Intellectual property, sensitive information and personal data make up the heartbeat of any enterprise. As your organization becomes increasingly reliant on these systems that grow every year in complexity, your IT department can start to feel the squeeze. When IT isn't your organization's primary purpose, it's easy to miss the signs of IT strain. Let's take a moment and go over a few indicators your team of intrepid analysts, technicians and engineers may need some help!
Having worked in IT myself, I can safely say that many folks in the industry are quick and voracious learners. If members of your IT team seem to not know important details more frequently, it may be a personnel issue (and that's a separate matter all together!), but it may also be that your team is struggling to keep up. Technology moves fast, and if you have recently made investments in infrastructure and applications, but haven't made equal investments in training or staffing, there's a good chance the department is going to have missing knowledge.
Lengthy Resolution Times
Much like missing knowledge, lengthy resolution times might be because you have some individuals who are not performing up to snuff. However, if your IT department is constantly missing SLA, it might be because they are trying their hardest to keep up with a monstrous ticket queue. Take a moment to talk to your department head to see what might be causing the hold up.
Stop Gap Solutions
A lot of problems route through your IT department. Desktop set up, application support, printer issues, email troubles, hardware configuration, network, phones, the little blinky light on the alarm panel --the list goes on. There's a good chance your IT team is a lot like other IT teams, and they are doing their best to put out the fires. What ends up happening is that, instead of finding the true root cause, completely resolving the issue and preventing it from coming up again, IT finds "good enough" stop gap solutions. A quick fix that stems the tide so they can move on to the next fire. The issue will come back up again, of course, but make no mistake: Your IT team has no desire to revisit this. They didn't do a quick-fix because they love doing the same job over and over. Stop gap solutions aren't about laziness, they're about time, and there are only so many hours in the day.
Lack of Innovation
This actually comes from the same place as your IT team's stop gap solutions. Due to a lack of time and staff, IT teams are often reactive. They don't have the capability to be proactive. It's very difficult, if not outright impossible, to develop new procedures and seek out better solutions when there's barely enough resources to resolve existing issues.
A Dispirited Atmosphere
Here are some generalizations I've picked up in my time with IT: IT folks often love working in the dark. IT folks often prefer short, blunt conversations that may come off as gruff. IT folks are usually sticklers for procedure and will quickly remind you to "submit a ticket." And let's not forget that stress comes with any job. These aren't necessarily indicative of sullen work environment, but if you're picking up on other clues that morale is dangerously low, it's a good idea to investigate why. As with any department, low morale can have a significant impact on productivity, but the solutions can be surprisingly uncomplicated and inexpensive.
I can't emphasize enough that a stressed IT team or performance bottlenecks can absolutely be a product of an employee, or employees, not working up to snuff. You will know your department better than anyone else. But learning to read the signs of an overtaxed team and investing in solutions can go a long way to the productivity of your entire organization.
Think your IT team might be a little strained? Managed IT services might be for you! Download our free Cloud Services Survival Guide eBook to learn how managed IT services and other data center solutions can augment your IT infrastructure.