How to get on IT’s good side

Let’s face it, in the business world today trying to run your company without computers is like trying to have a rainstorm without water. It just doesn’t work. Even if you are a computer whiz, you can’t handle all the technical details and do your job.

The IT department keeps an eye on your computer network. They also set up that network, allow employees access to information, set up storage for that information, and can also pick what electronic services your company uses. Say you have a video conference call to Japan at 3 pm on Tuesday. Not only does the IT department set that up for you, but they decided x carrier was cheaper and has better security than carrier y. The IT department makes your work life easier, and yes, you do want to be on their good side. Now, you need help with your computer, or need a file from ten years ago and have to contact IT. There is a couple of things you can do, in general, to facilitate this process and get more accomplished.

First of all, try to understand what you are asking them to do. Is it reasonable? Does IT think it’s reasonable? Don’t ask the department to completely switch over your entire network platform within 24 hours and expect it to be up and running bug-free the next day. Do challenge them to accomplish more than they thought they could, but understand the technology. Know what platform your company uses, know what kind of computer is in your office. These sound like basic things, and you should know them.

Along the lines of basic know all, influence anyone you can to have a strong password. Long gone are the days that your birthday or your dog’s name is a good password. 123456 has never been a good password. Your passwords make it easier for the IT department to keep people out of your system and away from your information. Away from your company’s sensitive information, unless you’re looking forward to a data breach. Unfortunately stealing information electronically is a part of the business environment and you don’t want your terminal to be the cause of losing a money making account, or a product leak. I can’t speak for IT employees everywhere, but I’m sure they would rather reset your password once a week then reset the entire security on the system because somebody figured out your wife’s shoe size.

Say the worst has happened. An employee has given you a flash drive with a pitch to a client and you plug it in, upload the file, delete it off the flash drive and your computer freezes. Even Jeff Bezos make mistakes sometimes. What you can do to get it back faster is help IT know what happened. Even if you know absolutely nothing about software or how a computer works, you can describe what you did, what kind of files you uploaded, if there was an error message, what kind of flash drive it was, anything that they can use to diagnose the problem. A lot of times with computers it is the small details that can make something work or not work, you cannot give them too much information. If you did something that caused the problem, admit it. It will be a lot easier to fix whatever happened if they know the full extent of your problem.

Know that remote desktop support makes your company more efficient. Remote support allows the IT department to look at your computer without being in front of it. They don’t have to stop what they were working on to come to you, all they have to do is click on some icons, look at your computer, fix it, and go back to whatever they were working on.

Furthermore, IT sends out a new update for the firewall on everyone’s computer. They send out a mass email reminding everyone to not use personal emails on the work server. Pay attention to what they are working on and do what they tell you. It has a purpose. There is nothing more annoying than someone having a problem that IT fixed last week.

Last but not least, be appreciative. Not just the employees in the IT department but all the employees. Something as simple as “thank you” or doughnuts in the morning for a job well done—it goes a long way.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful.

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