So half a year ago I was sitting at my computer and the tendency to throw it out of the window has never been greater. Solemnly I said to myself, “Aaaargh, not another blue screen of death!”… I wish that I was the only one having problems with IT, but an informal IT satisfaction survey among my colleagues concluded that I was not the only one with growing frustration over our IT organisation.

Does this sound like you?

In the previous few months there have been several IT breakdowns at our company. 10 years ago my computer was at the forefront of the evolutionary chain but has recently decided enough is enough and it curled into the foetal position. Occasionally I felt like consoling it, saying that everything would be okay, but I knew that my poor computer had finally lost the will to live. But hey, try explaining to your computer that you have urgent work that needs to be finished and that it is the only means you have of reaching the furthest depths of cyberspace.

Looking around the room, it was clear to me that I wasn’t the only one with problems; something needs to be done, ASAP. As the pain from my ailing computer lessens, I drift into a dream-like state allowing me to call upon a nerdy superhero to either put my computer (and me) out of misery or to give it the gift of life once again. Sadly though, the real world doesn’t work in this way and I’m forced to go through my not very helpful ‘help desk’.

Lunch now, help later.

The first time the blue screen appeared and my computer failed to get back up and running, I walked to the local IT department and asked the guys there to help. They explained that they could not help me due to protocol and referred me to the IT help desk. The help desk was ‘very sorry’ to hear about my problem and they would do ‘everything possible to resolve my issue in a timely manner’. Hours passed, as did my opportunity to do any work that day, which was both frustrating and unacceptable. Finally, as I thought the war had been lost, reinforcements arrived late in the day and I was able to get back to work after a system reboot could take place.

Is it really worth the risk? Fixing IT yourself with minimal knowledge.

Because our ERP system has somehow developed a mind of its own, we have been forced to accept delays, errors and file corruption to the point that it was really hindering our ability to work productively; we have since filed a complaint with the management which was fortunately heard. After months of decreased productivity we were finally face to face with the people whose job it was to make our ‘IT lives’ easier, not harder.

Increasing the effectiveness of our overall IT services was the starting point as my colleagues and I were particularly frustrated with the long delays caused by ‘the system’ and quite frankly, our temporary fixes that we tried to get away with probably made things worse; but hey, someone had to try.

Since our customers couldn’t care less about our “my-computer-wasn’t-working-excuse”, IT problems need to be fixed fast.

So, how did it end?

Much to our surprise, the help desk actually listened to our suggestions (as did we to theirs). That was actually quite an eye opener; it certainly hadn’t crossed my mind prior to our meeting that the more effective our IT systems are, the less problems they will have to deal with. I also under appreciated that our IT help desk has targets too. We have now been informed as to what is required in order to have our problem(s) resolved in the shortest and most pleasant time possible.

Now, nothing is perfect in this world, nor is it instant. Changes happened gradually over time and certainly needed some refinements, but in the end I’d like to think that we’re all in a much better place. I have now identified times when I should count to 10 before calling, whereas before I would’ve been on the attack before you could blink. The help desk has started informing us as to when we can expect a solution to our problems, and while not always accurate, at least this gives my colleagues and I an opportunity to plan our day accordingly. All’s well that ends well, right?

I feel as though our help desk team and I are starting a completely new relationship; our conversations are more relaxed, informative, and far more succinct, all because we were given the opportunity to express our concerns in a meaningful way. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all their fault; I have consciously put a far bigger emphasis on remembering basic things, such as my password to minimise the amount of tickets I open.

We should´ve done this a long time ago…

IT-Happiness & Yorizon receive almost daily stories like this from a variety of users worldwide. Some come to us happy, but on the other side of the coin we have plenty who come to us with steam coming from their ears, frustrated, misunderstood and impatiently waiting for a real solution. This proves especially true when it comes to IT; IT Satisfaction is far from the most natural thing in the world to have in place.