IT pros are often overworked and under a lot of stress. In this guest post, Elizabeth Phillips describes some things organizations can do to make life easier for support staff.
Forget the CEO – IT professionals are usually the busiest employees at a company. They’re responsible for maintaining the tech systems for entire businesses. They’re the first – and sometimes only – line of defense against security breaches and other privacy issues. And they’re who every employee goes to with their tech problems.
But IT work doesn’t have to be stressful – even after helping the tenth employee who just needs to restart their computer. Having the best software is important, of course, but there are other steps you can take to make your life as an IT professional easier. Here are 3 tools that can help:
The easiest way to make IT work easier? Replace the technology in your office. Newer, better equipment can drastically reduce the number of issues that IT professionals have to deal with – enabling them to focus on the more important stuff.
If users are coming to you with complaints about slow Internet connections and computer malfunctions, encourage your office to update their technology. Experts recommend that office technology – including computers, printers, fax machines and phones – be replaced every two years.
If that’s not feasible on your company’s budget, try updating your Internet service. Even old devices can work better on a new, faster connection. The fastest available right now – and the least likely to lead to IT problems – is fiber-optic Internet. If it’s available in your area, check out options like FiOS or Google Fiber.
IT professionals say that employee misuse is the top technology risk their companies face. Employees who don’t know – or don’t follow – IT protocol can create unnecessary security concerns and tech issues.
To prevent these avoidable issues, create an easy-to-understand policy that clearly states IT rules and guidelines. Explain what online activity is appropriate at work. Include guidelines for personal devices as well as office equipment. Take the time to create policy for monitoring mobile devices and for accessing company information outside the office to reduce future problems.
Educate your company’s employees about common security threats like phishing and snooping. Make sure they know how to set secure passwords, not to open suspicious emails or links, and to report potential security breaches to IT immediately.
Everyone wants their IT issue to be top priority, of course. But for the sake of productivity (and sanity), it’s necessary to prioritize tasks. Ranking issues by urgency – and telling employees when they can expect completion – can reduce time spent on unnecessary management tasks.
Keeping track of tasks already completed can help productivity, too. If an IT issue has happened once, it’s likely to happen again – and recording previous solutions can save time in the future. Even if your IT staff changes over, keeping old records can help with training and transitions.
If a problem occurs enough, sending a company-wide email with troubleshooting guidelines can cut down on time spent explaining the same problem over and over again.
The bottom line? Even the most advanced software and security – and the best-trained IT professionals – can’t prevent tech issues. But a few simple steps within the IT department can make life easier – and make your company run more smoothly.
About the author: Elizabeth Phillips is a freelance writer with a focus on technology-related topics. She can be found typing away at her laptop in Philadelphia, PA. She welcomes your feedback at elizabethphillipswrites@gmail.