Want Your IT Department to Thrive? Here’s Where to Focus!
Given the complexities of today's technology and the pressure on IT to perform, you need to have your end users on your side. That means doing more than just satisfying their needs; you need to build a strong relationship with them.
When you run a busy IT department your days are anything but predictable. All it takes is for your network to bog down or a virus to rear its ugly head for your department to get turned upside down. And, as your team scrambles to fix the problem, you're probably experiencing way more finger pointing than support and cooperation.
Many would sigh and say, "That's just the nature of the job". But it doesn't have to be. Today's users are savvier than ever when it comes to technology. With a bit more effort put into the right areas, you can turn your end user relationship from an antagonistic one into one of mutual respect and teamwork. But it will require asking yourself and your team some key questions. And you will need to open up the door to change.
Here are some things to get your team thinking:
- How easy is it for your end users to get help?
- Do you have a self-service portal or other convenient way for your end users to post issues or order services? If they need to update software or get a new phone, how long does it take?
- How well do you communicate your IT policies?
- This is key in that many employees, if not communicated with, assume they can use their own cell phones and even their own software and apps. This can create major problems not only for the IT department but for the entire organization. Lacking control over software can open it up for hackers and wreak havoc on your cybersecurity program. Make sure your policies are clearly communicated, not only during onboarding, but regularly throughout the year.
- Are you open to input from end users?
- The days of IT as “know everything” gurus and end users as “clueless” are long gone. Today’s employees, especially younger ones, have developed knowledge about apps and programs that may surprise you. Take time to listen to them. What programs do they feel will best support their work? What chronic user issues need to be solved? By listening to them and tapping into their own knowledge base, you not only make your team smarter, you build rapport with your end users that will be valuable downstream.
- How transparent is your department?
- Back in the day, IT departments operated behind closed doors. It was hard enough to get something fixed, let alone have them admit there was an issue in the first place. By admitting when there are issues and mistakes made, they can be corrected more efficiently. Users will be more patient if you keep them abreast of what you are doing to correct the problem. If you do this consistently, you’ll find a greater willingness to cooperate. More “us” instead of “us versus them” mentality.
No one really understands or can appreciate the challenges busy IT departments face. Most end users tend to over simplify issues and assume that, if you take longer to solve a problem, it has nothing to do with the complexity of the problem, it's just that you either lack the skills or don't care.
At TTI we understand how challenging it can be for IT departments to try to please everyone. One day you're a hero, the next day your team is labeled as "don't know what they're doing". The better you manage your technology, from your networks to the devices and software that run on them, the more control you will have over the quality of the service you provide to your end users and to your company. Give us a call. We can help you gain better visibility over your entire network and save money in the process. And that's a great place to start.