back to article DXC Security exec: Yes, I'd have thought we'd spend more on certs and laptop kit for staff, too

A senior exec within DXC Technology's global security practice has acknowledged his staff's "puzzlement" at the company's reluctance to fund examinations for infosec certifications. Dean Clemons, global SC&C services leader at DXC's Offering division who reports to Mark Hughes, jumped on a conference call with staff on 19 …

  1. sawatts

    The ship is sinking fast, and to save weight they've burned the lifeboats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The lifeboats went long ago. The ship was fine and they'd never had to use them before, so clearly unnecessary.

      They've moved on to all that stuff below the waterline. If you can't see it, it mustn't be necessary right? External consultants looked into it and identified considerable bulk that can be removed.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Our success is dependent on ourselves and I find that exciting"

    That sentence is a model of a phrase without actual meaning. It's almost as if he checked his motivational rolodex and decided to use that one. Of course your success depends on you, it doesn't depend on the grocery store next door.

    It is exactly the kind of empty words someone without empathy will spout to try and make people think that "we're all in this together", in order to foster a sense of group and togetherness.

    In the meantime, the bigwigs get the bonuses and the peons get laid off. That's how together we are.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Our success is dependent on ourselves and I find that exciting"

      "Exciting" is one of those key words telling you to run.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: "Our success is dependent on ourselves and I find that exciting"

      I agree that in this case the statement was probably just ticking the motivational box, and I hope those in the company do well in the future (perhaps by leaving for alternative employment?). However, it is possible to have a situation where success might be a random outcome (see any of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's books), or heavily dependent on other forces.

      As a concrete example, one of the centres I teach in (adult education, uk) now has 'percentage of students entering employment during course' as one of several performance indicators. We could be teaching our socks off, delivering a thundering pass rate, and yet that indicator could tank completely as a result of some large change in the economy caused by external factors. I can personally see a whole flock of distinctly grey swans heading our way soon...

      Coat: off out

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Our success is dependent on ourselves and I find that exciting"

        "just ticking the motivational box"

        I always found this to be counter-productive as regards my own motivation. Are they deliberately and knowingly insulting my intelligence? Do they really believe this crap themselves in which case they're exposing their own intelligence? There's no way to look at this and feel good about what you see.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Our success is dependent on ourselves and I find that exciting"

          By "ourselves", he's talking about management.

          Oh, and what a great job HR is doing with work life balance to help employees spend more time with their families.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Our success is dependent on ourselves and I find that exciting"

            As a former EDS/HP inmate (whose parole came through in 2012), it really pains me to see how they are treating some really great people they had.

            I even had a recruiter trying to sell me a job at DXC. For a pay cut. I just pointed out that it wasn't yet April 1st.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like HPE mk2

    I worked for HPE and left about a year before the Dixie Chicken spinoff, sounds like their attitude to staff certs/training and IT equipment is exactly the same.

    We couldn't get new laptop hardware for staff without some meaningless executive's signoff, followed by a process that took months. Any new hires would spend that time twiddling their thumbs, unable to do work unless they'd brought their own hardware (which was forbidden officially).

    That meant we ended up collecting laptops from exiting/laid off staff so we had a pool to hand out to new contractors or staff (churn rate was high). We'd add them to our own asset registry (you had to log all the assets you were responsible for into a CMDB), bag them with chargers/accessories, and we'd rebuild them with the latest corporate image and have one ready for any new hire.

    Worked perfectly until someone imposed a $700 cost-code charge on any "secondary" IT devices, which meant we had to send them all back (and we didn't even have a single spare we could turn to if someone's laptop crapped out).

    Overtime and travel were a nightmare - you couldn't travel unless you had signoff from an account exec or a global delivery lead (usually based in the US) two weeks before the intended date. No exceptions, even if four of the sites you travelled to were within 30 miles of each other and you were only claiming for car mileage (no hotel stays, meals or flights). Trying to get it raised retrospectively was a pain, even if it was for a customer-affecting failure or incident. I worked about three days of my notice because of all of the time off in lieu I'd accumulated.

    No training budget of any kind, even for HP internal courses on their own hardware. I had a spot for free on a "strategic vendor" web-delivered course (we were deploying their devices for multiple customers) and I was told to cancel it over the target weeks as training over that quarter was banned whether there was a cost to the business or not.

