10 Ways IT Drives Everyone Else Crazy - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
5/15/2015
07:06 AM
David Wagner
David Wagner
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

10 Ways IT Drives Everyone Else Crazy

Managers are frustrated with IT. A study shows where they think IT is failing them.
Previous
1 of 12
Next

(Image: Hartwig HKD via Flickr)

(Image: Hartwig HKD via Flickr)

IT is wasting the time of managers and employees alike, according to a study conducted by Lawless Research on behalf of ServiceNow. In fact, so much time is being wasted, it can be measured in days per week, rather than in minutes. Managers blame time-consuming, frustrating work processes, many of which involve technology.

The study surveyed 915 managers at US and UK companies with at least 500 employees and asked them about their biggest pain points with productivity.

In the course of our reporting at InformationWeek, we hear a lot from CIOs and other IT executives about how IT is being increasingly called upon to "transform the business." This study begs the question of whether the best way to "transform" might be to enable the business to run with as little friction as possible. The problem, according to the end users surveyed by Lawless Research, is that IT has not automated the processes that make the business work. All this time users are spending on getting day-to-day work done is time they can't spend on transforming the business itself.

Of course, it isn't all IT's fault. Consumerization of IT may be leading end users to have unrealistic expectations about how technology can work in the enterprise. Sure, it is easy to pay for a latte at Starbucks with your smartphone. Should it be that easy to create a purchase order at work, or process a major procurement decision? It is easy to set up a shopping profile on Amazon. Is it good security to set up a new hire's account just as quickly?

Even if you assume a level of impatience on the part of your users, the Lawless study paints a picture of a set of antiquated IT services not fit for agile business in a mobile world. It is clear that at least some of the fault for the inefficiencies reported by users falls on IT.

Check out some of the most troubling findings from the study, and then decide for yourself what falls on IT and what falls on unrealistic user expectations. And tell us, in the comments section below, whether you've ever fallen victim to these productivity killers yourself.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 12
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
SaneIT
100%
0%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/15/2015 | 8:23:11 AM
Maybe I'm biased
I'm not saying that anything covered here isn't annoying or that IT can't do something about these things in some capacity but aside from "Automation Is Rare" I'd say that most of these fall under the famous that's the way we've always done it line or IT doesn't have much say in the process.  It happens very often that a company says we need to fix this then when they realize that it takes time, effort and money they back away quickly.  While IT is easy to blame because if they were given the time and budget they could properly address the issue but it's rarely the IT team making that call.
JG@DIB
50%
50%
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
5/15/2015 | 11:06:17 AM
Is IT Really the Problem Here?
Meetings, use of phone, use of email, etc. are not necessarily the "fault" of IT. The way many of the activities listed here (in-boarding employees, purchase orders, etc.) are carried out is usually a product of business user decisions on how they want to do it, not because IT could not or would not help.

Often when IT wants to modernize/automate an activity, we run into so many "requirements" of the business user to NOT change their underlying business processes that it hamstrings the eventual system that is or can be developed. Levels of complexity, insistence on every rule having an exception, etc. cause systems to bog down under the sheer weight of code required to handle the non-vanilla additional "have-to-haves" the business users add.

We have also found that, even when an automated capability is provided, the end users still don't improve their productivity in doing the "soft" tasks mentioned as desirable, such as increasing sales or spending more time promoting or innovating the business.

The main area of IT mentioned in the survey is IT support, which, at least at my company, is a totally different area than development and maintenance of enterprise systems.
Technocrati
50%
50%
Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
5/15/2015 | 11:18:32 AM
It Costs to Prove Costs
I agree Adinistrative Task are a big annoyance. Not sure it is IT fault however when other managers are demanding paperwork so they can cost out every dime.

And Tech Vendors are probably also to blame, the entire chain is an abusive time waste, just so some Manager can attempt to prove (sarcasm inserted here ) IT is a cost center.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/15/2015 | 12:13:25 PM
Re: Maybe I'm biased
@SaneIT- I get that. The fault goes all around. But here's the thing: there are two ways this gets fixed. IT steps up and gets persistent about it or they wait for the business to get so fed up they hire a vendor without them. That's how shadow IT spreads. 

