Those brave soldiers tasked with managing the IT systems of an organization are faced with myriad issues on a day to day basis.
IT infrastructure cares not one iota for budget restrictions or staff reductions and will continue to behave like needy children in constant need of attention. This is to say nothing of the demands of the system users and a lack of managerial understanding, or the fact that the arrangements of these systems are becoming increasingly complex.
Users tend not to see all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep their computers up and running in the manner to which they have become accustomed, which leads IT roles to be somewhat thankless and taken for granted ones. The somewhat ironic counterpoint to this though is that when things go wrong, it’s generally your head on the chopping block.
So, now we are fully versed in the plight of the poor thankless IT worker, let’s take a look at some of the things that can make their stress levels active as we present the 9 greatest pain points for an IT team.
1. The Machines are in Charge
You know that old saying about best-laid plans? Well in few arenas is this truer than in that of the IT engineer. It is not unusual for an IT engineer to wind up pursuing a problem from machine to machine. Not only is this process highly stressful, but also incredibly inefficient.
The time wasted trying to locate and isolate the various issues that crop up during the working day can lead to planned schedules being thrown out of the window on a daily basis.
2. Managing the Cloud
Virtualization and cloud computing are becoming more and more popular in the business world. However, the downside is that they require a lot more attention than more traditional systems.
Silo management is the preferred method of managing these operations. But using multiple point solutions to run each layer or network separately can lead to IT engineers spending a great deal of time managing the management systems.
3. Rogue Software
One of the biggest bugbears for IT workers is when end users install software off their own backs. The main problem with this practice is that the software is unlicensed and could very easily result in legal action against the company. This is to say nothing of the security, performance and compatibility issues that can result from the use of software that IT are unaware of and thus unable to support effectively.
And when these issues arise, whom do you think will be held responsible?
4. Doing More with Less
There is an unfortunately inverse correlation between business needs to reduce costs and staff numbers, and the growing workload of the IT team. In few other avenues of work are expectations of rapid and consistent improvement not accompanied by an appropriate increase in the resources available to facilitate it.
5. Getting Face to Face with Users
As an IT engineer your time during the working day is incredibly precious. However, so is the time of the end users, and those times where you need to sit down with their machines and perform maintenance or install new software can be a cause of some friction – especially if you discover some other issue whilst you are working with it.
6. New Users
Getting a new member of staff up and running with the computer system is a big pain. Locating a computer, setting up a username, email address and giving them access to all of the files and software that they need can take a big chunk out of your day/week. Then there is the matter of making sure that they are fully trained in all of the systems that they need and that they are familiar with all of the company’s IT policies and regulations.
Oh, and all of this needs to be done as quickly as possible, so they can get on with their new job.
7. Amateur Hour
You may have spent years training and learning your craft, but end users aren’t going to let that stop them from doing their own back-ups, downloading their own patches or running their own security scans.
And should one of these ‘Excel Wizards’ download a virus that takes your server out like an uncharacteristically accurate drone strike? Guess who’s going to be reaching for a blindfold and a cigarette…
8. Remote Control
Gone are the days when your IT infrastructure was all located in the building that you work in. Globalization has seen servers and other systems distributed all over the globe. However, the IT team doesn’t enjoy the same globe-trotting lifestyle and must make sure that all of the remote workstations, servers and mobile devices are maintained and secured just as effectively as the ones in the next room.
9. My Boss Doesn’t Understand Me
There is often a dearth of understanding between IT teams and the movers and shakers who make the decisions that shape and guide the company. These are the people who decide on budgets and manpower for all departments and a lack of efficient communication can lead to missed opportunities and stress as your team finds that they don’t have the resources needed to perform their roles.
So there you have our top 9 pain points for IT workers. Did we miss any though? Please let us know of any particular irritations that make your day to day work just that little bit harder.