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General Chat Thread, We need to "grow up", apparently? in General; Is 2010 the year business IT grows up? - Telegraph Something about waking up to the need to embrace consumer ...
  1. #1
    theeldergeek
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    We need to "grow up", apparently?

    Is 2010 the year business IT grows up? - Telegraph

    Something about waking up to the need to embrace consumer technology and requiring 'us' to treat users more like consumers? Huh?? How about users treat us like humans and not geek droids?

    In the comments section, one guy sums the situation up beautifully;

    "Very few users have been our "enemies" - only the select few who ignore everything they are told and give us reason to run airtight antivirus and firewall systems. These "friends" of ours can be responsible for a huge amount of IT man hours."

  2. #2

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Now that's what I call p*** poor journalism. It seemed to be a piece about last years innovations and how they are going to revolutionise the office (as if) wrapped with a thin attack on the corperate IT department and topped off with an unrelated title about 'growing up'.

    I know it's only January but if this is the best the Telegraph have got maybe they should wait a few months for the year to get started and some truely exciting IT news stories and innovations to hit the headlines before printing any more IT stores.

    I don't know, maybe I read it wrong?
    Last edited by witch; 20th March 2010 at 11:13 PM.

  3. #3

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    oooo, here is the journalist facebook profile - Paul Cheesbrough | Facebook

    Maybe we should send a message to tell us our opinion.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 17th January 2010 at 11:03 PM.

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    IT has issues....

    I have to agree with the "The ‘helpdesk’ must start treating users like customers" byline.

    Our County IT helpdesk is very poor and just seems to be another level of separation between the guy who fixes the problem and the customer.

    There are three helpdesks between me and the network engineer I had in the office just before Christmas for example, if he had to pass the issue to BT it would of been four.

    The problem seems to be the 'corporate culture', managers seem more interested in building empires than helping customers. I've been in this business 20 years and have watched the growth of non-productive IT jobs, from form filling Helpdesk drones to 'IT Managers' playing buzzword bingo (SLA, in scope etc...).

    IT has a poor reputation for a reason, (almost as bad as HR in some cases!) rather than ranting at people who point this out we might be better off examining why.

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    I think the problem stems from the fact that the bulk of 'commercial' IT equipment is far too complex & error prone for most people; it relies too heavily upon people with specialist skills to integrate, configure & maintain. Unfortunately, despite what the manufacturers would have us believe, PCs & PC software are not really consumer technology ......

    People(users) become familiar with products like PS3, iPhone & similar 'consumer' products that just work out of the box and become frustrated when mainstream IT equipment does not behave in the same way. Their frustration gets transmitted to the people that have to support them, who in turn become dismissive of their 'users' lack of product skills & lack of willingness/ability to engage in a tiny bit of self-help, so organisations build layers of support to filter the silly little things that waste technician time & so it goes on.....

    I am sure I could support a network of 500 consumer products like PDAs or iPhones more easily than I could support 500 desktop/notebook PCs

  6. 2 Thanks to broc:

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  7. #6

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    I have to agree with the "The ‘helpdesk’ must start treating users like customers" byline.

    Our County IT helpdesk is very poor and just seems to be another level of separation between the guy who fixes the problem and the customer.

    There are three helpdesks between me and the network engineer I had in the office just before Christmas for example, if he had to pass the issue to BT it would of been four.

    The problem seems to be the 'corporate culture', managers seem more interested in building empires than helping customers. I've been in this business 20 years and have watched the growth of non-productive IT jobs, from form filling Helpdesk drones to 'IT Managers' playing buzzword bingo (SLA, in scope etc...).

    IT has a poor reputation for a reason, (almost as bad as HR in some cases!) rather than ranting at people who point this out we might be better off examining why.
    Some poor implementations of ITIL practices do not mean that the entire industry is wrong.

    Helpdesks are there for a reason - to separate the end user from the engineers. That is their purpose, why do you not like that? The engineers don't need bothering with every 'my computer doesn't work' problem that users have.

    It isn't the helpdesk's fault that the company you get support from outsourced something - that is a business decision problem.

    It is simple - users do not have the knowledge that the IT dept have. Accounting departments don't trust the people who give them information either, they check every form to ensure it is correct, as they get audited and could have real problems if stuff is wrong. IT is just the same - if the information given, or the actions untaken by a user are wrong, it can cause serious issues.

