Best size organization to work for

ptilsenptilsen Junior Starcraft EngineerMember Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
I recently started this thread, to hear experiences on moving from smaller to larger organizations. I found myself wondering at the end what type of organization is ultimately best working for. So here is a simple poll. Which size organization do you think it the best to work for?

Since these terms are somewhat arbitrary, let's define them as follows:
SME: >500-5000 users
SMB: 1 - 500 users
Large Enterprise: 5000+
Small MSP/ISP/Consulting Firm: <= 50 consultants/engineers
Large MSP/ISP/Consulting Firm: > 50 consultants/engineers
Failed to load the poll.
Working B.S., Computer Science
Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
In progress: CLEP US GOV,
Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340

Comments

  • FrostbiteFrostbite Junior Member Member Posts: 29 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've mostly worked for small businesses in the past, so I picked small enterprise because that'll be my next career move. My biggest issue with working for a small business is that it's been my experience they tend not to value implementing or keeping their staff current on new technology. This has been particularly true for me when the company's business is not at all technical. My current company literally has no IT budget. Everything is purchased on an as-needed basis.

    Also, a smaller company usually means a smaller IT staff. You get more of a family type working environment but there's less room for advancement. Again, with my current company, I'm the only IT person on staff to manage about 200 users, spread across 40 satellite offices. I'm at the peak of my career there (and spread fairly thin at times), with no foreseeable changes in my department's structure.
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy aka KitKatNinja Member Posts: 968
    For me, based on your definition, I've worked for the SME and Large Enterprise (currently working in the SME environment).

    In my experience, you can't just say which one is the "best", as alot of other factors have to be taken into consideration such as:

    1. Salary
    2. Benefits (eg flexible working, Annual leave entitlement)
    3. Team size, as well as how you get along with them.
    4. Career advancement.
    5. etc, etc, etc...

    This is a quick comparison of when I worked for in the large enterprise environment vs SME environment (this is based on my experience only, different organisations in different areas will affect different benefits/areas of the job).

    SME - bigger salary
    Large Enterprise - more career progression
    SME - got to implement newer technology (eg 2008 r2, Exchange 2010, Windows 7 - when they first came out)
    Large Enterprise - a wider variety of technology (eg mobile satellite broadband)
    SME - more responsibilty, larger pool of general support activities (eg servers, network and telecoms, etc)
    Large Enterprise - You get to specialise (eg only in servers, networks or telecoms, etc)
  • QordQord Senior Member Member Posts: 632 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I voted SME, and this is why. Like an SMB, an SME will probably have a smaller IT department, which means more exposure to more things. I prefer an environment like this over a larger firm where you'd have more cut-and-dry lines of responsibility and possibly more trouble advancing to newer/other technologies. Unlike an SMB, an SME probably has a greater budget, which again leads to newer/other technologies you have the chance to play with and learn.

    I'm all about learning as much as possible in any position, and I think an SME offers the greatest opportunity for diversity in technology as well as opportunity to access those technologies.
  • N2ITN2IT Senior Member Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I voted Large Enterprise

    You get to learn the company you are in and you also potentially get to become an expert in a particular technology or business skill.
  • HypntickHypntick Custom User Title Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I've worked for 2 large enterprises and then the small MSP i'm at now. I take small MSP hands down, more freedom to the needed action, rather than sending it to another department to be worked on.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • ptilsenptilsen Junior Starcraft Engineer Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Hypntick wrote: »
    I've worked for 2 large enterprises and then the small MSP i'm at now. I take small MSP hands down, more freedom to the needed action, rather than sending it to another department to be worked on.
    What kind of organizations do you support? SMB? I made the poll with the assumption most small MSPs do work primarily with SMBs, but it's worth checking since that is not always the case.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • HypntickHypntick Custom User Title Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    A mix of SMB and SME clients. Although to be fair, our SME clients are on the low end of your number estimates.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • phaneuf1phaneuf1 Senior Member Member Posts: 131
    It's funny how people who vote for SMB are in needs to explain why they chose it. Everybody knows that you're not a real IT guy till you have some experience in a large enterprise.
  • swildswild Senior Member Member Posts: 828
    phaneuf1 wrote: »
    It's funny how people who vote for SMB are in needs to explain why they chose it. Everybody knows that you're not a real IT guy till you have some experience in a large enterprise.

    Bold Words.

    My current position is both SMB and Large Enterprise. I take care of all of the needs of 200 end users while there is a corporate help desk with specialised teams to assist with the real tough stuff.

    Besides this job, I have worked for 2 other SMBs and one University. The University would have to be my top choice.