    All of these costs are a necessary evil to an IT company that delivers services of any kind, outsourcing or otherwise. If you don't invest in your staff and allow them to develop, the good ones won't stay and the bad ones won't get any better. It will cost you reputation, customer satisfaction and profit in the long run, just not in a tangible way a beancounter can measure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like HPE mk2

      Makes me wonder if the big corporations in this and related industries haven't become so good at kickbacks to the appropriate executives/politicians that functional equipment, software, and support is barely or not even necessary.

    2. circusmole

      Re: Sounds like HPE mk2

      I left HP (as was) a couple of years prior to you and it was just as bad then. Had to get VP approval, in advance, to travel to a customer site to carry revenue-generating work. The approval was quite often denied. Insane. Travel mileage was "checked" with Google Maps to see if you went by the shortest route, the whole place was crazy. No pay rises for 5 years, even if you "exceeded requirements". I could go on.

    3. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like HPE mk2

      But that's all ok, as the execs will have left (and cashed in their options) by the time the accumulated shit hits the spinny thing.

  4. K

    Wall Street seemingly loves businesses cutting costs to maximise profits

    This statement encapsulates everything that is wrong with businesses today..

    Don't invest in your staff, then your consultancy customers will looks elsewhere for "better qualified" partners. In addition, your best staff will leave for pastures greeners.

    If you follow this trend, the only way to go, is down..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wall Street seemingly loves businesses cutting costs to maximise profits

      Its all about short term gain in the 2008 post-growth capitalism model.

      Pump and dump, no real growth at all.

      DXC is the poster boy for this model. If you read stocks news, you'll always see them flagged as the one to get your capital hard. Just make sure you quit while you are ahead, because someone will be left holding the can when the pyramid scheme collapses.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Wall Street seemingly loves businesses cutting costs to maximise profits

        Its all about short term gain in the 2008 post-growth capitalism model.

        Nope, it was happening a lot longer ago than that. In 1997 or there or thereabouts when the great offshoring to China was getting going I distinctly remember having a discussion about the likely impact. ie, companies did very well off in the short term, and the country as a whole would do very badly in the long term.

        This was quite obvious to the people at the bottom, and so must have been as obvious to the people at the top collecting huge bonuses for doing it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wall Street seemingly loves businesses cutting costs to maximise profits


          Agreed! The type of work being outsourced has changed from low skill, so we didn't care, to high skill and that's affecting us. Absolutely foreseeable, only the time frame was in question. Globalization only works for the wealthy and I think the Chinese are going to grab a lot more out of Globalization than the American and European oligarchs expected. I'm sure they can see that now.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Wall Street seemingly loves businesses cutting costs to maximise profits

      If you follow this trend, the only way to go, is down..

      Who gives a shit anyway, as long as the executives have their multi-million bonuses everything is dandy - that was the whole point of the business wasn't it?

      After all they have enough to live on for the rest of their lives and as far as they are concerned the workers and customers can just go and fuck themselves. You wouldn't want to jeopardise the poor executives by providing a good service or treating the workers well, where's the sense in that?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This makes perfect sense from Wall Street's viewpoint

      Don't invest in your staff, then your consultancy customers will looks elsewhere for "better qualified" partners. In addition, your best staff will leave for pastures greeners.

      Why should Wall Street care? They will ride the stock up so long as the effect of cost cutting is to increase profits, when all that cost cutting catches up to you and profit starts to fall then they short your stock and invest in one of the smaller companies that started taking some of your market share and hired your best people because they were investing in the future. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      Before anyone asks "OK, but why do the execs going along with it?" just ask yourself how they are compensated? Most of their compensation is based on stock prices or profit. so they have a strong incentive to do the same. When things turn down they can either bail for greener pastures, or blame some external factor on the downturn. i.e. "global economic slowdown" or "Brexit" or "PC market downturn" or "Apple's removal of the headphone jack".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DXC layoff strategy

    I'd run, I really would. But working for DXC has trapped me by destroying my mental health to the point that, if I were an employer, I'd be reluctant to hire me. I sort-of know that I could hold my own in the employment market, or even the contractor market because, when I try to think about it objectively, I know that I have the ability to make a useful contribution. But I can't look at it objectively any more: and I just find that every day that I wake up disappointed to still be alive.

