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  • #2294435

    What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

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    by billdetwiler ·

    Whether you answer help desk calls, administer a wide area network, or manage a global IT call center, as an IT pro you have many needs. And we want to know what the most pressing, the most important of those needs are.

    What keeps you from being able to quickly and effectively solve your end-users problems?
    What issues are the biggest time-wasters in your organization?
    Do you have trouble keeping up with the latest technology trends and current IT practices?
    How do you protect and secure you organization’s IT resources?
    How do you want to develop your career?

    Which of these is your most pressing need? Are there other more important needs that you face on a daily basis? And how can TechRepublic help you address those needs?

    Bill Detwiler
    Section Editor
    TechRepublic

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    • #2733209

      Make the number one step easier

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      .
      The number one step, at least for me, in troubleshooting any problem that “suddenly appears” is to ask (either myself or the user) what happened between the time it was working fine and the time it started to be a problem. The answer (from the user) is almost always “nothing”. And that answer is almost always wrong.

      I would like some sort of recording device that would pinpoint what was changed, what was installed, what was downloaded, etc., without interfering with or inhibiting anything, that’s seamless and easy to use, and, of course, free of charge. (But then I want a return to the 3% flat tax rate as well.)

      • #2733197

        Is this your number one need as an IT pro?

        by Bill Detwiler ·

        In reply to Make the number one step easier

        Maxwell,

        That’s a very interesing suggestion. Would you say this is your nubmer one need as an IT pro?

        • #2733183

          My absolute number one need. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Is this your number one need as an IT pro?

          .
          ….as an IT professional would be power. Power to make all IT decisions.

          I don’t want to justify a decision to someone who may think a hard drive is negotiating through heavy morning traffic. I don’t want to seek the approval of someone who hasn’t the memory to remember anything about memory. I don’t want to have to network at a cocktail party to solve my network issues. I don’t want my monitors to be monitored. I don’t want to discuss a motherboard with a bored mother. And I certainly don’t want my floppy…….well, never mind. I think you get the idea.

          (Sorry, just a soapbox moment, there. And to think, I used to have all that power until the recent “change in ownership”.)

          I’ll give it some more thought and perhaps post a more “serious” answer. But wait, that WAS a serious answer.

        • #2666957

          So what you’re saying..

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to My absolute number one need. . . .

          Is you need a little respect?

        • #2666921

          No, not exactly

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to So what you’re saying..

          .
          I would say what I need is a new job, but one where I work for myself. I need to figure out a way to twist my foot around so I can give myself a swift kick in the…..to get me going.

        • #2666853

          Well

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to No, not exactly

          I certainly hope you get more respect working for the new boss 🙂

        • #2731799

          You should know….

          by jtnieves ·

          In reply to No, not exactly

          …how to twist your foot around. After all, you were “majoring in medicine” at some point in your life. ; – )

        • #2731769

          So our number one need is …..

          by terrybrains ·

          In reply to My absolute number one need. . . .

          To Keep Business – Business TIME
          And Personal – Personal TIME………
          What little we do have of IT……..

        • #2732747

          Number one need

          by s.farmer ·

          In reply to Is this your number one need as an IT pro?

          What I need most of all is time!. Time for learning and keeping up with technology changes and communicating to users. I need more time when the need for a new solution to a problem is demanded by management.
          Mostly, I need time to catch up with what I DON’T know.

        • #2733785

          Number one need

          by blutiger ·

          In reply to Number one need

          I’d have to agree with the below statement as well.

          What I need most of all is time!. Time for learning and keeping up with technology changes and communicating to users. I need more time when the need for a new solution to a problem is demanded by management.
          Mostly, I need time to catch up with what I DON’T know.

          From: sfarmer@cmiav.com Date: 05/06/04

        • #2737165

          Reply To: What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

          by lintheo ·

          In reply to Number one need

          That’s how I feel. How do you keep with technology as well as solve unfamiliar technology problems in a timely mannger

      • #2733194

        Exactly… and we’re looking to create something

        by transpotech ·

        In reply to Make the number one step easier

        Totally agree. In this complex environment, the first thing anyone asks is “what’s changed?”. What we are looking to do is use the capabilities of a Service Desk tool to basically build a web of relationships between all our servers, software, hardware, support structures (people, maint agreements, etc) and business use profiles. Using that, it will be a tool for technical staff to 1) plan change better, 2) record change events, and 3) use it two days from now when all hell breaks loose to see what has changed in the environment, starting with a look at the “supply chain”, above and below the point in the chain where the symptoms of a problem are. Building this web will be tedious, but we think it will pay off. We are not looking to start with a complicated change control process/board. We are looking to build a tool staff can use and be of value to them and their peers…not a tool for some higher-ups to wave their magic wands and approve/disapprove change two weeks from now when the change is needed in the next few hours or days. It won’t be free, but it should be worth the cost.

        • #2733181

          Now that sounds more than interesting

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Exactly… and we’re looking to create something

          More like essential.

          Keep me at the very least posted on how you are going as I for one am very interested as my main problem is the users playing and not doing their work. They download and install junk which messes up my networks but it is always my fault when it happens.

          At least with something like what you are describing it will mean that I’m not wasting a couple of hours finding out exactly what has been added and then 5 minutes removing it so everything works again.

          Col

        • #2731779

          What you and TranspoTech are talking about is..

          by praetorpal ·

          In reply to Now that sounds more than interesting

          smart live change management, that gives an audit trail of changes to the system, and even possibly allows a rollback to the previous system setting. This is possible with our distro, but we go further than that. We can activate built in mandatory access controls that would prevent unauthorized downloads and rogue additions to the network if so desired. Would that help?

        • #2732745

          So the Holy Grail DOES exist…

          by s.farmer ·

          In reply to What you and TranspoTech are talking about is..

          Yeah, that would be a great help..

        • #2733806

          No I’d say

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to So the Holy Grail DOES exist…

          More like a “LIFE SAVER” than the Holy Grail exisiting.

          Col

        • #2733703

          It is designed to be.

          by praetorpal ·

          In reply to No I’d say

          The technical advantages of this product go far beyond anything else on the market; it is designed foremost to make life easier for IT people. The security module is built in and when activated, protects the system from the users and the applications and will protect your system until a scheduled patch.

      • #2733179

        You may already have such a tool!

        by greg shultz ·

        In reply to Make the number one step easier

        Maxwell:

        I wanted to let you know that if you’re using Windows XP, you already have such a tool.

        Check out my Windows XP tip “Tech Tip: Investigate changes with the System Information tool” at

        http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6346-5172727.html

        • #2733926

          XP has the tools, only if you have XP

          by pdouglas ·

          In reply to You may already have such a tool!

          Yes XP has some tools but, in at least our case, we have very few XP users. Our network is 20% Win98, 40% WINNT 4.0, and %40 WIN2000. We can argue on the ROI of a common platform but the reality is companies are not replacing their PCs every 2-3 years.

        • #2732696

          The truth about…

          by yanipen ·

          In reply to XP has the tools, only if you have XP

          I agree with pdouglas. The reason perhaps most companies does not replace or upgrade their pc’s is because most applications they are well enough for thier operations. For example, most companies just do clerical works for most of their operations. I even saw a company here that are still using a Pentium 133 with 32mb of memory and 2 gb of hd. Imagine that. And its a manufacturing company to boot!

          Bottom line is, the top need of it pro depends greatly on the area of business you are in, and, including the type of management you’re in.

      • #2733881

        Change control processes

        by scsicat ·

        In reply to Make the number one step easier

        A great method to monitor changes in desktops and servers in a production environment is with LANdesk. It is a very robust application package that helps monitor software and hardware on all IT assets. Further, it helps with patching and remotely installing small apps.

      • #2732706

        What I need!!!

        by mikerude82 ·

        In reply to Make the number one step easier

        I think other IT pro’s along with my self need a duty that fits the scale of pay that these companies are offering these days. I work for a company that changes the name of the position in order to pay the employee less money & then pile Network ENG. type work to that person and say hey! learn it or else. I love learning but I want to feel like I did it for a reason like more respect & better pay. OK.. for get respect the MONEY is just fine . I mean we work to get money.

    • #2733207

      Some responses

      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      What keeps you from being able to quickly and effectively solve your end-users problems?

      Unreasonable user expectations.

      What issues are the biggest time-wasters in your organization?

      Other than users who expect me to read their minds [Which I do try, but am not always successful], other staff who can’t do their job, so I have to do that, too.

      Most important to my position is keeping communications open and keeping the trust of users and management [they’re mostly hand in hand]. So long as everyone tells me everything I need to hear, and at the proper priority level, things will run smoothly. I do my best to keep that a two way street.

      • #2733195

        How do you keep communication open?

        by Bill Detwiler ·

        In reply to Some responses

        Dpetrak,

        I think you’re point about end-user/IT communication being critical to the success of the IT organization is right on target.

