As an IT professional or manager in the world of education community, you know there are many misconceptions about how you provide services to your user community. Many of them are similar to any organization and others are unique to your environments. Here are six of the most common misconceptions you likely deal with on a daily basis:
- You have all the latest and greatest toys at your disposal because you are an IT tech. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case because most IT departments are a lower priority in the budget process. Teacher and administrator salaries typically take the biggest bite out of a school or universities’ budget followed by programs mandated by state and federal governments. You are often treated like step children and orphans and have to work with hand me downs from other more visible departments.
- Your support environment is fully automated like other high-profile departments in the institution. Here again, unless you are lucky enough to be using everything HelpDesk® from GroupLink, you are probably still using many manual systems or maybe glorified spreadsheets developed by one of your predecessors that you may not even fully understand or have the time to document or update.
- You and your peers or staff have plenty of time to track, manage and complete support requests because it’s all you do. Au contraire mon ami – If only it were true. Unless you are an IT professional, you have almost no idea about the time demands of a support engineer. They are forced to wear many hats including vendor management, equipment managers, subject matter experts on a myriad of applications many of which are woefully out of date and poorly documented, applying patches to these out of date systems, troubleshooting network outages, managing systems upgrades and more.
- System upgrades are simply a matter of adding some equipment, putting in a few software patches and sitting around waiting for everything to come together. While there is some “sitting around time” while patches and upgrades process through systems, there are usually plenty of things to do while the processing takes place. Most IT techs are masters at multi-tasking and are likely responding to support tickets during these sitting around periods. The help desk from GroupLink allows IT professionals to remotely access their support ticket system. It also provides a convenient and easy to use mobile interface for users so they can access a knowledge base full of self-help information that “someone in IT” populated in the first place.
- Preventing hackers and cyber-attacks is simply a matter of installing some anti-virus software and maybe keeping a firewall or two up to date. – IT professionals spend an average of 25-20% of their departments’ time keeping out the bad guys. This is an incredible shift over the last decade yet they are expected to provide all the same levels of service as before usually with a small staff. Hackers are constantly trying to gain access to educational systems and IT people have to beat them at their own game by keeping aging software up to date and monitoring multiple information sources.
- All IT professionals are geeks and don’t have a life outside of work. Okay, that one may be mostly true because when they are not working, most of them play computer games or find ways to bring technology into whatever passion they have outside of work.
IT professionals face many challenges in their everyday work environments including the ability to support their user community, become subject matter experts on a wide variety of topics and supporting out of date equipment and software.