    For months, I couldn't even read the Reg, and now I'm trying to take tentative steps back from the brink (literally) by attempting to rediscover my former joy in technology and science. I just wish I could find my way.

    I don't know if it's paranoid, because I am a poor judge of my own subjective assessments these days, but it seems there is an almost deliberate policy at DXC, carried on from CSC, to drive people away by targetting their mental well-being: I don't have a problem with any of my colleagues but I feel bullied by the corporation itself. I should have jumped years before, but personal family circumstances made it impossible (i.e. I lacked the courage). Now I just find the idea of a different kind of jump increasingly compelling ... but fortunately I lack the courage for that as well.

    My recommendation: do not, under any circumstances, work for (or even with) this toxic organisation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      I hear you my friend.

      I feel like my best skills are simply managing to turn up to work everyday.... somehow.

      I look at other potential employers with such a degree of scepticism that I find I'm unable to find the nerve to want to join them.

      I suppose that is what an abusive relationship does to you - burns all of your trust.

      So I sit here with a sense of fatalism, waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me.

      And yes, this is a deliberate policy from CSC...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Back in the mid '80s I felt very much the same working in the public sector. In those heady days it was relatively easy for someone who'd had an IT sideline in some other career to make the move into IT. I did just that, working for a smallish consultancy. The change of atmosphere made it seem like a holiday for many months.

      Eventually I joined my client as an employee. over the years I watched them ditch employees one at a time and then in a bit of a rush when it relocated. As I watched that I realised that if those employees had got together they could have formed a small but very effectively staffed competitor.

      In the end I baled to go freelance. It was as reinvigorating as the previous move from the public sector and not least because a few months later my former employer became my second client for the next six months. One of the benefits is that all those decisions about training and equipment can be made directly. In fact, that can be a selling point; at one time I rolled one contract into another simply because I could buy myself training for a new technology fast enough to pre-empt my client's decision-making as to whether to train any of their own staff.

      Since then I've seen these slow-bleed stories over and over again. It's quite clear that, especially in businesses where the only capital investment is in knowledge and some personal computing, there's huge scope for staff to start their own businesses, either by going solo, as I did, or by getting together which could provide a degree of mutual support. Perhaps a chat with some of your colleagues would be worthwhile - could you make a go of it as a group even if you don't want to contract individually?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      To OP - man, that's crap and rough. Really look after yourself. I've come out of a toxic workplace in the past and it took me a while to find a new normal. Wasted years of my life, but I think I'm mostly there now.

    4. Valerion

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      That's a bad place to be in. Get out if you can. Ideally to a small firm who might appreciate your experience working for a big company.

      I was at a job that I had no enthusiasm for until recently. Had no motivation at all. It was just corporate crap all day long. Bonuses and pay reviews were a thing of the past and HR ruled the roost. Then an opportunity to join my old boss at a new, small company came along. I jumped at it, and am so much happier for it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      I've been where you are dude (working for the same employer), and it's horrible. I don't know whether the way DXC treat their staff is deliberate or an arrogant state of neglect, either way it's disgusting.

      I got out 18 months or so back, but couldn't escape the feelings you describe with my new employer. I struggled with confidence in my own abilities, kept waiting for the excrement to hit the blades and for me to have to pull out all-nighters to fix things, but thankfully it never happened.

      New employer is an amazing breath of fresh air, they value my input and the terms are massively better than DXCs. Most of the ex-colleagues I stay in touch with have reported similar feelings after leaving, it's not just you. I didn't realise just how burned-out and worn down I was until I started somewhere else and realised that no employer should treat their staff like DXC.

      Look after yourself man, your mental health and wellbeing are worth far more than this company will ever pay you. If your service terms allow it, try pulling on the VR ripcord and take some time out to recharge and rediscover what you enjoy (hopefully it's IT).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      When you realise the organisation doesn't give a shit about your development, your productivity or even the satisfaction of your paying customers, you stop caring. And then your self respect takes a hit, especially if you feel you're delivering crap but that still seems to be acceptable.

      If you've got out of a similar situation, please share your experience!