        What methods of communication have you found to work best and if TechRepublic could give you a tool to help improve those lines of communication, what would that tool look like?

        • #2666960

          Tools?

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to How do you keep communication open?

          I use common sense. I build trust and radiate honesty to the users throughout all the various means of communication. During quarterly company-wide meetings, our department explains what we’ve recently done for them, and what we have planned to address their concerns [All departments do this, not just IT].

          We review help desk calls and highlight both high volume callers as well as high volume issues. We give, when we can, whatever we can. And when we honestly believe that the users are going to shoot themselves in the foot – we tell them as much as frankly as possible.

          Granted, some devisions do this better than others. But overall, we’re winning back the users from prior administrative groups who squandered what they had…

          So tools? I don’t have any catch phrase or methodology. Just openess and honesty.

        • #2731805

          “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

          by kcrow ·

          In reply to How do you keep communication open?

          I’ve had remarkable success working with top management and end users since I adopted these habits. I meet one-on-one, face to face, with each department manager once a quarter. It takes time, but it saves more. First, they tell me what’s going on in their department so I can be in the loop of things that might effect IT. I then bring them up to date on what we’re doing in IT and what are goals are for the coming quarter. I also visit department meetings for each department once or twice a quarter to let the end users know what’s happening in IT and how it might effect them. It gives me a chance to get their feedback before we implement change, while we have a chance to incorporate their feedback into the process. It’s made change much easier to implement with the end users and easier to sell to top management.

      • #2731842

        to solve the problems

        by luchomar ·

        In reply to Some responses

        I think the most important issue here is to understand the end user problem. I found out that I spent quite some time trying to understand what is the problem. One that is clear we can solve in short time the problem. In a few words good communication

    • #2733178

      My number one gripe would be

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Keep the users out of the system. Sure allow then to uses their workstations as the tools that they are rather than toys like they {the end users} would like them to be.

      Recently I wasted 3 hours trying to find out just why the enter keys stooped working on any keyboard and as usual nothing had been changed or altered but when I mentioned the desktop theme I got “Sure I did change that but nothing else!” and then on a reboot when the Yahoo IM came up I was told “Well I had to install that as I need it!”

      Well several down loadable programs latter all of which where explained away as absolutely necessary and impossible to work without I did find a conflict between the Yahoo IM and something equally useless. What I should mention here is that every thing that had been added was unnecessary for the business and in the Yahoo there where 40 odd contacts none of which had anything to do with the business but where all her friends.

      Actually technology has made it possible to “Chat” with your friends who can be anywhere and still look like you are working and actually doing nothing that you should be paid for.

      Col

      • #2731775

        Ya…. How do you stop users from installing EVERYTHING

        by elkfeva ·

        In reply to My number one gripe would be

        I have four NT domains connected over Frame Relay networks. All my users are 2k pro, very soon I am upgrading my server to AD. All my users are power users on there machine accounts, they use CAD and microsoft office apps. How can I stop the installation of the Internet junk software, with power users… i cant find a NT system policy that will do it… Im getting so tired of going back to the users and talking to them about it. I just want to stop it from happening.
        thanks!
        wok

        • #2732764

          That is a downfall of everyone being a poweruser

          by pcguru7 ·

          In reply to Ya…. How do you stop users from installing EVERYTHING

          Unfortunatly, that is a drawback of everyone being a power user. The only way is to downgrade them to standard user or guest. Power users have almost “ALMOST” not conplete control over their machine the same as an Administrator. THe main purpose of the power user account is so the users can install additional software without administrative access. If you restrict their ability to install programs, then what is the point of being a power user vs guest.

          I reccomend either using a 3rd party monitoring/uninstall program to monitor all installations of programs that lists the date/time of the install. XP lists the date/time of install, but I am not sure that NT does. This will allow you to keep track of the most recent garbage installed based on your last audit/inspection date. Then you can go and uninstall it shoud you so choose.

          Howeve to ultimately answer your question, I have not ever heard/seen a system policy that can do what you want. I would downgrade them to standard user/guest accounts if it will not hamper their ability to get their work done.

        • #2732646

          Granting a Power User Account

          by clark_james888 ·

          In reply to That is a downfall of everyone being a poweruser

          … I too have a problem with regards to granting a power user account. I’m currently handling Servers running on Windows2000 and using Active Directory.

          Our clients (users) are running on Windows2000 Professional and using MSOffice 97 Professional only. There are users in our compnay who are using macros and vb scripts. Giving them an ordinary user to their workstations would result to some errors on their created macros.

          I’m open for suggestions….

          Thanks.

        • #2732637

          POWER USERS is not POWER on the NETWORK

          by sysnetmgr ·

          In reply to Granting a Power User Account

          If you are using the ACTIVE DIRECTORY that comes with Windows 2000, making the user a power user of the PC, only means they can do things to their PC, Active Directory can stop them downloading, loading programs etc. It is a very powerful tool. Unless you have children using your PC’s, making the users Power Users at least provides the ability for automatic updates to load, anti-virus to update, etc.

        • #2732639

          USE ACTIVE DIRECTORY

          by sysnetmgr ·

          In reply to That is a downfall of everyone being a poweruser

          This has hundreds of policy settings youc an make to prevent any networked user from doing anything. It is big, but it works

        • #2732551

          Yes… thank you for reminding me!!!!!

          by elkfeva ·

          In reply to That is a downfall of everyone being a poweruser

          Yes, my Budget will not alow for any new software this year, but I am taking your advice and making one of my CAD power users a Guinea Pig, downgrading them to a user (machine account). I will watch them for a few weeks and see if they squeel, if not we are golden. I guess I cant upgrade to AD fast enough… I have three more tests to aquire MCSE 2000. Ya hooo!

        • #2732633

          Poledit

          by gigelul ·

          In reply to Ya…. How do you stop users from installing EVERYTHING

          For NT domain you can use it to create a domain policy. No mater what rights have the users, if you apply to that user the policy (allowed application) will works.

          Attention: by a mistake you can restrict all users, also the domain admin!

    • #2733176

      Top Needs…

      by brian kennemer ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      What I see as the number one priority of any IT Pro is to make sure that they continue to keep up their ACCESS to information and skills. I put the emphesis on ACCESS because I have come to realize that the IT environment in most organizations is becoming so complex that nobody can hope to have ALL the info and skills needed to keep up. Keeping up enough skills to have conversations with the experts and then keeping your Contact list full of experts is the key. Specialize in one or two areas that you know best and then keep close ties to experts in other areas. Use informal information sharing arrangements with these experts so that you have quick access to help without having to involve your purchasing agent for the small questions!

      It is all about your Contact list!

      Im seen by most as an expert in Microsoft Project Server. I know the product better than most but it is becoming, through it’s integration with other products, a complex product to work with. It has ties to SQL Server, Analysis Server, AD, et. In larger deployments there are DNS and other networking related topics to worry about as well as Extranet stuff. Put all this on top of the fact that you need to have a strong understanding of Project Management and the features of the tool itself and you have a job description that not many can fill.

      I keep up by making sure that the subjects mentioned above that I am weak on are strongly represented in my contact list. I trade favors with experts in these areas to make sure that I can always get any question my customers might have in pretty short order.

      Contacts!

      Brian Kennemer

      • #2733170

        Sought of like that old movie

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Top Needs…

        Where the “SYSTEM” was so complex that people only studied parts of it and then made improvements to those parts which inevitably led to the demise of the “SYSTEM” as the improvements that they made in one area had adverse affects in others but as it had become such a complex system it was impossible to properly administer.

        Is that right?

        Col

        • #2666949

          The Glass is Always Half Empty with you I bet…

          by brian kennemer ·

          In reply to Sought of like that old movie

          If you want to look at it in a purely negative way I guess you could miscontrue what I said into what you are saying but that is not what I said. What I said was that there are things relating to the product I work on that are not a core part of that system that I do not fully understand as an expert. I understand enough to get by but if it comes to really needing an expert on that subject then I need to rely on my contacts.

          If your heart needed surgery would you go for a specialist in hearts or would you go for someone that said they were a well skilled general surgeon?

          I generally do not NEED to be an expert on Active Directory but sometimes I need to get deeper into it I call one of my contacts that is an expert there. When they need something about Project Server they call me.

          This is a fact of life and is NOT something that should be taken as a negative thing about the “System”.

          Brian K

        • #2666918

          Actually Brian

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to The Glass is Always Half Empty with you I bet…

          I wasn’t trying to be negative at all only point out the obvious that software now is getting more and more complex and more often than not isn’t what it originally used to be as it now works with a lot of other things.

