Working within information technology does not come easy for many people. The entire internet is filled with articles and forums of people saying they hate their tech careers, with one article even titled “Advice from an IT dad: Don’t even consider a career in IT.”
So why do so many people find careers in IT unfulfilling?
Afterall, IT operations don’t seem like magic—tech professionals oversee the way an organization manages their software and hardware, including business systems and services for their End-users. However, there are complications that many don’t realize, such as needing to work after hours or on systems that are in completely different time zones, as well as tracking all changes or maintaining a cool demeanor 24 hours a day, 365 days each year.
Despite these pressures of working in the tech industry, there are many successful IT professionals who are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and advance their careers with continuous learning. In this guidebook, you’ll learn about the top 3 most common headaches that IT professionals face in the workplace, so you know how to resolve them effectively.
1. Pleasing users and senior management at the same time
Satisfying both End-users and senior management can be one of the most common challenges that IT professionals face. End-users want to have the best possible resources they can have to get their work done as quickly and effectively as possible, which inevitably gets pricey. Here’s a list of common demands that End-users want:
- Fast computer and network including unlimited Wi-Fi for personal smartphone use
- Large adjustable monitor
- Mechanical keyboard
- Wireless charging mouse
- Ergonomic mouse pad
- A smartphone or tablet
- Wireless headset
- Cube walls or, even better, an office
- Subscriptions to all the software they’ve ever used
- Adjustable standing desks with a lumbar support office chair
- Under-the-desk space heater
On top of all of these requests, End-users also want all of their issues to be fixed immediately. “Have you opened my ticket yet?” is likely one of the most common questions that IT professionals get. However, End-users often don’t want to be involved in the troubleshooting process at all, even though IT professionals need to gather more data in order to fix their problems.
The more that End-users value their work—which almost every business wants—the more they feel they deserve the newest gadgets and technologies. The reality is that IT budgets can be tight and senior management can’t sign off on every demand. The IT Team typically decides what equipment or technologies they want to acquire for the business and how they will provide a return on their investment.
Here’s a scenario that shows how difficult it is to balance End-user wants and senior management needs. A group of End-users want second monitors. You justify the spending to your business’s Accounting department, promising better productivity and hoping for better relations between the user group and IT operations. You might even hope that the End-users will apply themselves to do more self-troubleshooting in an effort to reduce IT service calls/tickets. But after your Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) reports to you that Facebook usage for 90% of that End-User group has increased 300% since the second monitors were installed, making it seem like your decision was a huge mistake. However, you realize you can limit what can be viewed on all social media platforms by quickly adding new content filtering rules to your DNS security platform. You also realize that the additional monitors have provided you with reason to ratchet down the End-Users time on not just Facebook but all social media platforms, including their smartphone apps over the Guest Wi-Fi network. As you can see, IT operations staff have to not only justify dollars spent on IT resources to accounting and senior management but also govern resource usage. This is always a challenge, and is most certainly a balancing act.
2. Focus and adherence to tasks
Without an IT team to keep everything running smoothly, most businesses would fall apart. Businesses depend on their IT operations for nearly every aspect of their business, from communicating with customers and vendors to accessing crucial information and running basic work processes.
If a business isn’t using an MSP for managed services, they’ll need the internal bandwidth to monitor their computers and telecommunications so they are available and secure for use at all teams. This employee will need to be technically capable and able to spend several hours figuring out how to set up system logging and traps with triggers for alert reporting. However, this isn’t something that can simply be done once for each system. Your technical employee will likely spend a significant amount of time figuring out, testing, and putting into place system monitoring that also alerts them in the event of a performance issue or downtime. Unfortunately, this often ends in a serious mess that causes more issues and downtime than if the employee had never attempted to put any monitoring and management in place.
There are reasons why one of the most highly-valued MSP strengths is Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM). MSPs pay a lot of money to have the use of software built by companies with decades of expertise in system alerting and notifications, along with the knowledge of how to address each of these alerts the many different systems produce. MSPs know the value of RMM: it spots trouble before an End-users or internal IT employees experience downtime.
So, if you’re outsourcing Managed IT to a solid MSP, you still have to stay focused while juggling different responsibilities and keeping up with the tasks the MSP doesn’t take off your plate. This might not be pleasant, but it’s doable. But without the help of an MSP, keeping up with the onslaught of tasks is a headache that runs many IT employees out of the industry each day.
3. Technology turnover
Technology is constantly changing and becoming more feature-rich each day. With new start-ups and acquisitions, competition between vendors, cybercriminals, social media advertising, and the increasingly creative ways to use the Internet for marketing new products and features, technology is growing at a hyperbolic rate!
As a result, the experience and skills needed to support your business’s IT operations have to grow alongside this hyperbolic curve of technology growth. Staying current on technology is crucial for your business’s survival and success in the competitive landscape—you might not keep up with changing technology trends, but your competitors will.
Fortunately, you won’t be alone in sharpening your tech skills. IT training is now needed for just about everything. Besides work like emptying the trash, cleaning up your desk, vacuuming or mopping the floor, work required within IT positions requires IT skills and normally also the use of technical equipment, software, and/or services. Even work within a business you might think can be done by anyone, most times can’t. Cleaning display screens, relocating computing equipment, room heating or cooling, lighting a room, setting up a new work desk, and person-to-person communications—all these require their own technical know-how if you don’t want to negatively affect IT operations within a business. So, IT training is required for not only End-Users, but also for the IT staff. Essentially, the need for training never stops.
Keeping End-users and senior management satisfied, making sure IT operations stay up and running, and keeping up with the evolving industry are some of the top challenges that IT professionals face on a daily basis. Unless they have the help of a Managed Service Provider (MSP), staying on top of all of these responsibilities is no easy feat. A trusted MSP, however, can share the workload and allow internal teams to step back and work at a much higher level. So, instead of studying syslog files and their synchronizations, End-user DHCP lease time adjustments, packet loss across your DIA, or how to bring up a secondary DIA, let a trusted and proven MSP do this work while you focus on the things more deserving of your attention.
Our recommendation is for you to outsource all your IT work that’s not custom to your business, to a qualified MSP/MSSP. Normally, this would include the MSP providing these services:
- Internet connectivity
- Telephone/Fax services
- vCIO (a virtual Chief Information Officer)
- Managed IT services such as phish testing, anti-phish training, DNS filtering/protection, anti-malware security, antivirus security, and data backup
Get Started with Fuse.Cloud
The Jackson, Mississippi-based MSP/MSSP we recommend is our one and only Fuse.Cloud, which not only has a proven record for providing Voice and connectivity services for hundreds of customers, but offers: proven IT End-User training; a close partnership with KnowBe4 for Anti-Phish training; value added wholesale reseller relationships with Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and others; Managed Networking; Firewall Services; Desktop/Server stack solutions for protecting your infrastructure; and Fuse.Cloud offers 24x7x365 support.
Ready to tackle the three most common IT headaches? Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can take these pesky problems off of your plate.