Balancing between keeping one of their best employees and their customers happy is definitely a tough decision to make, more so considering that one of the only options available to them might end up creating an even bigger problem; firing Ivan would definitely mean they will not be able to meet the set deadline, which could invariably result in huge losses, both immediate and long term due to the customers who might pull out as well as the manner with which the company’s image might suffer. As such, firing Ivan is definitely not an option in my view, at least not until after the Alpha 3 project has been completed. In the meantime, it would, however, be best if Gordon and Barton had a conversation with Ivan and made the company priorities clearer to him, more so considering the fact that the company is struggling within the market, and this has resulted in the Alpha 3 project taking on even greater significance. After such a discussion with Ivan, arrangements can perhaps be made to ensure that Ivan’s schedule is similar to Cho’s and that he has ample time to work on his pet projects.
When it comes to hiring training and maintaining IT staff, judging the quality of work done may be difficult, as well as objectively judging the value of employees, making the idea of treating them as normal employees a mundane one. Similar to Gordon’s valuation of Ivan, a majority of IT staff work differently, which makes it even harder to appraise areas that require further training, let alone to develop a universal training program that would actually be beneficial to all the employees. The unique nature of outstanding performers usually makes them easy targets for other companies looking for similar skills. In order to safeguard against a high employee turnover in the IT department, especially of valuable employees, the company is forced to make a number of undesirable compromises, which suggests that at times compromises might be necessary if a company intends to maintain its valuable staff
Centralizing the IT department would undoubtedly result in less reliance by varying departments on individuals, thus eliminating the chances of significant projects such as Alpha 3 relying on single individuals. Furthermore centralizing It functions would not only ensure the company finds outsourcing easier to achieve, but it would also pool numerous talents such as Cho and Ivan, a situation that can only be of benefit to the company, and perhaps even result a more efficient IT department within which prioritizing is much easier to do. On the other hand, bringing together a team of highly skilled individuals might actually backfire, as the ability to work in tandem would in some cases be very hard to achieve, resulting in a highly inefficient department. In addition the value of apprenticeship would also be lost, as groupings in terms of ability would deprive those of lower ability the chance to learn from the best.
In my opinion the concept of open source should not be forced, individuals who wish to make their software free should be allowed to do so, while individuals who would like to gain financially from their inventions, must also be allowed to thrive as well. Adopting the concept of open-source software across the board would significantly water down the value of IT, more so when it comes to providing a competitive advantage, as nothing would be unique to any company.
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