          Things are getting so complex that it is now impossible to keep up with all the software development and still know where things are at on the hardware side of things. As a consultant I’m supposed to know it all as I’m more often than not the line of last resort and it just is no longer possible to know even most of the commonly available software capabilities let alone know the more specialized things.

          I’m just a bit concerned that things will end up so complex that no one fully understands how one program actually works let alone how exactly it interacts with all the others that it is capable of doing. I can still remember times when we only had one program to do one thing and another to do something different but those days are far behind us now as even with the humble Office Suite things are fairly complex and these only have on average something like 10% of the capabilities used.

          For example Document tracking is a great idea in a business but it is a horrible idea if the product is sent outside of the business in electronic form as all the changes are available to be seen by the receiver. Well it’s great if you know you can take steps to stop any problems arising but most companies don’t know this and go on regardless and even when they do know they generally forget to turn off the tracking ability before sending it out the door as an attachment to an e-mail or something similar.

          While we are in 2004 most business are still thinking in 1984 terms as that how we have always done this so why change? It is an unfortunate thing but things are getting so complex that it is now impossible to know even the abilities of one program let alone all of everything available which is expected but the customer but in reality you do need to know something of each and every program that a company runs so you can “Fault Find” when things go wrong.

          Col

        • #2727488

          Not that kind of complex…

          by brian kennemer ·

          In reply to Actually Brian

          Cool. Glad to hear I misunderstood but Im thinking that you misunderstood my point. Im NOT saying that it is so complex that I dont know how it works. Im saying that it brings together systems Im not an expert on. I know enough about the systems at work within Project Server to understand them but I would NEVER try to say I could handle any problem within them all.

          I think the “IT PRO” should be conversant in the language and basic workings of all the systems in their ‘world’ but they need not be experts in all of them. I think they should be expert or near-expert in at least one of them but in the others they simply need to know enough to know when they dont know! Then they need a good contact list.

        • #2731817

          Just discovered the document tracking situation last week

          by flatpickin ·

          In reply to Actually Brian

          Makes me wonder what other simple ‘duh’ kinds of things I’ve missed. I now pdf documents sent out of the company.

    • #2733175

      Event Correlation

      by mike mullins ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      My security staff receives about 3.4 million lines of data daily from a plethora of sources (IDS, SYSLOGs, Firewall Logs, Anti-virus, Event Logs, etc…). What we need is an automated correlation between those events to determine a true state of the health and security of our enterprise. That is number 1.

      Number 2 is: A single source that can integrate all of the security notices, patches, etc… for all of our hardware, OS and software, to include the interdependencies of running certain software on certain OS platforms. With a goal of mitigation through better security practice, rather than loading some patch or fix that’s going to break some other server based process (ie. – I don’t need a bundled patch that includes http library updates if my server is serving web pages). Server software becomes bloatware and it takes too much time and resources to load or reload a server to a baseline that’s capable of being secure and doing the job it’s intended for.

      • #2727448

        Services

        by rdubrey ·

        In reply to Event Correlation

        What I would like is a detailed list of Services that are ran on Windows 2000 Professional and what programs they are supposed to be associated with. Simple enough right? I guess someone would have to compile such a list. Rob

    • #2733163

      Trust

      by jeff dray ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      First need: We need to be trusted to make decisions. If, for example, a keyboard is defective then let us condem it without having to justify it to the bean counters. A ?5 keyboard is a throwaway article yet managers and accountants will spend ?50 worth of time arguing about waste or ask us to spend ?15 woth of time trying to clean it before allowing a new one!!

      Need 2: Good communications. When I need to ask somebody for help or a decision I need it now, not when they feel like picking up their voicemail. I recently spent some hours on a customer’s site waiting for a call back from tech support at head office, with a two hour drive home at the end of it they weren’t just prolonging the customer’s downtime but wating my personal time as well. trust us to call for help only when we need it, but when we do let us have it in a timely way *pant pant – end of rant*

    • #2733161

      My number one need

      by Brien Posey ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      My number one need is constant training. With Microsoft releasing new operating systems and new server applications every couple of years and with security technology constantly changing it’s way too easy to get left behind. My number one need is a source of reliable information that trains me on the information that I need to know with the least possible time comitment.

    • #2733148

      1) Control w/ Authority 2) Constant Knowledge Upgrade

      by ddavis2 ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      My Needs as an IT Pro are:
      1) Being able to maintain control of the IT infrastructure, users systems, applications, and data. What I mean by this is being able to control who does what with IT hardware, preventing users from doing things they should not with the software, and knowing (really knowing) what is going on on the network and servers.
      To be able to do this, you must first have the authority. Even having the authority can be one of the greatest obstances. Once you have the authority, you must have the support of the upper management to use that authority. When I say support, I mean support for your decisions but also support for your financial needs. If you say “we must buy an applications to lock down all the user desktops”, the users will complain to the upper management. The management must be able to support your authority and also fund the purchase of the application.
      The also goes for the utilization of the LAN and WAN. If you say, “either we buy more bandwidth or we buy an applications to throttle bandwidth utilization of unnecessary applications”. You will need both types of support from upper management. Or, you might request more people.

      I believe that there is always a solution to problems that IT Pros face, the trouble is obtaining the time, money, and authority to do something about them. No organization will be perfect and give you unlimited time, money, and authority so I am talking about “reasonable” time, money, and authority.

      2) Constant knowledge upgrade- What I mean by this is how technology is constantly changing. In our jobs, we often feel that we must be a expert in every area. It is difficult to choose what you will strive to become an expert in as you cannot become an expert in all areas. Even when you choose an area to become an expert in, you will be on the “treadmill of knowledge upgrade”- forever trying to stay current in your area of expertise. This is difficult when trying to juggle the responsibilies of your daily job.

      If I had to add a few other more realistic needs that, perhaps, TechRepublic might be better able to help me with, they would be:
      – getting “information”. There is too much data and not enough information. Finding what is useful to you to solve the problem is always a challenge. This could be in solving a login issue, solving a network issue, a patch issue, or a printing issue. Really, no matter the issue, quicking finding the information in all the “data” is always a challenge and frustration.
      – Tools (many time, information), finding the right tools to do the job. I wish I had an “IT multitool”. Instead I have 100 web links, 200 CD’s in a drawer, a bunch of books, 300 PDFs on a harddrive, and a buch of email addresses of friends to call. I wish that the “toolbox” didn’t have to be so large?

    • #2733143

      My top need is dealing with this…

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Why Computers Sometimes Crash! by Dr. Seuss.
      (Read this to yourself aloud – it’s great!)
      If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port, and the bus is interrupted
      at a very last resort, and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk
      abort, then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

      If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash, and the double-clicking
      icon puts your window in the trash, and your data is corrupted cause the
      index doesn’t hash, then your situation’s hopeless and your system’s gonna
      crash!

      If the label on the cable on the table at your house, says the network is
      connected to the button on your mouse, but your packets want to tunnel to
      another protocol, that’s repeatedly rejected by the printer down the
      hall……

      And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss, so your icons
      in the window are as wavy as a souse; then you may as well reboot and go out
      with a bang, ‘cuz sure as I’m a poet, the sucker’s gonna hang.

      When the copy on your floppy’s getting sloppy in the disk, and the macro
      code instructions is causing unnecessary risk, then you’ll have to flash the
      memory and you’ll want to RAM your ROM, and then quickly turn off the
      computer and be sure to tell your Mom!

    • #2666975

      Well… since you asked

      by jkaras ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      1. a job
      2. great pay
      3. a hot secretary that loves to flirt for fun.
      4. reserved parking spot
      5. a private office with a decent view.(complete with wetbar of course)
      6. a decent budget to effectivly run the department.
      7. autonomy (power to handle other managers that abuse privledges and not hearing any “advice”)
      8. a state of the art computer paid by the company designed by yours truly to handle any remote administration during absences that can also game for fun. 🙂
      9. a budget that also allows me to take the help out to lunch once a month to improve moral and communication.
      10. and lastly a sign on the door that reads all unattended children will be sold into slavery for my beer, hehehe.

      ok, ok I know it asked for two but I was never good at following direction and I tend to go above and beyond at times.

    • #2666972

      My needs

      by Scott Lowe ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Issue that keep us from being able to quickly and effectively solve end user problems:
      * The need for better integration tools and information a la Novell’s iChain, etc. We spend a lot of time synchronizing and managing.

      Second issue:
      * Security expertise. Everything needs to be secure these days and with organizations not adding much staff, getting this experience can be difficult.

    • #2666954

      From most of the above…

      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      1) Trust/respect
      2) Equipment/training

    • #2666939

      Unanimous

      by dwdino ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      1) Trust/Respsect/Power, put it how you wish. IT is charged with identifying and resolving issues. We are to do this before said issues become known. We are to innovate, mandate, and not irratate. We are to give everyone what they want and are yet held responsible when they &*(* it up.