    7. Martin Summers

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Please OP, don't let them get the better of you to the point you feel like suicide, something has got to give but not you. Please speak to your family and friends, confide in them, let it out, don't keep it bottled up. I've been in a toxic work situation that made me ill and run down and I didn't think I'd ever get out, a friend got me another job where he worked. Use your contacts if you can and keep applying, you will interview well, you owe it to yourself and you have nothing further to lose. Blimey, if anyone here can offer the guy a job please offer it and get in touch with eachother somehow. Best of luck OP, I hope everything works out in the end. Stay strong.

    8. Alistair

      Re: DXC layoff strategy


      "I'd run, I really would. But working for DXC has trapped me by destroying my mental health "

      Do not stay. There are more than a few of us who have experienced the mental trap of depression (and trust me, that is what it is) as a result of horrible environments. Find the time to talk to a doctor and get some assistance to put yourself back on track. Then get out. I know of someone who went from another global 'puppy mill' it provisioner to flipping bugers for 5 months to clear her head. Then got back on the bus and is now doing spot contract work all over the place and having a ball. Get out. Get out as soon as you possibly can. Once you're out and find yourself healing, then you won't need the assistance and can walk that down. DO IT.

    9. _SMB_

      Re: DXC layoff strategy


      I'm not an expert in mental health, but shit that sounds awful. You need to get out. Talk to your family and friends, talk to a professional. Print that post out and show people. You need to get someone on your side to help you make a move.

      No one should have to live like that. You're worth more than that even on your worst day.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      There are many others of us around the globe who know exactly how you feel. I have a referral to a mental health specialist, just waiting on first appointment.

      The daft thing is I do have an almost dead cert of employment elsewhere but I'm so lacking in self confidence the prospect of the three month prove yourself in the new place terrifies me. There are other factors - I'm a long termer under non US rules so would get a handsome payoff...

    11. Soruk

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Hear hear.

      Former EDS/HP bod here. They completely killed my enjoyment of writing software so much that I changed direction, and only 6 years later am I starting to dip my toes back into it, under my own terms.

      They also had a damn good go at destroying my self confidence, that after leaving when my wife found a role being advertised I felt I didn't stand a chance but she pretty much forced me to apply. I got the job and couldn't really be happier.

      If you're in DXC, just RUN. If not, keep far, far away.

    12. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Like may other replies, I’ve been there as well. Was made redundant in early 2014 from HPES after being signed off after being diagnosed and signed off with depression, caused exclusively by HPES’ culture of persecution and inhumanity. I was pretty much suicidal and my self confidence and belief in myself was non-existent.

      My wife had to drag me to the docs to have me checked out. Was immediately signed off and put on medication. The call to say ‘we’re making you redundant’ came 2 months later. I know its an absolute cliche to say so, but its the best thing that happened to me in years.

      I had the luxury of being put on gardening leave. So I did absolutely nothing of consequence for 6 months. I was utterly convinced I wanted nothing to do with computers, IT services or the corporate world, such was HPES’ effect on me. I was looking at retraining completely, when I went to a local Uni open day to investigate changing career track completely to medicine. I wound up by chance attending a presentation (wife’s suggestion again) on Comnputer Science when the bug bit me again.

      After the outplacement support (use it, its good stuff) I interviewed several times and wound up in the NHS doing the exact same tech role I was doing at HPES. Except this time I love my job! I love the challenge, love the people I get to work with, I still find coming to work and not being actively persecuted by management to be novel and this is 4 years on. I found my self confidence again, my love of tech and learning and trust that the inhuman employment practices of DXC et al are not right, not normal and no one should be subjected to them. I just plain look forward on going to work each morning, rather than dread it. I no longer harbour spiteful and unpleasant thoughts towards managers, co-worker etc.

      PLEASE print out your post, show your other half/trusted friend/trusted family member, make a GP apppointment and take it with you. Depression is real and it is serious. It can be managed though; medication doesn’t solve or cure it but it can help. CBT (if available) also helps. Also get hold of a copy of Matt Haig’s book Reasons To Stay Alive (dead tree, ebook or Haig’s own audiobook narration), his personal account of depression and living with it. You’re not alone in how you’re feeling nor is how you’re feeling a symptom of your actual worth as a person or as a potential employee. Depression lies to you.

      If, as and when you are better supported, *get out* of DXC via VR or by resigning if needs be. VR/CR should come with outplacement support for CV finessing, interview technique, job searching tips etc. And as loathsome as I found the idea, having HPES/CSC/DXC/IBM etc on your CV impresses people. You don’t have to like them but use their perceived cache to your advantage.

