As IT professionals, your job is to help non-IT people use technology to help them do their jobs and run an organization.
However, most of these non-IT end users didn’t get the technical education and training you probably had, let alone the many tech certifications you added to your resume. This can create a wedge between highly skilled and knowledgeable IT staff and some end users who are not as tech-savvy as their tech-savvy colleagues.
This division of skills between IT and end users can create frustrating situations for technologists tasked with assisting in the end use of technology deployed by the organization.
Assuming the end user has actually submitted a ticket, here are some examples of support tickets and other IT requests (from the r / sysadmin subreddit) that can frustrate any IT professional.
I can’t broadcast!
Depending on your organization’s policies, access to streaming services like Netflix, Disney +, and others may be restricted on the corporate network. However, a Redditor told r / sysadmin that its CEO opened a ticket to circumvent those policies. These policies exist to ensure productivity and security, so end users, regardless of their position, should be advised to wait until they are on their own devices at home to access their favorite streaming services.
Simple issues, empathy required.
Some Redditors told r / sysadmin that handling certain support requests should be treated with care and empathy, especially when the solution is so simple that it might embarrass the end user. For example, an IT professional who works in education says that a teacher called in panic that a teaching position was not working. However, the only problem was the dry erase marks on the screen. After erasing the grades, the IT professional tried to avoid reporting the problem to the teacher in front of the whole class to avoid embarrassing the teacher.
Pandemic connectivity issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to think differently about their workplace strategies, with many organizations adopting a remote or hybrid work model that allows employees to live and work from anywhere. However, not all places in the world have access to a reliable internet connection, which has led some Redditors to tell stories about the company needing to support employees who have moved to distant countries with point-of-view plans. ‘expensive wireless access.
Leave these websites blocked
For obvious security and ethical reasons, access to adult websites is generally blocked on the company network. However, this did not prevent some end users from filing a computer ticket complaining that “some websites” are blocked. In a few cases, r / sysadmin members reported asking the end user what websites they were talking about, but never got a response.
Why we invest in cybersecurity
Several Redditors claim that many of their end users regularly complain about cybersecurity measures such as multi-factor authentication and phishing simulations. According to an IT professional, one of their users, a deputy superintendent at a school, always falls into the trap of phishing drills and undergoes additional cybersecurity training after each failed test. This led to complaints that IT was going after this user, which were dismissed by the school board. Another IT professional said that the former CEO of their organization was such a cybersecurity responsibility that he did not have administrator rights on a computer not controlled by IT. Now, its privilege requests must go through a third-party consultant to determine the risk.
These soft skills can help you navigate issues like these
IT can be a frustrating job, especially when end users struggle to understand why certain policies are in place. However, My technical decisions identified three crucial soft skills that IT pros will need in the future, all of which could help you navigate demands like these.
Download our guide, “Three Soft Skills IT Professionals Need in 2022 and Beyond,” here.