The Weekly Round-Up: New Year's resolutions and grumpy techies

Plus we reveal the top job of the year

We're seven days into 2011, which means the air is full of the sound of brittle New Year's resolutions buckling and breaking faster than the screen on that cheap smartphone you got for Christmas.

The Round-Up cheerfully admits it has not simply broken all of its New Year's resolutions, but taken a hammer to them, smashed them into a thousand pieces, ground the pieces into dust and thrown the dust into the sea.

Another resolution being rapidly broken up and down the land is the IT department's pledge not to be quite so grumpy this year. And to be fair, it's a hard one to stick to when the IT department has to deal with lunatics and idiots - aka users - on a daily basis.

At this time of year, there's worse to cope with than the usual user-generated stupidity. You see, after nearly two weeks out of the office stuffing their faces with mince pies, most employees have trouble recognising their co-workers or their own desk, let alone remembering their passwords.

Cue helpdesks inundated with demands for help passwords along the lines of: "I thought it was my dog's name and my birthday, then I tried my wife's name backwards with my date of birth, but that didn't work and now I'm locked out."

Forgotten your password again?

Forgotten your password again? (Picture credit: Shutterstock)

Add to this a few festive accidents: "I melted my smartphone taking pictures of a flaming Christmas pudding" and "I was sick into my laptop on New Year's Day" or "Father Christmas sat on my iPad," and you get some inkling as to why the first week back is not the happiest time of year for the helpdesk.

Except this year it's even worse than ever. It seems the entire workforce has decided - in its collective wisdom - that it would be a terrible shame to leave all their new gadgets at home, so they are carting them to the office and plugging them into the corporate network instead.

This year, nearly three-quarters of workers will take the gadgets they got for Christmas into the office and plug them into their employer's network, according to a poll by Virgin Media Business.

The survey found that nearly half of workers had previously plugged their own personal gadgets, such as iPads and smartphones, into their company's network - without permission from the IT department, thus opening the door to a bunch of security risks.

Not to mention mass outbreaks of gadget envy from those who didn't get a nice present from Santa. (By the way, check out our pics of the latest gadgets being unveiled at the CES trade show in Las Vegas.)

The business ISP reckons employees in the legal and public sectors are the worst offenders, with eight out of 10 workers in these sectors claiming they'll ward off the January blues by bringing their gadgets into the office.

All of this leaves the IT department about as happy as the Australian cricket team. In fact, if you listen carefully right now, you can hear the howls of anguish from the IT department as their network keels over, and the occasional scream when they are asked to support someone's games console that has been brought in for a lunchtime fragging session.

Still, it's not all doom and gloom for the IT department - find out why IT directors think 2011 will be a better year for the tech team by reading this week's exclusive CIO Jury. And while you're at it, find out what columnist Peter Cochrane thinks will be the hot tech topics of this year.

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