      Even going to a GP is a big step. So consider it this way. If in 5 years time you are still where you are, would you look back and think ‘I wish I’d seen a GP/got out?’. If so, make the step. Its a big one for sure. Everyone I know who left HPES/DXC that I’m still in touch with or have run into, *every* *single* *one* has said that their life got better. All of them. Regardless of what they have gone on to do.

    13. Bedmanager

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Before you do anything you might regret, speak to someone about your mental health. If there's any way we can get in contact, I am happy to help. I ended up on heavy doses of pharmaceuticals (prescribed by the doctor) because of workplace bullying, so I speak from experience. I was bullied by an IT Director who was a close personal friend of the CEO, so I had no recourse to anyone in the business.

      It will get better, but if you are so low it needs tiny steps.

      Don't do anything daft - let's talk if you need anything.

    14. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Been there, with the NHS not HPE/DXC.

      See your doctor, get the space between your ears working for you again and step away from having to deal with conflict. Choose the decisions you are going to make and delegate pretty much everything else to your personal support network of spouse / friends / family. Family last because they can be hardest to deal with. If you don't want to take the tablets (or they don't agree with you) then go the counselling CBT route. Or do all of it.

      I'm nearly 3 years into the new, still recovering, me. I enjoy IT again - I've just recycled a HP Microserver into XigmaNAS with integrated VirtualBox and am enjoying technology and rediscovering the very smart things other people can come up with. I'm happily taking odd contracts for glorified desktop support and fixing other peoples problems once (because the fix sticks) and explaining how stuff works. Full time in the NHS the day rate from my payslip was £162 (top of band 8b) + 9% on call for being on a 1 in 3 rota.

      My day rate for 3rd line desktop and infrastructure support is £375, more than twice my salaried rate. I have the relative luxury of being able to decide how much responsibility I'll accept, if the client wants a senior manager they can get one (or me) for the market day rate - £800+

      My brain is not the jelly that deserted me when my blood pressure was putting green blobs in my vision, my BMI is traversing the Orange - not well and truly in the Red where it was before. I'm full of beans and functioning on around 6 hours sleep a night; because I'm doing things I enjoy and most of all I'm not a meatware consumable having my humanity bled out of me.

      Fuck'em. It's not a rehearsal. And if you want to see some really cool things check out Infinity Virtualization Platform, and Chocolatey.

    15. BobbyP

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      Im glad i saw this post, i feel exactly the same, its nice to know im not the only one (not that i want anyone else to feel the same).

      My experience: i have worked for csc and dxc for 5 years, and i have never been given one project or piece of work!!!

      I have literally had to go out and find work, like on dxc facebook. I have managed to book about 50% of my time to codes, but i only hear from management about 1 time a year. How i am not redundant is astonishing. But it makes you feel worthless, im being paid well, but literally have nothing to do, and any work i have is way above what im capable of. Im just taking a positive step and spending all my free time learning and getting certs so i can get out of here. Its all well being paid to do nothing, but theres no achievements, and you slowly loose your skills.

      Best way to demoralise and kill a worker is give him nothing to do, it will slowly drive them crazy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DXC layoff strategy

        Hello, I'm the OP

        You guys ... *sheds tear*

        No, seriously, why didn't I think about coming back here sooner, to the only social media that counts? I cannot express how grateful I am for both the moral support and the useful advice that has followed my S.O.S. message. I have a plan now: both in the short term to address my mental health and in the medium term to escape from the Borg. Thank you all very much indeed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DXC layoff strategy

          +1 for moral support.

          AC for reasons that I'm sure you can guess. I'm in a not dissimilar position, although, I think, better off than you. I sympathise with you and wish the very best and hope things work out for you.

        2. Martin Summers

          Re: DXC layoff strategy

          I'm glad you followed up. I've been checking to see if you would. I'm so glad you're taking positive action mate. Best of luck.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DXC layoff strategy

          Keep going. Thanks for the follow up.

    16. Cronos

      Re: DXC layoff strategy

      I'm out of that place as well. Got my WFR 1.5 years ago and it's been good. you'll get a job,don't worry. But first take a 3 month break, clear your head and look around.

