sure Julie, you’re the human face to what is an intellectually interesting debate on a broader level. I went through the personal pains of MS Access maaany years ago but I can still sympathize! 🙂
I’d say it’s a popular topic because it’s that curious paradox situation, a conundrum where you try and balance the opposing tensions of centralization for control vs decentralization for scalability and customization. The core tensions of politics at the core…
In other words how could a central IT dept empower you, rather than try and control your behaviours, and what is the technology platform to make that possible… (it’s Cloud).
Then as you also mentioned the other big issue that is due to culture is the bureaucracy – Taking 6 months to order servers, and as I have also experienced, this ‘funeral death march’ procedure they call the dreaded RFP procurement….
The next big inflection point in IT will be the emergence of Cloud marketplaces, with automated ordering tools etc., so this last part will be tackled through this trend. As they learn of needs like yours then you’ll also see a faster responsiveness in new product innovations, eg ‘Access Backup for the Cloud’ or something…
I do think Vivek Kundra’s Cloud First initiative fired the starting pistol and the wave will catch up with you guys soon too!