      So I want management that will allow me to DO MY JOB! They have hired me to do something and then feel the must micromanage or have some input on all decisions. While most decisions IT is “allowed” to make involve multiple parties, the fact that we don’t need the shipping managers input on the email upgrade is unbelievable.

      2) Management that doesn’t have to think of everything. I have grown very frustrated with the environment in which I work. For some reason, all revolutionary and massive change project must roll down hill. This is stifulled many bright young individuals; they cease to use their creativity and inginuity for fear of having their ideas dismissed, to later be told to emplement to the “boss’ new idea”.

      3) I AM NOT YOUR PERSONAL TECH!!!!!!

      I cannot believe how many times the management has brought in home/personal equipment and dropped it on my desk and said, “such and such isn’t working. Please fix it.” Luckily I am not the most senior tech and have not made a practice of doing such repairs. I can usually sluff it off on the more senior tech. Geez, I don’t go over to accounts receivable and say, “can you help me rework my budget to better allocate my funds?”.

    • #2666936

      My Need

      by steven s. warren ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I would like a resource for training. With the constant new releases every two years from Microsoft, I would like a place to get training quickly and easily.

      My second need is having more hours in the day to spend learning instead of putting out fires 🙂

    • #2666876

      my need is a little different

      by raghu ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Well ! I can manage with all of the above and am almost satisfied
      with the performance of my team.

      As a Director Technology of my company, and my company as a
      digital media company, I have terrifing time explaining share
      value to my shareholders. Even though we a pvt ltd company, we
      have 6 investors, and a huge difference in risk taking ability.

    • #2666801

      Power and a computer

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I thought long and hard about this one, and I simply could not do my job without power and a computer computer.

      No matter what tools and experience i have, no matter how many customers BEG for me to help them, no matter what operating system they use, network software they use and any related hardwaer that may be onsite. I MUST have power and a computer in order to be an effective Network Administrator.

      • #2727495

        My turn now

        by voldar ·

        In reply to Power and a computer

        A question like this one, desirves a very short answer. The two most important things I expect an IT pro should have are:
        – eagerness to learn – someone who always is looking for answers, who is oppen minded
        – intuition – discover the cause of a problem in a glimp. It is based on experience, but it is a crucial thing if you want to be a “pro”.

        That’s it!

        • #2727494

          OUCH!

          by voldar ·

          In reply to My turn now

          I posted linked to you, but well, it was not meant to do that. Sorry Oz 🙂

        • #2727419

          Awwwww

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to OUCH!

          and there I was feeling special (while wondering how your comment was a response to my own)?!?!?

          Good to hear from you again Vlad.

    • #2666775

      Easily accessible answers

      by boyce_jim ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      As an IT professional and a writer, I’m constantly looking for quick answers to specific problems. Invariably, a search at microsoft.com will not turn up an answer, but a google search will turn up several Microsoft documents. I guess this means their Indexing Service is rather lame.

      Broad background content along with lots of very problem-specific solutions, all readily searchable, would solve most of my problems.

    • #2666762

      What IT really needs…

      by b4real-usa ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I think IT groups, individuals, publications, … need standards. Not so much a lack of decision-making ability – but a lack of decisions.

      The standards are there, but what do we really use of them, and how close do we bring IT topics to the standards. Take a bad example – shutting down Windows. If you want to shut down Windows someone told me that there are over 50 different ways to accomplish that task. But lets say you want to share something for everyone electronically – things like HTML, .PDF, graphics, email messages, all those different ways of getting the same thing across – but they are all good technologies however.

      Take a more specific example. If I have two enterprise class systems talking to each other with mission-critical information I again have many options such as: FTP, EDI, XML, Socket Applications, proprietary solutions (MQ series..), etc… Would be nice to settle on one for all needs – then that one interface could grow stronger instead of wider by multiple interface support…

      Why can’t IT just be closer to adopted standards…

      • #2732417

        I absolutely agree!!!

        by reneebarnette ·

        In reply to What IT really needs…

        I need more layperson-understandable statistics that will help show why using standards can help an organization succeed.

        The mentality I constantly am hit up with is “well they’re doing it…Why won’t you?” Well, I won’t because I know we don’t have an unlimited budget… I see no justification for doing some things that will obviously fail since we don’t have the manpower to support them… I don’t have unlimited time… I won’t because I KNOW that the standards I stick with make it easier for myself, my users, and will help others pick up where I left off if I am no longer there for some reason… I know they save precious $ since they usually help projects take less time to implement and maintain…

        Articles/statistics on how setting and following standards throughout an organization helped them succeed would really be helpfull in pleading the case for standards.

    • #2666739

      sound mind,body and soul

      by zarina ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I think what every IT personnel need is a very sound mind, how to stay calm under any circumstances – sort of 100% CPU resource, memory reset up there on the head. We need it most when we have to handle all the different users out there, not to mention the idiosyncrasies of software,unreliable hardware, nerve wrecking patches and viruses.
      We should consider training IT personnel on this personal nature and not just technical subject.

      • #2732584

        You can’t train people to be cool under pressure

        by techlizard ·

        In reply to sound mind,body and soul

        That is something that comes naturally or from years of experience. I do agree with you though that it is incredibly important.

    • #2666738

      sound mind,body and soul

      by zarina ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I think what every IT personnel need is a very sound mind, how to stay calm under any circumstances – sort of 100% CPU resource, memory reset up there on the head. We need it most when we have to handle all the different users out there, not to mention the idiosyncrasies of software,unreliable hardware, nerve wrecking patches and viruses.
      We should consider training IT personnel on this personal nature and not just technical subject.

    • #2666717

      Thoughts….

      by sc0rp10n ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      “What keeps you from being able to quickly and effectively solve your end-users problems?”

      Lack of respect. Lack of communication. It’s that simple and that difficult.

      Clearly, IT is a profession– but unlike doctors, lawyers, or accountants, what makes an IT pro varies. “Everybody knows” that to earn the title of M.D. requires years of advanced schooling and rigourous hands-on training. The same with attorneys; a BA, a law degree, and a very tough Bar exam…. and so on for CPAs, RNs, MBAs and the like.

      There is no standard path for an IT pro. There are office managers who began “handling” computer issues and willingly or not grew into it, paralegals who became DBAs out of similar necessity, people with a BS or AS in Computer Science, “paper MCSEs” who landed a job during the bubble and survived the bomb, high school dropouts who turned a devoted hobby into a living– you name it. As a result there is no automatic cachet associated with the term “IT pro” as there is with “doctor” or “lawyer”.

      So how does an IT pro get respect? The old-fashioned way: Earn it. And oddly enough, the best way to earn respect is to give it.

      That doesn’t always happen. IT pros can be every bit as arrogant toward non-IT pros as doctors and lawyers can be toward those outside their professions. For the above-stated reasons, that doesn’t work out as well for them….
      ….the point is that many IT pros couldn’t do the jobs of many of the users they support– the key word here is support– but just because those users couldn’t format and partition a HDD, or get into Control Panel and adjust their video resolution, they get derided as “L/users” or worse. Never mind that the guy who can’t find the “Any” key is in the middle of writing up an insurance litigation brief or creating a marketing campaign worth thousands of dollars to the company; he’s “just another dumb user”.

      Might want to rethink that. You get the respect you give.

      In the same line, IT pros speak a different language– much as do other professionals. Unlike other professionals, very little to no training in relating to clients is part of the IT curriculum, such as it is. Consider it possible that users will not understand why downloading Hotbar is BAD, and CFOs won’t see the need for an extra server for load-balancing…. unless that is explained to them in terms they can comprehend. “Just don’t do it!” or “I need that!” isn’t enough. That’s for Nick Burns The Computer Guy; in real life it doesn’t play.

      “Relating to users”…. “Explaining the IT budget to Beancounters”…. “The language MBAs understand”…. “Intelligent downloading for beginners”…. might be interesting topics.

      “How do you protect and secure your organization’s IT resources?” “What issues are the biggest time-wasters in your organization?”

      Anyone who has any responsibility concerning network/data security is aware of the exponential growth of malwares over the last several months. Standard A-V solutions do nothing against the increasing array of different spywares and trojans making new appearances. At present it’s necessary to check several Websites daily for new threats, new vulnerabilities and patches against them, and to use several different utilities to rid a system of these intruders. Ad-aware misses some things, The Cleaner by Moosoft misses others, even Spybot-S&D isn’t perfect.

      It would be very nice to have ONE Web page to consult that collates all the up-to-date malware news, and has links to all the tried-and-true utilities (and their upgrades)(and the not-so-tried that need testing) that expunge these digital parasites. Also good would be notifications of new patches and hotfixes for various OSes on that same page…. basically, a one-stop checklist to hit daily, instead of having to surf 6-7 different ones around the Web. Stockbrokers have that; why not IT….?

