Have you ever wanted to throw your business computer from the nearest window? If computers feature in your business at all, that moment will come. The moment when it crashes just before you could save that file or stop receiving email just when that urgent brief is due. Few things in business can incite frustration quite like failing technology, and when it happens, who do you call?
Usually your IT department and when it comes down to it, hearing from you mostly when things are going wrong doesn’t lend itself to the smoothest relationship. What can you do to make that relationship as pleasant and productive as possible?
Have You Tried Turning It On And Off Again?
Your IT department is your go-to when it won’t switch on, it won’t send, it won’t save and it just won’t do what you want it to do. That’s part of what makes them so valuable to your business.
Your IT department keeps your computer systems running, fixing problems and guiding you through trouble shooting. That’s just what you see day to day.
A strong IT department also works behind the scenes to install patches, keep an eye on computer security and stay up to date on the latest developments in technology. Your IT department is a vital part of keeping your business running, so nurturing a good relationship with them is a smart business move (not to mention making for a much more pleasant atmosphere).
Time for a Little Understanding
From a straightforward problem like configuring an email account to an organization-wide change such as implementing extremely cool big data, for people and machines alike the IT department can seem like a dark and mysterious place.
The problem comes when employees think IT can automatically fix any problem on the spot, or is purposely leaving them hanging. It’s time for a little understanding.
Your IT department is constrained by its budgets, just like the rest of your business. Their job is based on solving problems – and sometimes the solutions aren’t obvious, even to an experienced eye. Instead of getting frustrated, ask for more clarification and listen to what they say.
How to Be a Good IT Client
Making sure you and your team are good IT clients can go a long way towards fostering a smoother relationship with your IT department.
Among the items to keep in mind:
- Write down any error messages so you can relay them verbatim;
- If you know the IT department needs to work on your machine, clear your desk of clutter and obstructions;
- Respect their time and workload – you can be clear about your problem without being demanding;
- If in doubt, don’t click that serious looking message until your IT department advises you what to do;
- Be polite and courteous and trust that if they can’t fix it right away the reason they give you is valid.
Keep Everyone in the Loop
As with everything else when it comes to your team, keeping everyone in the loop is key to good communications.
If you’re making a business decision that will include changing how you use IT or what kind of IT you need, include your IT department sooner rather than later – after all, they have the knowledge to really understand what needs doing and advise you on the best way forward.
Ask your IT department to keep the rest of your staff in the loop about changes or delays. If your IT department operates out of the basement, which is still the case for many, consider re-arranging your offices so that your IT people are closer to the rest of your team, encouraging inclusion rather than segregation.
Your IT department is a vital cog in the machine when it comes to keeping your business running.
By valuing their contribution and encouraging honest, friendly communication you will be fostering a better atmosphere and a business that runs more smoothly.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, business, and SEO.