It is good that people like Jason raise these points, as IT needs to be flexible and change with the environment they work in. We all know that at least over the past 5+ years both manufacturers of hardware and software are putting their products out with considerable bugs that get rectified once these items are purchased so that they can recoop development costs.
Microsoft Office 2012 is a tipicle example of software that is not fully tested or completed until it is in the workplace, things that worked no longer work in a seemless manner. The same goes for hardware and BIOS levels and conflicts with other manufacturers peripherals.
We have always in the past 20 years kept the principle of keep it simple, give users total control over the Workstations and allow local appointed staff to manage their systems where possible, and this is about 80% of the time, 10% would be remote support and the remainder on-site support.
My clients are mainly in the Insurance Industry and any of the management team will quickly tell you that staff are their to make money not spend hours trying to rectify simple but time consuming problems with integration and installation issues brought about by some of the previous items mentioned, or simply buy updates applied to any of the O/S's that all of a sudden things that did work, no longer work anymore, or by security changes that stop access ot their normal processing. We all see it every day, and frankly it works in our favour that these Manufacturers have over time avoided their responsability in quality control and passed it on to the IT support to workaround or fix until they bring out their updates.
We have seen the introduction of may things in these past years improve the tools and provide a more exciting environment to users, but it has also introduced considerable duplication and security issues. If left to users to control and manage it would be out of control. I am talking about Email on IPhone, IPads and duplicated into outloook and managing the same information twice, not to mention the introduction of dangerous software and malicious site deposits that would render most of these systems inoperable if it was not for a good IT overview to provided guidance and continuous monitoring in these areas. Any IT person worth his/her salt will tell you the amount of time spent investigating and developing standards and procedures, checking secirity and disaster recovery methods in their own time for a good client base.
Invariably in the sites I manage staff will tell you straight, I do not have time to spend on these things, or it is simply of no interest to them and thaey just don't want to know. Anti-virus and licensing issues would never be addressed until the system stopped, it is just simply not in their field of interest and frankly they get extremely frustrated. It is this frustration that eventually can lead to employee departures to seek a more satisfying environment..
We have found over the past 20+ years that good service and value for money, plus we still provide 24/7 support both on-site and off without the dramatic charges that some are applying, we do not have to look for work they chase us, and there is no better yard stick than this to indicate you have a very good and trusted relationship with unfetted access to their premisses at any time of the day or night.
I hope that this will provide some alternative insights to retaining a good IT support in whatever form, certainly it is in the interests of both Hardware & Software Manufacturers as we are their first line of call from clients as unpaid sellers of their products.
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