    They all have their ups and downs, and I wouldn't choose or rule out a job based solely on this one factor.
  • ptilsenptilsen Junior Starcraft Engineer Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    swild wrote: »
    Bold Words.
    Or trolling...
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • onesaintonesaint Senior Member Member Posts: 801
    To me, the present career goals of the candidate really dictate what sized company is more desirable. For instance, a JOAT who has been in an SMB for a while might have the desire to see the green grasses and move to and Ent or SME (possibility of better pay, refined focus, etc.). On the other side though, a server admin who is locked into corporate red tape and restricted to his group's duties might long for an SMB with more freedom and diversity.

    Then again...
    phaneuf1 wrote: »
    Everybody knows that you're not a real IT guy till you have some experience in a large enterprise.
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Happiness is !!!!! Member Posts: 1,740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I chose large enterprise. I just love them. I've worked for numerous small companies and didn't really like it.
    2017 Certification Goals:
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  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Sleeping is for the weak Member Posts: 1,403
    large enterprise since im on it. lol I have a friend that works for an SME. It seems to me that he is over work. He deals with everything from the network, voip, vmware, and security. Its a good thing since he can learn more but its overwhelming for him. At my large enterprise we deal with that but our department are all separated from security, NOC, VOIP, vmware guys, cable plant guys, desktop support and helpdesk. In SME, the helpdesk is also the desktop support guy.

    At the end, its what you prefer or how you define better in your vocabulary.
  • ptilsenptilsen Junior Starcraft Engineer Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    To clarify, "better" means and overall more fulfilling, enjoyable experience, given similar commutes, compensation packages, and work conditions.

    This is not considering the general rule that large enterprises, SMEs, and large consulting firms and service providers are more likely to provide higher salaries, with smaller SPs and SMBs almost never see extremely high salaries.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I wouldn't answer the survey because I've never worked for a company larger then 100 people. I wouldn't mind being part of a large enterprise just to see how they run things.
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  • onesaintonesaint Senior Member Member Posts: 801
    ptilsen wrote: »
    To clarify, "better" means and overall more fulfilling, enjoyable experience, given similar commutes, compensation packages, and work conditions.

    This is not considering the general rule that large enterprises, SMEs, and large consulting firms and service providers are more likely to provide higher salaries, with smaller SPs and SMBs almost never see extremely high salaries.

    Then I would jump on the Large Ent. bandwagon. I can go in as a Systems Eng., make better pay, and still be well rounded and entertained. I must be entertained at work. :D
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • KeenerKeener Senior Member Member Posts: 146 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This was a somewhat difficult one for me. I have worked for in SMBs, SMB inside a Large Enterprise (3M office) and a Large Enterprise (MasterCard). So far, my worst position was at MasterCard, but I was stuck on the helpdesk and stuck on the phones for 70 calls a day. If it wasn't a quick fix then it went to a different department.

    I have enjoyed the SMB as I get "my hands dirty" on everything involved and I love to learn. On the flip side, I am tired of being a JOAT. I want to specialize now and I am choosing Security. I could be wrong, but not too many SMB are going to have Security people and the people I know that have worked for MSPs were seriously overworked. I chose Large Enterprise for being able to specialize and higher potential for salary.
    Pain is only temporary. No matter how bad it gets, it always ends!
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Sleeping is for the weak Member Posts: 1,403
    ptilsen wrote: »
    To clarify, "better" means and overall more fulfilling, enjoyable experience, given similar commutes, compensation packages, and work conditions.

    This is not considering the general rule that large enterprises, SMEs, and large consulting firms and service providers are more likely to provide higher salaries, with smaller SPs and SMBs almost never see extremely high salaries.

