10 Ways IT Drives Everyone Else Crazy - InformationWeek

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5/15/2015
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David Wagner
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10 Ways IT Drives Everyone Else Crazy

Managers are frustrated with IT. A study shows where they think IT is failing them.
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(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

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David Wagner
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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?
Technocrati
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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.
JG@DIB
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[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.
SaneIT
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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.
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