      Someone mentioned (and everybody knows!) how tough it is to find the right KB article when you need it, and that Google beats going to “The Source”– LabMice is designed as a quicker way to the info you need. Why not do the same for malware research…?

      Organise it by threat level, too. A simple data miner isn’t nearly as much potential trouble– especially to an Admin who works remotely from home– as a keylogger Trojan can be…. give those the headlines.

    • #2666647

      IT Professional Needs

      by lostandfound3 ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Burdensome bureaucracy, lack of funding for training and informational resources, and reactive problem solving are the road blocks to providing the necessary end user support.

      Time wasters are: mindless busy work that does not related to tasks assigned, ever expanding idiotic company and government required training, political infighting, and lack of mission and goals.

      Our group has difficult keeping up with latest standards because no effort and support is being made by management for continually improving our hardware, software, and techniques. Ironically, we are an ISO 9000 certified company–barely.

      We do have a security policy in place to manage and secure IT resources. This is also mandated by our customer: U.S. government.

      Right now, I am not developing my career. This a frustration that I am not alone with. The impression I have is that my company says one thing and does something completely different with respect to this topic. My management keeps me overloaded with so many tasks that there is little or no time for career development. To add insult to injury, this year they cut our training budget because of an administrative FUBAR. So, I am currently riding out the time I am here. Once I have 5 years in and am totally vested the pension, I may look for another job that provides a better opportunity to develope my career and is better aligned with my goals.

      The most pressing need is resources for training and career development.

      Day-to-day needs would be the need for referencing resources.

      TechRepublic has been outstanding with the resource that they have, even with a basic membership. To be honest, there is so much that TechRepublic offers right now that I sense I am only scratch the surface of what is currently available.

    • #2727613

      Support

      by thomas.allen@samhouston ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      The number one need for an IT professional? Support. The kind of support needed when it’s time to implement strategic and tactical policies or directions. If you do not have the support of the upper chain of command, you do not have a plan. To get support, you need excellent communications skills and to be able to keep all informed. Not just informed of the good things, but the risks also. Without the support from the top, you’re falling behind.

    • #2727486

      I.T. Needs

      by amadeus hack ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      “What keeps you from being able to quickly and effectively solve your end-users problems?”

      Upper Management…..

      “What issues are the biggest time-wasters in your organization?”

      Ideas from Upper Management that we have to research……

      “Do you have trouble keeping up with the latest technology trends and current IT practices?”

      Yes because Upper Mangement wastes so much of our time it is hard to keep up……

      “How do you protect and secure you organization’s IT resources?”

      By locking down Upper Management and other self-proclaimed “Computer Experts” tighter than a drum…..

      “How do you want to develop your career?”

      By becoming an Upper Management person who actually has a clue about an organization’s needs.

      Let’s put it this way…… A self-proclaimed “Computer Expert” from another department can walk into our CIO or I.T. VP’s office and say “There is a spinning thing inside of the firewall and it it spinning clockwise instead of counter clockwise”. So for the next week I have to a.) Prove that there is no spinning thing inside of the firewall and b.)If there was it would be spinning counter clockwise instead of clockwise.

      I have come to some conclusions after working in the I.T. industry for 11 years. Things would run soooo much smoother if Upper Management a.) Stayed in their offices b.)Had their email, cell phones, PDA’s and desk phones confiscated and c.) Got a clue about the I.T. needs of an organization instead of worrying about who has a better laptop, cell phone or PDA than they do (AKA Penis Envy) (They all have management meeting where everyone whips out their gadgets (penises) and says to each other “Ohhhh look what I have and you don’t……..”

    • #2727449

      Clarity and empowerment

      by wrlang ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Clear mission, goals, objectives, roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and career path.

      The efficiencies gained by being able to make the decisions you were hired to make with a clear process to keep management informed and a committment from management to keep themselves educated.

      • #2733845

        Needing, or needless, so to speak?

        by jdrusso ·

        In reply to Clarity and empowerment

        I would just state what my ‘needs’ are as an IT pro, but isn’t it the insanity of it all that makes this career so much fun? I mean, how interesting would things be if I could just follow a project plan and expect everything to be in order so I could smoothly just write the code and be done with it all? No, we need kinks in our day, like the 6,000 changes to the user-requirements that were decided in the RFP months ago, and the last-minute mega-fix that requires us to delete 3 months of code and redo it, and those deadlines that force one to half-ass their work so all the users think all of us software developers really suck and should go back to school for about 20 more years. Let’s not mention the bosses who are wondering what HTML is and don’t understand why we need so much training; after all, didn’t we all go to school for about ten years already to learn this stuff (and why are we always asking for more money?). Plus, I can never get enough of the ‘self-learned’ experts who know just enough SQL to be useless by telling me such things as to change the dollar amounts in the data because their queries aren’t comming out right. Maybe they need to go to law school to understand a concept called a ‘lawsuit’.

        So really, I can’t think of anything that I ‘need’ per-say, but there are alot of things I could do without.

    • #2727398

      management having poor knowledge

      by ahsan ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Hi Bill

      just want to bring my rage out . well the only thing keeps me quick serving my clients (internal)
      is the passion for getting in to technology. the bigges issues in the organization where
      i work is the unnecessary meetings on unwanted stupid actions to be aligned along IT
      infrastructure. This also cause big time problems for us developers to keep in touch with
      current IT techonologies and practices. As like any developer every body like to develop there
      career but because of the management take wrong decisions to invest in wrong sectors and not
      relying on the company’s own resources.

      THis problem arises when management is not properly aligned to IT infrastructure
      i.e. management lack of understanding, poor IT knowledge and bla bla bla.

      anyways i feel relaxed now 🙂 need to get some time out.

      keep up the good work.

      adiosss

      • #2727272

        inter -personal skills training

        by georgeweliver ·

        In reply to management having poor knowledge

        By far the most important skills are our ability to interface with a wide range of people. Working to support clients and users with a wide range of operating systems( Dos 6.22 to Windows Server 2003) is difficult but having the skills to successfuly interact with these wide range of experiences and personalities takes every skill and more than I own. Most of the people need help because of software, hardware, or lack of computer (technology) problem solving skills. Making these people aware of our efforts to resolve their problems and the time and resources needed doesn’t always solve the problem or satisfy their needs. In life we don’t always endup where we wanted to go and the path isn’t always easy or simple yet many users and clients want a short and simple answer. Giving us the right and expedenant answer 🙂 would improve IT’s image and mine. This interaction could propel all of us into a better position for advancement and satisfaction within our working society. The second need is for a clearer and more direct knowledable overview of computer technology both old and emerging. It seems whenever I need to do something I have never done before I want to be able to see a clear overview of the problem and a step by step of the best way to proceed. Most of the manuals and training I have received seems to be rather obtuse or muddy as to the path to follow. What is describe as a simple problem atkes sucha complex think through that may people finally just try the shotgun or multi fsact spproach instead of a direct or most efficient path to the resolution.

    • #2733916

      the thorns in my paw…

      by dutch ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I need honesty.
      I spend more time with the client/end-user trying to get out of them what happened to the machine than i do fixing the machine. if they would be honest with me and tell me that they installed the cute sheep program, then i would KNOW what appened. (I am currently campaigning to inact a corporate-wide security policy that would stop all software installation, except by the IT staff to combat this problem.)
      If management would be honest with me, then i can actually come up with ideas that fit inside their budget and do what they REALLY want it to do. Instead, I am forced to submit proposal after proposal with very little information to work off of.(“You know what we need, just fix it.” or the ever popular “Your the computer guru. Why don’t you know? Why are you asking me?”) But as we all know, this is not what they want. I have come to believe that they all don’t know what they want, other than something different.

      This leads me to the black hole of my time…answering questions from people that don’t really want answers. Regardless of the number of times that you may try to explain what we do to either management or an end-user, we can never get them to truly understand. We live in a world that is black-box technology for most people. They run their cars the same way. They want to know where to put the gas, the key, how to start and stop the car. Then they don’t want to know anymore and rufuse to listen when someone tries to explain it to them. (Sorry, venting a little.) The few people that have taken the time to get at least a working concept on how the network works and goes together(coctail napkin type drawings)have come up with some of the most intelligent request that we have ever seen. Also they become champions when it is time to upgrade, because they feel like they are “on the inside”. It also means that there are more than just the IT guys asking for the same thing. Management listens more when most voices at the table are all asking for the same thing.

    • #2731825

      magkai@hotmail.com

      by magkai ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I am not sure if I really understand the qustions you have asked!

      My 2 suggestions of the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals are:
      1) Business understanding!
      2) Technical understanding!