    enjoyable experience = like other places, it has its ups and downs but my co workers are good people. there are some that are not really technical but will be there when you need them and some that are very technical that are in the YODA level. the yoda level are the ones that i really pick their brains out. truth is, not everything is in the book of CCNA, CCNP and CCIE. this is where you separate a guy that only understands the book and a true genius that reads the book, troubleshoot and connect all the dots to engineer something that is not out there. O yeah, Im sure a lot of people here know where i work so just imagine how enjoyable is that. lol
    commutes = 30mins and no traffic.
    compensation packages = i think my pay is okay. it could be better but it could be worst. other than that, i have an iphone 4s with 32gb that my work provided. also, i have 2 laptops. certs and (5k) education reimbursement.
    work conditions = we just moved to a brand new building. yes, brand new building that took 2 years to build due to budget. I have a brand new chair, and very roomy table. Also, I work at a NOC so i have privacy. we can dim the lights and play music here all day. our manager doesnt micromanage us as long as our job is done. we do it right and we can surf or study all day.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yeah in small shows it is really hard to specialize. I worked for an MSP and if you weren't a network guy, you were a JOAT. Sure there were guys with special skills, but when push came to shove they would send whatever body was there.
    WIP:
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    Work stuff
  • matt333matt333 Bay AreaMember Posts: 271 ■■■■□□□□□□
    personalty i choose Small MSP/ISP/Consulting Firm because i like the environment, everything is changing. i like the push and pull, i dont know why I like the stress and the rewarding feeling on fixing something. of course that goes with every IT job, but consulting I think offers a great learning curve that I love.
    Studying: Automating Everything, network API's, Python etc.. 
    Certifications: CCNP, CCDP, JNCIP-DC, JNCIS-DevOps, JNCIS-ENT, JNCIS-SP
  • ptilsenptilsen Junior Starcraft Engineer Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    Yeah in small shows it is really hard to specialize. I worked for an MSP and if you weren't a network guy, you were a JOAT. Sure there were guys with special skills, but when push came to shove they would send whatever body was there.

    This has been my experience as well.

    Really, the responses in this thread are largely strengthening the belief I've had that most of us in the SMB or small MSP sectors are going to want to move on in order to really move up. The poll is overwhelmingly for large and very large organizations. While I've heard and agree with some of the small MSP and SMB arguments, ultimately it really seems like the large organization environment is the way to go.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I always felt (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that sometimes it is probably nice to be a number. All the small businesses I've worked for, I've known the owner/President/CEO by first name and he knew me as well. So when you did something right, sure very nice to hear it from on high, but when you screwed up you heard it from on high. Plus, I like the think that in a bigger shop you might not get run a through the wringer as much. Perhaps a lot less lone wolfing it and being left holding the bag. Again, no experience on my end to confirm that, but those were always my thoughts.
    WIP:
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    Kotlin
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
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  • networkjutsunetworkjutsu Senior Member Member Posts: 275 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I didn't vote. I can't decide which one to pick to be honest. The types of companies I worked for has its pros and cons. As an IT pro, I've only really worked for two companies (very large and SME per thread's definition).

    I came from a very large company (200K++ employees & within the top 50 of Fortune 500) and here are the pros and cons based in my experience:

    Upward mobility - I was able to move up from lowest paid type employee in the whole company to a network guy.
    Funds - They have funds for equipment and software
    Specialization - You're a network guy then you play with routers & switches, load balancers, and network protocol analyzers. Some companies may want to break it down some more by separating all of them.
    Containment - You might be stuck in the environment you're in unless something change. What I mean by that is, if you're responsible for remote locations only then you're stuck with it. That means, you get to see the same thing over and over again. That means you might miss out on Nexus implementations in the data center, building a new data center, working with several vendors that connect to your network, E-commerce module of the network, and etc. This can be a problem too when you're on call and not know the environment enough to really be of any help during troubleshooting.
    Training - Not everyone on the team can be sent for training.
    Stress - This varies from one person to another. Larger companies might be more stressful.
    Pay - Really depends. Some say more money, some say not really. My experience, not really that good especially I came from the very bottom and moved up so only small increments.

    Now, I work for what I call medium sized business (in your definition SME) and here are the pros and cons:

    Funds - It really depends. There are times you can spend the money. A lot of times, you don't have money for the things you want so you find a cheaper alternative that doesn't have all the bells and whistles. Worse case scenario, you implement your own solution with Free Open Source Software.
    Smaller teams - This means you're more involved with the complete infrastructure. You're not contained to a specific module of the network. This also means some departments may be under staff so if you want to learn something outside your chosen field, you can volunteer to help out. That means if you're a network guy and want to learn VMware then you're fine.
    Training - Since it is a smaller team, you get to go to training for all the things you're responsible for. You get free books using your company's credit card or reimbursement
    Specialization - Not really. You get other responsibilities aside from routers & switches. You get experience in a lot of things like firewalls, IPS, and etc. Still relevant to your chosen field though.
    Pay - Market level.
    Benefits & perks - This really depends on the company. Overall, new employer has better benefits than my previous employer. More holidays per year. Tuition reimbursement. If you're in the position to do remote support (as a network guy that's default) then they pay for your Internet. You choose what kind of work phone you want and not the company's standard.
    Flexible - You're not tied with the company's standard. I think larger companies tend to stay with one vendor since they get significant discount from that vendor.

    I may have forgotten a lot of things listed here and obviously may differ from your experiences and opinions.
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