Monday, November 05, 2012

Why big fat IT depts suck

"I'm sorry, the outdated browser you are forced to use won't support Google docs for much longer. We know this makes your job easier but we've just upgraded you from IE6 so be happy with that. Please check back in 10 years for the next upgrade"

"The simple project you have proposed will cost £100K more than it would in the real world. We have taken 6-12 months to tell you this. We will take another 2 years to implement it by which time the project will be redundant and technology will have superceeded it by at least 4 years"

"Thank you for calling our support number. Your call is very important to us. If your problem is urgent try emailing our support address We aim to respond within 48 hours."

Do you work for a large company with a frustratingly slow IT department? Why is it that these departments seem to have unfathomably slow processes and a complete unwillingness to be flexible?

One of the most frustrating parts of working for a big company has to be the lack of control that you get when trying to interact with your own IT department. Even as a digital expert you are assumed to be IT illeterate and your computer is locked down to the lowest common denominator level. A level of assumed idiocy that even a monkey, bashing away at your computer solidly for a year, would struggle to do anything that would break the system... except that the reality is that most common error occurs when the poorly executed security controls placed on your machine bugger things up again and again.

It's pretty established that a lack of control in any situation increases stress. This is particularly true in the work place and very true when trying to use my computer on a daily basis.

The big issues about trying to get a project off the ground only to have it shot down based on rediculous cost are bad enough (why are we told that to change that sentence will cost £30K and take 6 months to implement... an inhouse developer could do it in 10 minutes and have time to make a coffee).

It's the little things that really bug me, for example, I can't:
  • Use a browser other than IE8
  • Use a USB stick without encrypting it
  • Leave my computer for more than 15 minutes without it powering down completely
  • Have more than 100mb of emails
  • Organise icons on the desktop. Make things ordered and tidy
  • Clear my cache
  • Set a screensaver
  • Watch a YouTube video, check my personal email or cheer myself up with Lolcats
It's just frustrating. Perhaps if I worked in that department it would make sense. I'm sure there are strong reasons to outsource everything and to make everything stupidly secure. I can see why everything should be tested thoroughly but then again perhaps if more was in-house we could fix and respond to things more quickly. It probably is easier to have an army of first-line gerbals providing technical support (but it would be nice if they knew more than how to click the start menu).

Even if nothing changed it would be so nice if it didn't always feel like "us vs them"... we do work for the same people with the same objectives right?


1 comment:

Hugh Parr-Burman said...

And having to change my password every few weeks. And now you can't repeat the same letter twice... and you can't use old passwords... so you end up writing it down on a piece of paper and sticking it to your machine.