      Best regards,

      Magnus Kaiser
      magkai@hotmail.com

    • #2731824

      The more things change – the more they stay the same

      by wbsuth ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I have been reading the various notes about what people think are the top 1 or 2 things that an IT professional needs. It occurs to me that these are the exact same things that we asked for 22 years ago when I started coding COBOL and Assembler on punched cards. Although in the “dark ages”, the chasm between IT and management was even wider. In fact it was IT that was labeled as arrogant since we would “tell” the users what they needed – after all we were the IT department.

      I think that there will ALWAYS be issues between technical people and non-technical people. There will always be management pushing unrealistic timelines. There will always be people whose need is the MOST IMPORTANT need on the planet.

      Perhaps the solution is that we need more tekies in management. As a Director of Software Engineering, I get to sit at the CEO’s table & I like to think that I have made some inroads into bridging the gap between IT and management in my organization.

      The tension between IT and management is a good thing. It provides the checks and balances on both sides of the fence as well as provides some modest entertainment value if you have a warped enough sense of humor….. “You want what? When???” or my favorite, “What were you smoking when you agreed to provide THIS to the customer???”

      Cheers,
      Bill Sutherland

      • #2731803

        Agreed…

        by awkgeek ·

        In reply to The more things change – the more they stay the same

        “More tekies in management…bridging the gap between IT and management”

        Couldn’t agree with you more, Bill. I’ve been an IT Professional most of my career, the last 13 years as a UNIX Systems Administrator, with 5 different companies, all Fortune 100.

        Being an IT Professional has been extremely good to me and I have no real rants to post, having learned to cope with most of the rants posted here.

        The number one need for me is timely information flow down from the corporate level. I want to know what it is that I can do this year to help the company I work for meet their annual financial goals and help position them strategically for the future. I want to be able to understand corporate goals and be able to translate them into personal goals (there’s that bridging of the gap again).

        Companies are always trying to find ways to cut costs, do more with less, etc., and over the years I’ve seen shifts in technologies result in entire departments being done away with. And now, with the globalization of companies, outsourcing IT is a topic that seems to be on every companies lips. If we, as techies, can understand and clearly see the vision from the corporate level, and increasingly add value as a contributor toward that vision, then outsourcing wouldn’t be an issue.

        • #2731786

          Teckies in Management…. OH My…

          by wbsuth ·

          In reply to Agreed…

          Although teckies in upper management…. kinda scary thought on many levels. (just kidding)

          Bill

    • #2731815

      IT PRO’s number one need?

      by jerrypoon ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      as with any profession… even more money would be great 😉

    • #2731792

      Training & Remote Support

      by matrixcsl ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      For us, decent training materials, easy to follow, no nonsense, no “jargon”, can be followed by end-users (often with basic knowledge) would be a joy. Interactive training software would be great.

      Secondly, remote access solutions, cost-effective and not relient on a LAN/WAN.

      • #2732674

        How about ….

        by praetorpal ·

        In reply to Training & Remote Support

        a distro that has that built into itself, not just the documentation, but in the actual o/s, with plain task oriented choices in simple language,jargon-free, providing automated intelligent installation?

    • #2731791

      Do it Fast, Cheap, & High Quality — oh and offshore

      by tellangon ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      The biggest problem I face has historically been the traditional “I want it fast, cheap, and with high quality”. This has become more complicated with the latest demand — “Do it offshore”. While the sales pitch the client has been exposed to shows “talented, high-tech resources at a fraction of the cost”, it reminds me of the joke about a guy visiting heaven and hell, choosing hell because it looks more fun than heaven, and discovering it to be a tormenting horror — because what he saw was the demo.

      So now, in addition to trying to do things fast, cheap, and high-quality, we get to try and do it in Hell where we have language and cultural barriers, deal with people who do not have to even follow US laws, and explain to the client why they are paying for rooms of offshore “bodies” to argue for days on end over a simple technology change.

      In the end, the client has paid as much for the product, it has taken longer, and it does not meet spec because the offshore “bodies” do not have any knowledge of US business accumen. Further, their “credentials” that show they have an MBA from an exoticly named institution are not actually a “Masters of Business Administration”, but a certificate from an exotically named mail order house. Again, the demo from Hell has worked its magic.

      Before we lose the knowledge base in the US technology firms to the greedy whims of CEOs who get tax breaks for destroying it, perhaps it’s time for a change. Maybe starting in November?

      Ross Emerton
      Tellangon Associates, Ltd.

      • #2731780

        Top 2 needs of IT are Employers and Jobs

        by johnzakucia ·

        In reply to Do it Fast, Cheap, & High Quality — oh and offshore

        Agreed…change has to started at the top. Our current government has laid waste to our economic infrustructure by making all these changes all at once instead of spoon feeding the economic changes required. We also have someone now in power with a cowboy style that has (no doubt with good intentions) made this country look ignorant, insulted the majority of the world, and is politically divisive by using God in government.

        • #2732808

          You must not have the skills

          by elkfeva ·

          In reply to Top 2 needs of IT are Employers and Jobs

          Its funny how libs always blame someone else for there mistakes. If you look at the numbers the economy is doing pretty good. (ITS A FACT). Thank GOD that we dont have a president (CLINTON) that turns his back on corporate fraud. I suggest that you get off your but and move somewhere there is work. You cant always live in as Beautiful place as the Northwest and find work. Jeez, why cant people remember how this country was born, and why it has lasted as long as it has!
          wok

        • #2732472

          You better wake up

          by it lifer ·

          In reply to You must not have the skills

          I agree that the guy to whom you responded was on his own planet in many ways, but you’re wrong about finding IT jobs. You may soon face an incredible awakening. I have 2 valid IT degrees and 25 yrs experience that include Proj Mgt, Business Analyst, QA Auditor, and many other things – all built upon earlier yrs of software development and systems design. My career was on a successful track with several accomplishments that included recognition by the Governor and Secretary of State – yet, after a company closure 1.5 yrs ago, I’ve not found my way back in even with daily (5 to 7 hrs avg) seeking work in my town (Cincinnati). Circumstances prohibit a move, and it’s not much better elsewhere. Job announcements often bring 100’s of applications… sometimes well over 1,000. Current conservative projections indicate that the next 2 yrs will have more offshore outsourcing than the past 4 yrs combined, by magnitudes.

          You might consider brushing up on your Hindi or Punjabi, because indicators are your job is next.

        • #2732773

          Couldn’t agree more!

          by jennifer.gardner ·

          In reply to Top 2 needs of IT are Employers and Jobs

          Very well said.

    • #2731784

      I’ve seen so much of this before.

      by vincelyons ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      As a former NIASE Master Automotive Tech I must admit that I have at times, and have met many others who would love to seal every nook and cranny of an automobile with tamper proof tape and padlocks. Lessening if not preventing the self inflicted wounds. The real answer however is not to lock out the end user but to be sure that they realize the importance of checking and changing the oil. The end user must understand that the tire pressure must be checked. The end user must realize that the dash gauge pointing to ‘E’ might have something to do with the engine having stopped.

      Now relating this to IT I see many of the issues posted here could be lessened if not resolved by finding and empowering your power users.

      What do I need?
      1) Reliable power supplies that are better than the ones being replaced.
      2) A phaser.

      • #2731770

        User groups

        by jbusch1 ·

        In reply to I’ve seen so much of this before.

        Yes, now we are heading in the right direction. User education helps create the right environment, it also leads to a greater wealth of resources when tackling problems. Now how to we harness all that wisdom and make it available to more people?

    • #2731782

      What IT pros (and others) REALLY need

      by toms45 ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      IT pros typically learn to deal with hardware and software, production, design, etc. very well. What we really lack is an understanding of the interpersonal skills neccessary to promote a product or service, get agreement to our proposals, obtain a raise or more responsibilities, etc.
      If you haven’t read Dale Carnegie’s books, Zig Ziglar’s books, or slept through your psych classes, then by all means read them. The most technically competent often taste failure and the negative emotions that result because we don’t understand how to get others to see things from our viewpoint.
      I know some on this forum will jump all over me about this, but, those are the very ones who need to learn these techniques and practice them daily.
      My best wishes for the success of each reader or respondent.

      Tom

      • #2731774

        I agree with you

        by jbusch1 ·

        In reply to What IT pros (and others) REALLY need

        Nothing is more difficult than trying to make youn IT guys realize that ther is more to IT than certifications. Each job requires different job skills. And don’t get me going on trying get a tech guy to write a self evaluation for promotion and raises, much less enter information into a system that documents their techniques for resolving a problem.

    • #2731778

      Knowledge and Encouragement

      by jbusch1 ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      The comment from Brian (?) about his contacts is along the right track. I agree with his logic and often mentor young IT staff to focus on areas they like but build up a cadre of experts who can cover your unknown challenges. Our staff respond to a wide range of everyday software programs and it would be great to have one place to post problems and find solutions.

