back to article Is the IT Dept failing users?

The number of tools the enterprise can deploy to enhance productivity is huge. And even if the tools are generally simple to use, they are also mind-bogglingly complex under the skin. Balls in the air Each tool, including the desktop PC, has to interact with all the others securely, quickly and seamlessly. It is such a a …


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  1. There's a bee in my bot net

    Another bandwagon

    I'm bored of hearing the 'IT Department must change to blah blah blah buzzword'.

    On the rare occasion I am able to support users devices, I do so by providing the details for them to connect and they set it up themselves. Just because I work in IT doesn't mean I know automatically how to configure every electronic device ever manufactured (though I can usually figure most of them out). I wouldn't want to support every users personal devices. I would end up having to fix all the other 'problems' they have, likely end up trying to deal with their original suppliers for hardware problems (because users are lazy and don't want to deal with something when there is somone else they can palm stuff off too). Not to mention having to contend with the plain weird setups you have to get round on users personal devices and god forbid you ever 'fix' something that doesn't look right, you'll end up getting the blame for everything that ever goes wrong on that device from that point on.

    If users aren't tech savvy enough to follow some instructions on how to setup a VPN or put in a few email settings then I wouldn't trust them with network access off site. Does that make me a BOFH? I don't think so. Otherwise you might as well just out source the lot of us...

  2. Turtle_Fan

    Hmm, really?

    You don't say...

    While I have a deep disdain for most IT departments' actions I (regretfully) admit that they operate under hige burdens and constraints.

    Consider for a moment the legal implications of their work and of inadvertent blunders. If I were an IT admin I'd instinctively tend towards total lockups to minimise my risks to the fullest extent. So I take it as a given that IT will err on the side of caution. That's before we come to staffing and budget constraints.

    In fact I enjoy being the eternal whiner from the sidelines without a stake or risk in the process (something akin to the LibDems pre coalition ). I can't see a reasonable balance ever being struck. Giving more freedom to us great unwashed will certainly heighten the risk of costly mistakes; while locking us in will make our whining even more vociferous. All the while, the goalposts are shifting. I'm looking forward to the opinions here...

  3. damocles

    Nay, nay and thrice nay

    Consumer devices have no place in a corporate environment unless you can remotely back up / wipe corporate data and all stored data is encrypted by default.

    I'm aware that it's not a company phone/tablet/gizmo but it's the company's data/IP/reputation you're putting into the hands of people that will happily ignore data security and platform availability in order to play the latest rule 34'd version of angry birds.

    So yes I fail and I'm proud of it.

  4. Blarkon

    Going through personal laptop when user resigns

    I wonder how happy users will be with the thought of the IT department having to scrub their personal laptop in the event that they want to leave the company. Or when the personal laptop needs to be seized for an unknown amount of time because of an impending legal discovery action.

  5. a cynic writes...

    My lot have no complaints...

    For the last 5-6 years anyone that needs to work from home gets given VPN instructions and uses remote desktop to access their work machine; for everyone else there's Outlook Web Access.

    I wouldn't allow them to attach anything direct to the network but I don't mention it as a possibility and since from their POV there's no barrier to getting their stuff done no one's even asked. It may help that wireless in the office is the other side of a firewall to our main network.

  6. Inachu

    I do not like this.

    Who the heck is the end user who keeps reinstalling the ASK toolbar which constantly break in house intranet web apps then they call support... OH BUT IT WAS WORKING YESTERDAY!!!

    Or the lady who demands her desktop java dancing bears relive her stress and she needs those dancing bears in order to do her job better and uses only a specific older version of java and the in house java is the latest and breaks her bears from dancing so she makes a helpdesk ticket to fix her dancing bears. OOOO!!!!!!!! DAAAAAAM I hate people like you to death!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    This a a fairly clueless misinformed piece of journalism junk, no mention at all about total cost of ownership, business justifications, resource limitations and security concerns. Of course if you work for Formula 1 with unlimited budgets and resources then I take it all back.... I love the idea that IT depts should listen more.... How revolutionary (zzzz)l... In general good IT depts spend half their time listening to users... Its a miracle they get any work done at all. Good IT departments priortise for the needs of the many and not the few.... Unless its the boss (unfortunately).

  8. T J

    No they are doing their best.

    No, its several things.

    Users are getting stupider.

    Managers are getting stupider and more disconnected from the tech at hand.

    The technology itself is going BACKWARDS rapidly and a lot of it isn't actually "New technology", its old tech rebadged or its just a tiny rearrangment of something marketed as a Product[tm].

    I think IT's position is nearly impossible now. And the cloudy cloud is going to make things worse, as now you have to rely on some other idiot's infrastructure as WELL as matching apps and services to your requirements.

    I urge the entire industry to rethink and start from scratch, but you know how likely that is.

  9. AlexS

    To Mr dancing bears

    Don't you lock down your PCs? Ever heard of group policy? OMG are you giving everybody admin access?

    Sorry old bean but you deserve everything you get if this is the case. Lock 'em down! (And don't take any BS).

  10. digismith

    Users personal Hardware

    Users that bring personal hardware into the building get thier hardware confiscated by security if found.

    A user has ZERO buisness using thier personal hardware for buisness. We provide you a laptop or desktop and a vpn connection with a Citrix cap for those who cant handle using a vpn. We provide you with a blackberry for a smart phone if you need it. Your personal devices have no buisness in our environment.

    We do not support your personal hardware Your personal hardware should not even be in the building. Were it up to me I would grab your personal hard ware and smash it with my 15 pound sledge and or drop it on my degausser. Your hardware in our office is a corporate threat. and violates half a dozen corporate policies and at least 2 federal laws.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In some environments (e.g. academia), restricting things too much can cause far more headaches, helpdesk calls and the like than locking things down. Many users have legitimate needs to install all sorts of exotic things, and having to have IT do the install for them means a lot of IT time is spent on this (even if it's done remotely). If they can do it themselves, that time is freed up. Alternatively, if someone can't install it themselves, they're likely to opt-out of our services entirely and do their own thing, which is much worse.

    We changed from a locked-down, no-one-is-admin environment to a more open environment where staff can become administrators of their own machines, a long time ago (2001 or so), and saw major reductions in helpdesk load as a result, simply because we were no longer having to deal with all the cases where people weren't able to do what they needed to. We didn't find that opening things up in this way caused problems, and would not go back to the full lock-down approach.

    Users with the dancing bears problem would be told in no uncertain terms that what they were doing was not supported by us, though.

    Being more open allows for a much more self-service approach. If someone messes their machine up, they can re-image it themselves, and only need to involve us if they want us to do that for them, etc.

    1. Inachu


      IT has a procedure that tells client what is supported and what isn't.

      I laugh all the time when someone tries to get support for their home pc at work.

      I cancel the ticket and mention on the ticket. "HARDWARE NOT SUPPORTED."

      Or the dummy who brought in his router to attach more stuff at his desk.

      Well that dummies router just reassigned new IP addresses throughout the entire company and as well as our branch offices in Korea Taiwan and California and DC.

      I took his router to the stock room and got the fork lift operator to roll over it a few times to make it nice and flat then brought it back to his desk while he called in sick.

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