    Now, back to the article - it is an appalling bunch of technologies being talked about with some idea that they are making huge inroads, or should be making inroads into corporate IT, without realising that every business is different. They speak of being customer focussed, and then include Google in that - a company that is well known for providing *no* customer support other than help files, and extra long email responses. They don't even have a phone line for their new Nexus One!

    One of the things the article fails to look at is that it is not down to IT departments to decide on the introduction of new technologies in many businesses. Decisions such as introducing mobile computing initiatives and introducing real-time information monitoring are firmly within the realm of business decision making. IT is a department which is there to provide what it is asked to provide.

    Also, add in security, budgetry constraints and the fact that many businesses use systems that are older than me, and you've got a bit of an issue when a user comes to you demanding to access everything on his iphone.

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    BandyQuill's Avatar
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    anyone think the journalist has recently been told off for internet usage or not allowed to install his itunes onto his work pc :P

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I still don't know what the article was actually about. He started by berating the IT department with any real substanance and then moved onto to listing a load of buzzwords from last year loosly related to cloud computing without any real theme tying them together before ending on an other attack on IT support. Very strange piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    It isn't the helpdesk's fault that the company you get support from outsourced something - that is a business decision problem.
    Its not the customers fault though is it?

    You seem to be making excuses for poor IT planning and implementation of standard ITIL (oooh, a buzzword!) practice, until corporate IT start to treat the 'lusers' as customers I can't see the situation improving.

    The contempt shown for the customers by IT personnel amazes me, reading some of the comments made about the customers (including your comments!) on this thread alone speaks for itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Very strange piece.
    A consequence of poor editing and poor research. The article displays no effort to understand why corporate IT departments MUST be run differently from consumer ones, or even why bad practice exists. Nor, as was pointed out earlier, does it even dwell on that opening inflammatory statement for any amount of time other than to bookend the article. Typical piece of inexpert tech journalism. Nothing of interest to see here.

  12. #11

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    Its not the customers fault though is it?
    It isn't the IT dept's fault either. That's my point.

    You seem to be making excuses for poor IT planning and implementation of standard ITIL (oooh, a buzzword!) practice, until corporate IT start to treat the 'lusers' as customers I can't see the situation improving.
    ITIL isn't a buzzword, it's a way of providing IT support efficiently. SLA isn't a buzzword, it is a way of ensuring people get the service they require. What's wrong with that? 'Synergise' would be a buzzword...

    The contempt shown for the customers by IT personnel amazes me, reading some of the comments made about the customers (including your comments!) on this thread alone speaks for itself.
    Can you elaborate? You have ignored my comments about the fact that IT don't make these decisions, and the comment about budgets or security.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Who cares ? I certainly don't. Been in the game over 20 years and quite frankly I'm pi55ed bored with IT in general. As for growing up ? Nope can't be bothered doing that either - much more healthy acting like a kid and enjoying life than worrying about bleeding IT.....

  14. Thanks to mattx from:

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    Perhaps end-users need to realise that we're there to support the business aims, not the end-user.

    We're not blocking your access to facebook / twitter / random thing, your bosses (or industry regulations) are telling us to block them.

    In other words, make a good business case for $foo and we'll do what we can to help you, but we're not going to allow "x" if management say otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    IT has a poor reputation for a reason, (almost as bad as HR in some cases!) rather than ranting at people who point this out we might be better off examining why.
    This is often due to decisions being made from Senior Management without consultation with the IT dept.

    And agree with Pete above, I've had lots of people complain they cant get their hotmail account because of me even after I told them I didn't filter it county did. It's just one example of users view of IT support setting restrictions even after you've told them it is a management decision.
    Last edited by penfold; 18th January 2010 at 02:40 PM.

  17. #15

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    ITIL isn't a buzzword, it's a way of providing IT support efficiently.
    My pet hate with ITIL, or FITS for that matter, is too meny take it as a bible on how things must be done rather than a set of guidelines for how things could be done better.

    We should be looking at it and adapting to suite our needs not contorting ourselfs to fit the letter of the ITIL law.

    Besides as bibles go it's pretty dry reading!
    Last edited by tmcd35; 18th January 2010 at 03:06 PM.

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