An excerpt from Alex Kantrowitz’s Always Day One, published at BuzzFeed News:
A group inside Apple called Information Systems & Technology, or
IS&T, builds much of the company’s internal technology tools —
from servers and data infrastructure to retail and corporate sales
software — and operates in a state of tumult.
IS&T is made up largely of contractors hired by rival consulting
companies, and its dysfunction has led to a rolling state of war.
“It’s a huge contractor org that handles a crazy amount of
infrastructure for the company,” one ex-employee who worked
closely with IS&T told me. “That whole organization is a Game of
Thrones nightmare.” […]
When IS&T’s projects are finally completed, they can cause even
more headaches for Apple employees, who are left with a mess to
clean up. Multiple people told me their Apple colleagues were
forced to rewrite code after IS&T-built products showed up broken.
From what I’ve heard, this is a longtime problem, and it’s a
mystery to me why this group has been immune to the Cook
Doctrine. Apple buys forests to manage the paper used in its
packaging and designs the desks its employees use and even the
pizza boxes for its cafeteria. But when it comes to building the
software that runs the company, that’s not considered a core
I have to raise an eyebrow at Kantrowitz’s closing:
For Apple, fixing its broken IS&T division would not only be the
right thing to do from a moral standpoint — it would help the
company’s business as well. If Apple is going to become inventive
again, it will need to give its employees more time to develop
If Apple is no longer inventive, what is Apple Watch? What are AirPods?
If it wasn’t inventiveness, what was it when Apple completely redesigned the fundamental interaction design of the iPhone with the iPhone X? When was Apple “inventive”? Once in 1984, and once more in 2007?
★ Tuesday, 7 April 2020