      I love the Microsoft MVPs who give so much of their time. And I respect all those IT gurus who host websites with tidbits and suggestions for things like NVIVO, SAS, SPSS, and the like. And thanks to Microsoft for their varied and sundried user support forums. And thanks for Google. All these are valuable resources.

      Its easy to search these sites to find answers. However, it is not easy to post problems. Post to the wrong forum and you’ll never get a good answer, may even get barraged my folks who are incensed at your faux pas. This can be demoralizing to new folks who are just learning.

      What IT needs is a site that organizes all the information, sort of like the Oxford English Dictionary. A place where history of knowledge can allow you to get a quick simple answer, or one that provides all the history. A place where knokwledge is imparted with caveats and suggestions. A forum where folks are encouraged to provide unique solutions, and off the wall ideas that work. I believe it was Mark Twain who said “it is a sorry mind that knows only one way to spell a word.”

      I have spent many years supporting all kinds of users and at varying levels of skills. The one thing I have learned is that you, the IT person, can make their lives better but you have to listen. I have users who do the craziest things, but I see why they do it and then I try to encourage “best practice” medicine, but I learned a long time ago that simple tweaking leads to better results. If their way works and they are happy let them go. Too much control, like limiting software installations, leads to an “us versus them” environment.

      Encouragement and knowledge are the two things IT needs to flourish. Cull the fast spectrum of knowledge bases and provide feedback that helps and encourages active participation from all participants. That is the environment that will lead to the best solutions.

    • #2732796

      Top Need…Employment. Second…Fair Wage

      by maverick computers ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I don’t know about the rest of you but in my area they want someone who has all kinds of experience and certifications but are only willing to pay minimum wage.
      How can you get experience without being employed? Catch 22.

      • #2732777

        Employment would be nice.

        by vincelyons ·

        In reply to Top Need…Employment. Second…Fair Wage

        Personally I’m wondering how much longer I should continue to persue a career as an A+ Technician. Sure, I have the certification, now all I need is an offer of gainful employment for more than Micky D’s pays their asst. managers. 🙂

        • #2732755

          employment, where to go

          by jbusch1 ·

          In reply to Employment would be nice.

          Look for companies that have large IT staff. Research the large companies in your community and target ones with large IT departments, turnover is inevitable, they will always need staff.
          Contact the Help Desk manager or IT director and look for opportunities to meet and greet. Find out what positions might be opening and what skill levels are needed. Be personable and if they see talent they will remember you.

          Network, network, network. I landed one job from a classmate in a night school Englis class. I had to present a paper I wrote and in the introduction I handed out my resume and a quick reason for why I was worth looking at, and boom I landed a job at a large organization, which normally received 100s of resume for job postings in the paper.

          Join local IT associations, where meeting people is key. Get your face in front of these folks and show a desire to be a service-oriented individual. Most help desks managers like certifications but personality is key, and that won’t show on many resumes. So you can submit resumes and wait by the phone, but I highly recommend networking and getting in the door through alternate channels.

          Once in the door, you make the job what you want. You must believe that you will control your destiny and do not let yourself be under sold.

    • #2732778

      Computers

      by mowens ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Computers that actually work are the most important. And the second would be competent people that know how to use them.

    • #2732776

      THE TOP NEEDS OF IT PROFESSIONALS

      by horace ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      IT professionals need to have management allow them to set a date for completion of a project based on a careful study of the scope, time and cost, and not on management’s wish list of when they would like a project to be completed (yesterday).

    • #2732775

      THE TOP NEEDS OF IT PROFESSIONALS

      by horace ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      IT professionals need to have management allow them to set a date for completion of a project based on a careful study of the scope, time and cost, and not on management’s wish list of when they would like a project to be completed (yesterday).

    • #2732774

      Communication

      by w2ktechman ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      As a deskside support person, we are the last (or at least find out as everyone else)to find out about moves, new network software rollouts, domain changes, server changes, etc. This is usually a problem as our dept. is often enough not prepared for a slew of calls for these issues. Especially forced network installs and server changes.
      Often when a server gets upgraded, there is an email sent out to the end users known to use the server. But nobody else gets this info. The problem comes when many of the end users forget about the email, and/or dont read it because they do not understand it. So, when their access goes then there is a problem. But it can take a long time trying to track where the server went, or if it was just temporarily downed.
      Then there’s always the end users themselves which say that nothing was done when they just installed a program or device and rebooted.

      In my opinion, technical support should be on the high end list for receiving upgrade news, departmental moves, server changes, forced installs or updates by the server teams, etc. Many many things can go wrong with computers, and leaving the support teams in the dark seems to be a bad idea for quick responses.

    • #2732767

      Quite simple

      by mkalinovich ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      1: Having people understand the technology and application(s) prior to complaining that it doesn’t work properly.

      2. Patience. or a good 18yr old scotch… both in dealing with endusers, as well as IT “pro’s”.

      • #2732754

        Good scotch

        by jbusch1 ·

        In reply to Quite simple

        I don’t know that users will ever fully understand the technology, but that’s okay because that means I will probably have a good job for a long time.

        Thus I can enjoy the 25 year old Mac! The cadillaac of single malts that makes even the worst user-day a nice day!

    • #2732760

      Thin Client/Thin OS?

      by bobhog ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Remember when some companies (and some still do this) ripped out the floppy drive and CD ROM and locked the case? They didn’t want end-users enjoying themselves on company time… and probably to a greater extent, they didn’t want that enjoyment to bring their network to a screeching hault.

      Years later now, OSes are much more power-packed, customizable, and all-in-all better to look at. They have become more stable and safe (some will debate both but they probably did not see the Win3 years) but at the same time easier for the user to figure out how to wreck… pretty much by not knowing what the heck they are doing in pursuit of the perfect install of KaZaa.

      My problems are much like those already posted here: user calls with problem but user can’t remember what happened prior to problem only that user was minding user’s own business when suddenly, out ot the blue and because of nothing the user did, the virus scanner caught something the user can vaugly remember… something about BackOrifice… something, totally unrelated to the user innocently checking out a song called “something with an ex or pif or something at the end of the name” when KaZaa appeared on its own… You get my point. What would really help is an OS that locks down like nobody’s business.

      Now before anyone jumps on this, let me add that, yes, I know you could lock down the OS yourself, that XP has a lot of really great functions for doing just this, etc. Now let me say this: I don’t want something that I have to spend 20 hours to configure before I deploy it. This is not the era of one IT guy per capita anymore. I personally get enough in one day to keep me busy in my grave. I want the OS out of the box… whamo… no more MSN IM, no more Yahoo! Toolbar, no more KaZaa, no more “I didn’t open the attachment… er, maybe I did” virus attack. I can deal with the phone calls like, “I tried to install this program that I really, really need but BearShare say’s that there’s an “access violation”.

      That’s my #1 need.

    • #2732757

      Managers able to Organize and Think Strategically

      by bruce_swartz ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      As a regional IT security manager for small federal agency, our biggest need is for a central management office
      -capable of understanding the technology,
      – having the ability to develop an infrastructure to provide common policy and procedures to IT operations,and
      – the ability to think strategically about using old and new technology effectively and efficiently to support the organizations missions.

      Of course it is also necessary for them to have the ability to communicate clearly and with some conviction to senior management IT issues.

      We have or can have all the tools and toys necessary to have one of the best IT operations around. The problem is that without, at least minimal standards for using and manageing those tools, they become, at a minimum, useless and a waste of taxpayer funds, at worst a genuine vulnerabilty to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the IT services.

      A well defined operational infrastructure is crucial to widely dispersed and highly interconnected IT systems. CIO’s/Sr IT Managers must be able to understand such complex structures and use that to organize the skills and talents of IT staff to create a competent IT operation. They don’t need to know the make up of an IP packet but they do need to know when the network administrator doesn’t understand packets and routing.

      These same managers need to be able to look down the road and adjust those operations to new technology and business activities. Little imagination is very useful.

      If this kind of leadership is not present, operations become fragmented, often don’t support business activites very well, and can cause morale and competency problems with the IT staff as they become more confused and frustrated.

      These managers also need the confidence and backbone to disagree or correct more senior management when orders are given that either won’t be effective or may compromise operations. They can’t do this without the credibility a competent IT operations staff provides nor the ability to provide alternatives or rational explanations as to why the directed should be used.

      Incompetent or at least incapable leadership maybe able to fool the boardroom but will never fool their IT staffs. It will eventually create a level of mediocrity that will be very difficult to reverse. The consequences will problems like system failures, compromises, high employee turnover.

      Bruce Swartz

    • #2732735

      Training, training, training

      by lcave ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I have been in IT for 22 years. I have seen many changes in those years, most of them good! However, since the “Certification Craze” my superiors are reluctant to pay for training. They feel, with good reason, that it is insane to pay for training when most if the training will be geared to acquiring certs…which oftentimes have very little to do with getting the job done. The other fear is that the employee will pass the exam and move on to greener pastures. Which leaves the rest of us to learn new technologies by the “seat of our pants”, hire expensive consultants or total guesswork (check out some newsgroups — 12 different answers to the same questions).