It used to be that only It could fix it and so you'd get around to it. Now, there are enough vendors out there that even if the solutions aren't good, they are easily purchased. Is that what we want?
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/15/2015 | 12:15:41 PM
Re: Is IT Really the Problem Here?
@[email protected] Well, i don't disagree with anything you're saying. I have not doubt you do get bogged down in all of that and the progress seems minimal and the process is wasteful.

My only answer is to try again. Giving up on a process automatically makes it fail. Walking in and saying "let's avoidn the mistakes we made last time" is the way change happens. 

But I totally sympathize.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/15/2015 | 12:17:14 PM
Re: It Costs to Prove Costs
@Technocrati- I generally agree with you it isn't entirely IT's fault. But I just cringe at the idea that someone has to pick up a phone or send an email to get a purchase order. Surely, there is some low hanging fruit we can all deal with.
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
5/15/2015 | 12:52:07 PM
Nice systems
I'm struggling to understand how these companies with 500 or more employees have such poor systems. A company that size should have decent ERP in place and also some IT Help system. But they haven't automated creating a purchase order and getting it approved? Really?

I wonder how much of this doesn't really fall on these managers who were interviewed? I'm assuming this is mid mgmt if they are creating POs. I've met so many of these guys who are clueless how business processes work. They are simply administrators, supervisors, people people. I got a chuckle out of the complaint about admin tasks taking their time. Many I've met that constitutes 100% of why they exist. :-)

Now, I work for much smaller biz unit in a global company, no one can hide here locally behind bureaucracy. But we have systems. I'm a little confused on how much automation you can put in bringing on a new employee. There are a number of variables and user types, I don't see how it would not require some discussion with hiring manager. But process can start by entering a Help ticket to get the conversation started.

Also a little hazy on what "marketing services" are in this context?
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/15/2015 | 1:01:26 PM
Re: Nice systems
@TerryB- I think with onboarding they are looking for self-service. Instead of saying "Joe Schmoe is starting Wednesday and he will need access to x, y, and z" in an email they want to be able to have some sort of service that they can just type it one spot so they don't have to inform multiple IT people. 

For instance, I've worked in companies where to get me set up a manager had to email IT support to get me a computer, HR to get me a desk, and mutiple admins to get me accounts set up for various systems. I think they'd like one place where they can put Jane Schmoe's start date and what kind of access she needs.

As for marketing services, we're talking web development, design, data, etc.

I agree with you that the automation numbers seemed really low. I'm wondering if they are responding not to the system itself but the business reality. Maybe it is a case where using the system isn't as easy as the email or that the system doesn't work half the time without the email poke at someone. Something like that.
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
5/16/2015 | 9:32:31 AM
Re: Is IT Really the Problem Here?
@[email protected],

I share your comments. I lost count of how many time what is considered an "enhancement" project leads to countless hours trying determine every single exception rule, work around or manual override.

Many times business want to increase productivity but aren't willing to actually take a look at there own process and determine where changes can be implemented that actually lead to increased productivity.

At my current assignment, only after decades of beating around the bush did they decide to replace there legacy system. And it's only because of a PM that refusesdto keep the status quou and challenged management did they consider a third party vendor solution and where willing to review and revise there process so that it's ongoing support doesn't require custom coding.
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
5/16/2015 | 9:35:31 AM
Re: Nice systems
@David,

At my current place of employment, we're streamlined the process of onboarding to the point that from the day the new hire steps in the office, he/she is fully 100% setup in 24 hours or less (laptop, credentials, system overview, HR tasks, etc).

The main reason we accomplished this is because we pulled together all leassons learned, automated where possible, but the major win was the prep work. As you mention emails had to go out to get things set up, but we'd try to do this with as much anticipation as possible.

The result is having new hires be productive by the next day of starting.
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll