Trending in Tech: Is Your IT Team Secretly Frustrated With You?

By | 2018-05-29T06:36:50+00:00 March 8th, 2016|Business Continuity, Business Value, Cloud Services, Security, Trending in Tech|Comments Off on Trending in Tech: Is Your IT Team Secretly Frustrated With You?

Chances are, you think of your IT guy primarily as a troubleshooter for when your email is acting buggy. You might even think that your IT team has some magic power to prevent cyber threats from happening and so you keep them on as a safeguard for your business assets.

You don’t really understand what they do, but you don’t have to, right? Their specialized knowledge is why you hired them in the first place.

It’s probably is true that you don’t understand what it takes to carry out your IT pro’s day-to-day work. But if that’s the case, you are not in a good position to use them to their fullest advantage, and they resent it. The truth is that your specialists probably have some great suggestions and strategies to grow your core business and drive innovation. All they need is for you to listen up.

Here are a few things they want to say:

1. You stubbornly refuse to consider managed services because it’s expensive, but you’re actually increasing costs because of lost efficiency and opportunities.

Let’s take cybersecurityopens in a new window as an example. You may not even know what syslogs are or why they’re important, but they are driving your IT talent crazy.

Syslogs are used for security auditing. Basically, a syslogopens in a new window is how your hardware communicates with you. In theory, your team has to keep an eye on the logs to determine what normal events are and what events might constitute a security threat.

In reality, though, there are usually so many alerts that nobody can even begin to keep up with them, or monitoring these logs takes up an extraordinary part of the team’s day.

But how receptive would you be if someone on your IT team suggested contracting a Managed Security Provideropens in a new window to take over auditing and other crucial security tasks? You’d probably balk at the expense. You might even believe that your business isn’t a target. And, even worse, you might suspect your IT team of laziness.

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What if someone told you that a firewall, for instance, can produce one million logs a day? Security is a big data problem, but I bet you didn’t hire your IT personnel to mine through data. And how would you respond if you knew that 23% of businesses will be hacked in the next 24 months?*

You may not have realized something as mundane-sounding as log management is actually a beastly task. Let your IT team deliver the wake-up call and take their suggestions to heart. They’re not being lazy; you’re just wasting their time.

2. You expect to be surprised by innovation. You don’t think of innovation as something to invest in and to oversee.

Again, this comes down to cost myopia and inexperience/unwillingness to understand the I.T. landscape.

Think about it; you wouldn’t expect your other employees to start doing more work with no compensation. Why do you expect your IT team to solve all of your business’s problems when they’ve already got a lot on their plate?

Innovation is great when it comes naturally and when it doesn’t affect business continuity too greatly. It’s even better when it comes as a surprise. But “innovation” writ large is a big expectation of your IT team.

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Do you have anything in particular in mind when you ask your IT pros to be innovative? What expectation are you setting, exactly? This is like going to your HR team and asking that they please make all of your employees happy. Would you care to elaborate?

Be specific when you ask for innovation. Where would you be willing to increase spending in order to streamline an aspect of the job? What job function do you feel could be improved by better technology or even outsourcing? Are your IT specialists kept enough in the loop of your core business to make helpful suggestions?

Sometimes, you may need to look outward for innovation solutions for your business. After all, your team is very busy with log management, thank you very much.

3. You expect your IT team to understand any and all technology.

Like we said before, some IT tasks are truly about big data. Some tasks require in-depth knowledge of security strategies. Others involve an expertise at managing a BYOD policy and all the facets of making mobility services work for a business. And then there is always a website to maintain.

But wait, you originally brought on an IT person to manage your applications and respond to server and software problems. You didn’t hire a data scientist, a security specialist, a telecommunications expert, and a web designer.

You wouldn’t expect your salespeople to also do the accounting. So why do you expect your IT team to be able to juggle such diverse tasks?

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To their credit, many IT pros are passionate about all kinds of technology (nerds!) and have the ability to be flexible. Good on them. But don’t expect them to know everything.

When some aspect of your business technology needs a lot of TLC, consider reaching out to an expert. You’ll get advice you can trust and you’ll take a load off of your overworked technology team (currently, they’re still breathlessly trying to keep up with the syslog data).

Seeking expert help allows your existing team to focus on their core tasks – the ones you originally hired them to carry out.

The key takeaway here is to understand the limits of your knowledge and your time and to acknowledge the limitations your IT team may also be facing. Taking the time to learn what challenges they face and what their specialties are is crucial for managing your own expectations, giving clear direction, and knowing when to consult someone outside of your organization for help.

You probably don’t count on your IT personnel to be much more than a back-up and maintenance contingent. Make an effort to listen to them and you might find that they have more to offer in the way of strategic partnership than you ever imagined.

*Statistics courtesy of Masergy Managed Security Training Portal: https://www.masergy.com/solutions/managed-securityopens in a new window


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