      DXC paid me a very, very good salary - they poached me from a competitor and I got the golden welcome and golden handshake, so I don't have any regrets. it was a soul-numbing few years at HP/HPE/DXC but it was monetarily worth it, and mentally no.

      Quit now, take a sabbatical away from IT for a few months, then get back in the game. And best of luck! you'll do great on eht outside!

  6. GinBear

    Perhaps its a not so subtle plan...

    It seems that DXC, and CSC before it, have a policy of not investing in staff, equipment, moral.

    Perhaps the true intent is to cut costs now, thus boosting the share price, and then when it all collapses and the competitors benefit

    (from picking up the great staff that leave because they can't take this shit anymore, and the increase in their own sales because nobody wants DXC to take a load of their money and argue about why its the customers fault that they haven't delivered)

    you also profit because you have shares in the competitors via some obfuscated mechanism...

    Of course, you would need to be in a position of power at DXC and have a lot of money already to be able to partake in such a scheme...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All together now...

    "You cannot cut your way to prosperity." However DXC still don't seem to get that.

    Mr Clemons is relatively new to the organisation. DXC has seen new execs come in before and try to improve things and it doesn't work, largely because it is a hugely centralised and autocratic organisation. Wait until Lawrie discovers that Clemons wants to send people on training courses, pay for security certifications and actually replace old kit...sadly (for him and the employees) it won't end well.

    For those still at DXC there are much better alternatives out there. None are the land of milk and honey and all large organisations have their foibles, but they are better than DXC. By a mile.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Dear DXC Security, most people would prefer you operated in 'silo' mode... for security!

  9. Groaning Ninny

    Even gladder than before that I didn't pursue the job opportunity there I was shown a while back. Sounds bad.

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Most Security staff are not given work mobiles or printer and some "employees gave up" on DXC's internal procurement department to provide equipment and "use their own PC", a DXCer said.

    "DXC has no idea where confidential customer information is stored," our contact claimed.

    Now we wait for some poor pleb to open an email with an extremely toxic payload...

    Come to think of it, what are the chances of this happening, and some crypto-malware variant going along merrily encrypting *.* all along the way...

  11. Stevie



    * Read ServiceNow: Didn't Need To Read Further

    Real convo:


    I forgot that I opened the change two weeks ago (built in SNOW process latency, not work requirement) and was expecting Barney to assign me a task. The work was done.


    I did. No task, no email.


    And I did, just not on Saturday when I did the work.


    Because it was the weekend, the work was trivial and could have been performed on Monday but for Barney setting the task date to Saturday and I have other demands on my time that take precedence over enabling automated SNOW document flow for a NON-PRODUCTION SYSTEM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      Next time just update and close the ticket.

      1. Stevie

        Re: Bah!

        You mean: allocate overtime to check the ticket and modify it, bill taxpayers for said overtime and pad timesheet with non-critical test system mods?

        Well I would, but I still retain a smidge of ethics, I don't subscribe to off-hours monitoring of non-production systems and but for a witless SA whose actions generated the task, this could have waited until Monday, which was quiet, would have me seated before my workstation instead of connected to it via the worlds cheapest remote hookup, and I would be happy to monitor emails when I was not too busy working.

        Today, in a SNOW CAB I had to make the point that asking for "overnight coverage" did not mean the requestors could simply send an email at 3am and expect a response, and that an actual phone call is required to elicit said coverage.

        I wouldn't have bothered to do this except that very thing has happened, as detailed in a previous thread somewhere, with an indignant thicko pounding the table next day and yelling that no-one read his 0-dark thirty email. When asked why on Earth he hadn't called, he replied that he had sent an email and wasn't going to call anyone. Twit.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon

          Re: Bah!

          I'm not sure why you bothered answering all those questions put to you, to me they sounded rhetorical (i.e. ignore)

    2. GinBear

      Re: Bah!

      Why’s everyone picking on ServiceNow, or did you really mean SNOW Asset Management software? (A completely different product from a different supplier)

      Having implemented many different ITSM tool sets I’m a fan of ServiceNow, it far easier to work with than Service Manager or Remedy, but this ease allows poor processes to be implemented by organisations more interested in shiny new software doing the same thing as the previous software because they think the new tool will fix their organisations issues

      1. Stevie

        Re: Bah!

