- Quick – say the name of the person that answered the IT Help Desk phone the last time you had a problem.
- Now – say the name of the IT person that used to drop by your office to install hardware, or upgrade software, or check to see if things were running properly.
Having experience working both as the IT guy (aka “Geek”) and the End-User (aka – “loose nut between the chair and keyboard”), I understand the reasons of why we are where we are today. In the same respect, I also have a keen understanding of what the savings in time and money have also cost in the ability to better understand what are the real problems that the end user is experiencing.
1. The Columbo Effect – There have been many times, both as a techie and as a user, where in the process of solving one problem, another problem is unearthed. You know… you’re about to walk out of the room when the other person says, “Oh, just one more question.” Granted, most of the time, this means more work, but there were many occasions where that “one more question” lead to proactively solving major issues before they became major issues.2. The Chilling Effect – Because we’ve so separated the user from the techie, we’ve created a situation where most users find it too difficult to ask for help on what they consider “minor issues.” Or, we’ve created a situation where we’ve inadvertently promoted “work-arounds” that the end user is taking to solve the problem on their own. Granted, a lot of the time, these work-arounds cause little to no harm, but every once in a while, you have some creative user that finds a way to shut down a shared resource because their work around had unintended effects.