      I have to move mountains every day. I do love it, but in order to do my level best, I can’t (none of us can) afford a trial and error approach to technology.

    • #2732715

      time wasted

      by bodgitnscarper ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      easily avoided errors, multiple reboots when uninstalling /reinstalling s/w, finding solutions / patches for bugs in software, divesity of network logins and profiles (works for you but not for them). I’m sure many more people can think of many more time consuming pc support obstacles

    • #2732711

      Give me a slash!

      by mgordon ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      That’s right; my daily grind would go faster if every person (or even just a few) that called the helpdesk knew how to type a slash /, a backslash \, a colon :, a semicolon ; and so on. I had one caller complain that his “commas were up in the air” — that’s an apostrophe, says I. Instead, what I get is “dot-dot” for colon, “dot-comma” for semicolon, and it seems almost everyone gets the slashes backwards, messing up switches (/) from path separator (\) in Windows.

      That’s not the utter most important thing of course but the good ones are taken already!

      I tend to “ditto” the people that say IT exists solely to serve others. Did anyone say that? Not in so few words I think. It is inherently a conflict of interest; IT *should* be working hard to downsize itself while maintaining or improving business processes. Even in the case of a consultant, doing more with less is a good motto.

      What keeps you from being able to quickly and effectively solve your end-users problems? Not much. I’m highly diverse in a small-middle size company and the problem is sometimes not a technical problem at all.

      What issues are the biggest time-wasters in your organization? Instant messaging and surfing are undeniably counterproductive. We use Windows XP nearly everywhere, Windows 2000 in some places, nearly all installations are “restricted user” and it has been a huge blessing. Some software just will not run as a restricted user, so nearly all spyware, worms and viruses are introduced by those computers forced to run legacy software.

      Do you have trouble keeping up with the latest technology trends and current IT practices? Of course. But that’s where TechRepublic comes in.

      Until recently, I would say the biggest problem for IT in the medium and small company was “compliance” — legal software, compliance with various government laws and mandates. Every college graduate, tech school graduate, or anyone with several years meaningful experience has loads of skills and talent — but can really “fall on his sword” when it comes to compliance.

      I’d say that’s the main difference between the 20-something and the 40-something IT professional — awareness of what IT is *for* combined with awareness of compliance issues and, possibly, business processes for the older guy, and a willingness to work 60 hours or more per week for the younger guy since he thinks “IT is it.”

    • #2732686

      What keeps you from being able to quickly and effectively solve your end-us

      by tamstrand ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Resources. I have a budget of a Motel 8, however my clients expect the Westin. Without headcount my staff isn’t able to appropriately document proceedures. They are running from fire to fire. My staff WANTS to give our clients great service, but somethings have to give… we just can’t do it all.

    • #2732665

      Top needs of IT professionals

      by gls ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Short version: if we are enabled to do what we are ostensibly hired for – solve problems; prevent them proactivilely and plan for the future then we require the resources training and asutonomy to do so.

      What we get: a CIO, COO, CFO CTO, CEO, PM or other useless VP has some non emergency that requires us to drop everything to fix NOW becuase their personal laptop their buddy setup doesnt talk to their wrist watch anymore. Or a non planned project gets dumped on IT by the PMO and we are told to advise what time after lunch today it will be ready to go.

      In short, if the folks in paperland understood the concept of ownership, resposibility and accountibility; and were paid relevant to their contribution, things would work much better.

      NASA in the 50’s 60’s and 60’s worked like this and the results speak for themselves.

      In these days, Managers; project and otherwise did the organizing so the techies coud get on with business. Nowadays the techies the managerial work so mangers can goe on junkets to Europe, the Gulf island, Mexico and weekly catered lunches to reduce their hi stress levels,

      At the very least, People doing MBA’s should be given role playing scenarious where they have to deliver a server / Network / Dabtabse / Desktop solution with some j*rk *ff MBA telling them it’s all wrong and we arent looking at the big picture.

    • #2732582

      FORMERLY technical managers and the art of manipulation

      by techlizard ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I read nearly this whole discussion and I’m sorry that there is so much whining going on, it seems maybe we need some kind of IT Support Group where we can drink coffee eat donuts together and whine about our companies! LOL

      I have to say that in my position as a Net Admin I have an IT manager who does ALL of the upper management footwork. I am here doing what I do best and she is doing her job, expressing what I need/want to the powers that be. I am only called into it when the powers that be want me to explain further and my boss is unable to. I call it “keeping the dogs off”, and I view her as if I am the Rock Star and she is my talent agent.

      She is great because she has emerged from the tech life by developing her interpersonal and management skills (things I don’t possess nor do I want to), but she’s still tech minded, she still knows how to read my reactions to the word from above. I don’t even really need to say “well that’s just dumb” anymore.

      She knows how to play the game, everytime I give her a timeline she doubles it and then we both look great when we come in early… Costly changes meant to prevent future problems that are denied result in things “breaking” and we get the money approved in emergency mode… if something goes down we don’t panic because it has been up for so long. The users and upper management are reminded why they need us so badly during unexpected downtimes.

      If upper management and users are “dumb” to technical issues, spend the time trying to figure out how to make it work for you rather than becoming hostile. They don’t care how mad you get…and you’re really only hurting yourself. And if it sounds dishonest, remind yourself it’s just business…there are far worse things going on.

    • #2732500

      Intelligent Management

      by lwoldt ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      That’s it, that’s the number one need because the problems can almost always be solved if you have management support instead of lip service.

      I realize that there are budget constraints at any company but I am talking about the problems that occur when the inmates run the asylum.

      I have been in this business for nearly 25 years and the question I have most often asked is: How did that person attain a position of responsiblity in this company?

      So my number 1 most pressing need is intelligent management. Or is that an oxymoron (emphasis on the moron) like military intelligence?

    • #2733725

      How to

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      Let the end users know what not to do! Like not install the cool screen saver or mr. bunny.exe. And not open every email because they are bored. If someone gets a (this program has) error message to hit print screen and save it, to word, clipboard what ever. Just let us know what happened. I know a simple form, document, PDF or something like it. A set of rules for a user to follow but with corp. backing. So if they do what they know they should not it will have a repercussion on thier jobs.

    • #2733662

      CLASSIC IT

      by fluxit ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      We need a good lookin’ secretary (who can message our shoulders as we work on the computer). Oh! and a good cup of joe to get our digital mojo goin’. Hey TechRepublic – if you can find this and hire her for us we would be grateful.

    • #2733619

      Most Important

      by unix-sa ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      The most important thing I need, which many professionals probably take for granted, is support from management. This comes in many forms from respecing my time and efforts in everything scheduling meetings to supporting technical decsions. It is easy to understand the need for explainations before spending a great deal of money. I’m not asking for carte blanche. But saving $5 on a memory order where it takes an extra $50 of time to collect additional quotes to try to beat a competitive vendor with a good history is not productive or profitable.

      Respect me and it is easy to respect you. It is a two-way street or it doesn’t work at all.

    • #2732424

      What I see as most important need

      by reneebarnette ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      I see a need for organizations to ensure that the managers they hire to oversee IT have enough of a background in those specific IT sections or overall IT to be able to understand and support IT needs.

      I don’t know how TechRepublic could help with that, other than either helping techs. get into management fields, or helping us find ways to get our managers to understand.

    • #2732242

      Tow most important

      by davyrob1 ·

      In reply to What are the top 1 or 2 needs of IT Professionals?

      1) Customers, whether internal or external.
      2) Access to information required by customer.
      This sounds horribly simple, but is basic.
      3rd would be a perfect communications system with Customer.

      • #2692341

        My Most Important Needs

        by ladysatel ·

        In reply to Tow most important

        Noumber one need is access to the tools I need to do what management wants, without having to “justify” my reasons to a non IT person who has no idea what is involved. Even with all the research and a formal proposal citing sources and additional information for reference I still have to prove that this is what is required for the job.

        Number two need is the respect for my years of experience and the results I have achieved on every project given to me. The “What have you done for me 5 minutes ago mentality” is such a downer for an IT pro who is invovled in project which take more that 5 minutes to complete.

        It seems that the perception “you have been here more than 5 years and therefore you can not know anything about new technology” is prevalent in large corporations. Too bad no one bothers to look to determine that I have been the one urging the migration to new tech i.e. leading the pack, and have in many cases made it possible for it’s install and use.

        I refuse to dye my grey hair as I have honestly earned every one of them putting up with corporate weenies who don’t even know what is going on, much less being capable of making decisions on what needs to be done.

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