        Since ServiceNow is, from what I hear, "infinitely" configurable to the user needs, ones mileage my assuredly vary.

        Mine is about 4 miles to the gallon with lots of blue-black smoke belching from the exhaust as we go.

        ServiceNow isn't about process in our shop. I thought it was. Supported the team that implemented it to the hilt when it was mooted.

        In our shop it's about closing incident tickets quickly without reference to the actual cause of the incident (so a ten second fix permissions issue get the same SNOW police schedule panic as an hours-long voyage of discovery lurking under "the system is slow") while at the same time slowing well-implemented and highly automated processes down to a crawl. Example - it takes two weeks to add a new user sign on now even though the actual process takes ten seconds, has been in place as an automated process for over five years and is bullet proof.

        I tried to get this turned into a standard "do it now" change but the team insisted that five normal tickets c/w CAB be submitted before the proposal was considered. Then I found out the proposal consideration soviet meets once a month after they found fault with my submission ...

  12. Tom Paine

    Certifications? Wha'?

    Training? Security? That's an American thing, is it?

    Maybe I've just been very unlucky in who I manage to get to employ me, but in 16 year of full-time security, across *counts* six employers, there was only one that ever contributed towards certifications: Symantec gave us a week of training, then paid for us (half a dozen people in security and various associated fields like risk and IT) to sit the CISSP exam*. Admittedly some of those 6 employers were smallish firms with limited resources, but one was a US megabank and $current has several thousand people on their trading floor, so these are not kitchen table operations. (Admittedly I wasn't with teh megabank for long and there was grumbling at the time that the training budget had been zapped, so evidently they did provide some bits and pieces for security people there. Nothing fancy, though, just the obsolete SANS crap.)

    * (Aced it in 4 hours, thanks for asking, then having seen you had to pay another, what was it, £50? to get the piece of paper, AND commit to sitting through a load of marketing webinar BS to get so-called "CPE" points, AND paying another fee every year to renew it, I thought: scam, screw that.)

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Certifications? Wha'?

      You are joking, right? American companies wouldn't be caught dead spending money on those things.

    2. WmK

      Re: Certifications? Wha'?

      It's different when you're in-house, but if you're a consultancy or service provider I'd expect the employer to be funding certs because that helps them sell the staff, especially for things like 27001.

      Also, I don't think I've worked anywhere in the last 15 years that wasn't willing to fund at least one cert a year, but I'm in the UK working for UK companies.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >> Many employees have not had pay rises for three to four years,

    What I was told by my manager was that unless your role changes (ie: providing more value), you will never get a raise. If you're doing the same work and providing the same value, you will receive the same salary. No cost of living increases, no raises to keep up with inflation, nothing. And bonuses are so rare, they're virtually unheard of.

    If there is a DXC employee who ISN'T currently looking for a new job, I'd be surprised.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Raises

      You don't get one for "promotion" either.

      Just more work, same pay.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I worked for CSC

    about 10 years ago at a spook house (US government agencies facility). Pay wasn't so good, the job was okay, but the worst part was being told to use a 10 to 15 year old computer as my station, while nothing that we serviced was less than 5 years old. Ticketing system would take forever to use. It was - demotivating. I had trashed PCs better than they had me working on. After I moved on from that job, (was contracting for a few years) I turned down every position offer they made after. It was depressing working for them. I would call CSC a foot in the door job - only. that was my experience anyways.

  15. FishCounter

    Just Another Cog

    Before entering the private sector, my wife had repeatedly informed me that even though I worked in IT, my job at a public company was to increase value for the shareholders. I didn't always believe that, I wanted to make a difference, contribute to the success of my company, be valued as member of the team, etc. She was right; at the end of the day, all anyone really cared about was did my efforts increase that shareholder value. It sucked to come to that realization of my "worth" and that I was easily discarded or replaced.

  16. southen bastard

    Run ! Very Far !! Very Fast!!!

    Run ! Very Far !! Very Fast!!!

  17. Speltier

    Lay Offs

    Any company that lays off employees is showing terminal signs of management failure. If Wall Street pumps the stock due to a layoff, that is even worse, it means that Wall Street is about to short the stock after the bump because

    a) the management is obviously incompetent, as signaled by layoffs. Management doesn't lay itself off, so there is no possible recovery for dumb.

    b) the company ditched it most valuable assets-- human capital. How can a company sell more ... what? No one left to make the "what". Can't save your way to success as a company.

