If you have ever had the pleasure to work on an IT team, you would have realized how overworked they are, how much time they have to spend doing tasks that are not really important or can be done by others if they have better training and understanding of system. There are several tasks that keep the IT team away from their work. Here are some of them:
1. Preventable incidents
Merely by educating the users better, a lot of time spent on dealing with preventable incidents can be saved. If only we could count the number of requests that an IT team receives on an average, we would know that a large percentage of them would never arise if the users were a little more aware of what they were doing. It makes sense for businesses to invest in user education and training rather than wasting valuable IT work hours each day in dealing with a bulk of requests that can be easily prevented.
2. Struggling with outdated equipment and software
Whenever there is a meeting or conference in the workplace, a member from the IT team is always summoned to make sure the laptop that the client/contractor has brought in to deliver the presentation connects with the projector, or that the virtual conferencing system works properly. With better and modern technology that supports BYOD, these tasks can be eliminated.
3. Manual tasks
In most organizations, one of the biggest challenges IT teams have to face is that a large quantity of tasks such as updates, software installations, enhancements etc. have to be done manually. This eats into a lot of valuable time for the IT people. By implementing solutions that assimilate these tasks, we can spare IT teams a lot of trouble and time.
4. Fire-fighting
Most IT people spend a large part of their day firefighting. Oftentimes, urgent issues such as a particular equipment not working, takes precedence over what is actually important. Although these sudden, unexpected events cannot be completely prevented, but there needs to a stronger focus on reducing the occurrence of such incidents.
5. Tasks that are out of their scope of duty
Given the talent and curiosity that IT teams possess, they frequently end up resolving issues that fall out of their scope of duty. This keeps them away from tasks that they should actually be performing.
6. Discretionary activities
In a research published in Harvard Business Review, PA Consulting Group productivity expert Jordan Cohen and London Business School professor Julian Birkinshaw indicate, “Our research indicates that knowledge workers spend a great deal of their time—an average of 41%—on discretionary activities that offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled competently by others. So why do they keep doing them? Because ridding oneself of work is easier said than done.” According to this study, we tend to cling to tasks that make us feel busy and important, and for obvious reasons, the bosses pile on as many responsibilities as the workers are willing to accept. This happens with IT people as well. They end up having a lot more on their plate, and many of them are tasks that keep them away from their actual work.
This list is far from exhaustive. There are many other tasks that keep IT teams away from their work, and in order to make teams more productive, there needs be a larger focus on streamlining work processes better, training users, and investing in latest technology.