We all have those tasks and chores we dread at work. For me, it’s filling out administrative paperwork of any kind and attending pointless meetings. This got me thinking — what would be the IT equivalent of an annoying task? The cumbersome, time-consuming tasks that not only are not fun, but also take IT’s attention away from strategic projects?
Here’s the list that I came up with. Note: 6 is by no means exhaustive — so if anyone wants to contribute anymore, be my guest:
Before I start, I should tell you at the outset that I’m probably the All-Time Winner when it comes to the Boneheaded User category. I’m the gal who forgot her password to her payroll system every single Monday when it came time to approve my non-exempt staff’s timecards. Yep, every single Monday, IT could expect an email from me asking them to reset my password. I’m also the gal who will call IT because I thought my computer had crashed, when in fact my monitor was just unplugged. Or who complains to IT that my computer won’t connect to the projector (when in fact, I had just left my Mac dongle at home). If you take someone like me and multiply me by several hundred, I could see how dealing with people like me could be pretty annoying for IT professionals.
You’d think that after successfully dealing with someone like me, IT would want to document that and log their support tickets as “resolved,” as well as enter detailed notes on what the resolution was. Nope. Apparently, most IT helpdesk professionals hate this task so much, they just don’t do it...they prefer to answer our questions on the phone, and then move on to the next issue.
Another glorious annoyance is the classic, unapproved system update. Remember business users — just because there’s a new OS available, doesn’t mean you need to download it. ESPECIALLY without the approval and guidance of IT. (In other words, don’t be like me and download the newest Mac OS X just because it popped up on my screen).
Believe it or not, IT develops a strategic plan around when particular systems can be updated for employees. This is especially an issue when you’re a one-man IT show and can’t keep track of every different application and version used by every user in the company.
Traditional point-to-point integration — in other words, creating a single connection to exchange data between a single sender and a single receiver — is a huge chore for IT. This is because the process is not scalable — as the number of applications within the company increases, as the number of customers, partners, and suppliers increase (all using their OWN applications), the number of combinations of application integrations that need to take place between businesses can exponentially increase. Eventually, this becomes unmanageable and can drive even the most dedicated IT professional crazy.
This might just be a variation of annoying task #1 above (ahem...the one about boneheaded users), but another thing that annoys IT is hearing business users complain about not being able to access the company’s server when they are working remotely. Virtual employees are often working from a home office, at a coffee shop, or from a plane or train. Despite IT’s best efforts to provide clear operating procedures, there will always be that one user who can’t figure out how to connect when they’re out of the office. It can be a huge interruption to important projects when IT has to continually provide hand-holding to business users for simple tasks like connecting via VPN.
For those of us in business, bringing our own devices to work improves productivity and minimizes upfront costs. But this drives IT crazy because they are the ones who have to make sense of the numerous personal devices being added to their networks, establish proper security protocols across non-universal devices, AND ensure these devices can all communicate efficiently. Enter various scenarios like people leaving laptops in cars, or losing cell phones on airplanes, or even bringing in wireless access points to work, and you are basically watching IT’s worst nightmares coming to life.
What do you think? Have we captured the most annoying tasks in IT? If not, pile on...we’d love to hear your thoughts on the activities that make the corner of your left eye start twitching. Comment below!