help out with either the Data Center Hosting group, the User Services group, or the Data Center Consolidation team. Unfortunately, the upper levels of those groups are still yet to be formed, so I may have to wait a while. In the meantime, I will continue doing much of what I was doing before and assist in the transition of my BSG units to new managers within the BSG.

It’s weird how it can feel so right but so wrong at the same time. Aside from nine months at another agency, I’ve spent my entire state career with HESC. But that’s over now, and it’s time to move forward. While it’s not completely a fresh start, I think that the opportunities to make a difference will come, so this will be a short waiting period while those opportunities appear. When they do, it’ll be time to put up or shut up. I plan to put up if given an opportunity. We’ll see.

In the meantime, it just feels… weird. :Sigh: For now, all I need to do is to Keep Moving Forward. The future will take care of itself.

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One Response to A (Sort of) Fresh Start

  1. John Friedman says:

    Mark –
    Try to look at this as a new beginning rather than an end. As you make the transition from the past to the future it will feel uncomfortable for a while…but just keep moving forward (what choice do we have) and see what tomorrow can and does bring.
    27 years is a long, long time to work for one place. But as someone who recently made a transition I can tell you that sometimes what you think you’re giving up or losing is in fact far less than you imagine. And what you gain is far more.
    Of course, today’s a good day.
    John

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