    On a local basis of course, the path through layoffs may make perfect if bloodily mercenary sense, as an exec you get yours and move on hoping the next job ignores the fact that an exec coming from a company with layoffs is a sign of fatal executive failure (why hire a failure? Especially one that took the money and ran? One reason is that the new group is planning a similar plunder and run-- thus, watch where the rats go, if they board your ship, prep the HMS CV to escape the now plague ridden corporate ship. All those executive rats go SOMEWHERE, where is the app for tracking executive rats escaping a sinking ship?).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well that's reassuring

    DXC Security is a "great business to be in" he said with a straight face before ROFL...

  19. doug_bostrom

    An open window into Hell, sight and sound together.

    What did people do in life, to end up in this firm?

  20. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Maintaining certifications

    Personally, I'm entirely in favour of not funding folks to take cram course/pub quiz pseudo-qualifications. Sadly, though, that's pretty much all there is in infosec (except for Masters, the content of which is interesting and informative but largely irrelevant to day to day infosec practice).

    None of these 'qualifications' instil or test what is really needed in the real world:

    [1] a deep understanding of principles rather than just facts

    [2] the ability to analyse a problem to those principles

    [3] the ability to synthesise a solution from those principles

    [4] the crucial ability to do [2] and [3] rapidly, reliably and repeatably under pressure

    and the requirement for 'maintenance' of these bogus certifications is a mere money spinner for providers.

    1. Death_Ninja

      Re: Maintaining certifications

      I'm with you on that...

      Security perhaps more so than other domains, but really the purpose of those "qualifications" is more about getting another job than being able to do the one that you already have.

      CISSP does suck though. Its hardly a true gauge of anything in the same way as my O level in Physics doesn't in itself suggest that I could be employed as a rocket scientist for NASA...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maintaining certifications

      Totally with you. I haven't re-certified anything since about 2001 and it hasn't stopped me increasing my knowledge and ability to get new (and more lucrative) contracts every few years.

      Pretty much every contractor with large companies comes up against the 2 year barrier, but companies do make exceptions for people who are useful in many ways (not just their primary role) so I often end up leaving contracts once it gets a bit stale (max 4 years) - and that's all on 3 month rolling renewals.

      Qualifications are useful when you are starting out of course, but once you start getting experience to replace them you never bother again - you just learn what you need to do your job and satisfy your interest.

  21. lglethal Silver badge

    ""We cannot do this more poorly," said Clemons."

    Challenge Accepted!!! (said DXC's central procurement org)

  22. Redcar1

    Congrats DXC - you’ve turned your employees into contractors.

    No pay rises for years, having to pay for your own training and using your own laptops?

    Welcome to the world of IT Contracting, DXC employees. Where the world is no more unstable than where you’re sitting at the moment and you are paid much more lucratively than you are now.

  23. WmK

    Why would anyone in cyber security stick with an employer that hasn't given them a raise in three years? Do they not know what the market looks like? Also, I'd be straight out the door if someone told me to pay for my own 27001 lead auditor cert.

    Remember kids - you owe your employers about as much loyalty as they're going to give you. So you know, basically none.

  24. ortunk
    Big Brother

    We are a family!

    Everytime you hear these words, run like hell! It just means you are to be violated and abused in more than one possible way very very soon.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: We are a family!

      The correct phrase is "incestual buggering".

  25. CPU

    How come they...

    How come they never get rid of the extremely expensive Execs? Contrary to (their) popular belief, they don't create new business, they just give yes\ no answers to the options the workers bring to them. Is the Exec going to take that Sales or Support call- didn't think so. I can say that we stopped doing business with DXC not because of the quality of the staff, but because every quarter there were less and less of them to work with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How come they...

      They may be extremely expensive but there aren't that many of them at the very top and getting rid of them wouldn't make much of a difference to DXCs finances - still a $24bn turnover company remember.

      Besides you do need people at the very top as well as people to manage the people at the coal face. Where savings could be made are in the middle layers - the L4s, L5s and L6s. There's hundreds/thousands of those, all on substantial salaries and none of them directly bring any money in.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like ATOS

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