10 Things IT Pros Shouldn't Have To Worry About — But Still Do
We're going into 2019. We've got (mostly) self-driving cars. We've got self-taught AIs crushing champion Go players. So, it's hard to believe IT pros are still dealing with inane and pervasive technical issues in the 21st century. We compiled a list of 10 things that make IT pros bang their heads against their desks.
1. Users clicking things they know they shouldn't
It's going to happen. Accept your fate. They're going to click it. An email with a link to "reset" an Amazon password. An urgent PDF invoice. A link to a gallery of kittens. Emails from bogus addresses with poor grammar asking users to do fishy (phishy?) things are clearly still irresistible.
Spam filters continuously improve, but the occasional phish or spam will still get through. That's where the technology ends and user training must take over, so make sure you are proactively training your users how to spot and handle a phish. End-user security awareness training is always a good thing.
2. Printers, printers, and *ugh* printers
There's just nothing good about printers. Getting them out of the box is a pain. Finding and installing drivers is a pain. Troubleshooting them is a pain. Cleaning them is a pain. Ink is more expensive than Dom Pérignon (for real), and it's a messy pain. Moving a printer across an office is a pain. We're IT pros, not moving men. Rearrange your own office.
Just turning them on and waiting on all the noises to stop is maddening. What is it doing? Calibrating every single moving part? Making a smoothie out of rocks?
It's 2018, can someone please just make a printer that 1) doesn't require drivers unique to every model 2) weigh less than a large child and 3) just works every time. Asking too much?
3. Users not saving files
User: "I worked on a document for like three hours then Word crashed and I lost everything!"
You: "Did you save it?"
Enough said. Lesson learned? Probably not.
Even platforms, such as Google Docs, that autosave are not immune to issues. In the end, it comes down to this — save often.
4. Cheap network hardware
Every network has that one switch or AP of questionable quality that just takes a nosedive every so often. Reboot it and it's back — for another week or two. Check the logs? Oh, right. It doesn't provide any. Check the firmware? It's up to date with the latest version — which came out in 2005. Maybe the manufacturer has support. Nope. They're out of business.
Maybe it's time to replace that ancient gear. That requires you to write an analysis and justification for a hardware refresh budget before the end of the year. You have to speak the language of business. Don't talk about the technical problems as much as the ROI and lost revenue and productivity due to unavoidable downtime.
5. Forgotten passwords, really?
User: "Hey, I forgot my Salesforce/Gmail/Dynamics/email/whatever password, can you please reset it?"
What you want to say: "That password you type EVERY SINGLE DAY to log in? You somehow forgot it? AGAIN?! HOW ARE YOU SO CAPABLE OF THIS?!?"
What you say: "Sure, one sec!"
Nothing is more of a monotonous, soul-sucking task than resetting passwords. Log in to the system, find the user, hit the reset password button, close the ticket. Not hard, but the IT equivalent of unclogging a toilet.
So, maybe it's time for your organization to invest in a password manager such as LastPass. It's a much safer alternative to a web browser saving user passwords.
This dovetails nicely into another issue…
6. Weak passwords
No, "password" is not an acceptable password. But what if there was a replacement for passwords, something that both made life easier for users, easier for admins, AND increased the overall security posture of the entire company?
Such a unicorn exists in the form of SSO and identity management services like Okta, Duo, and others. Users login once to the app dashboard and, via the magic of SSO, can log in to all their other work apps with one click. Fewer passwords to forget or get hacked and everyone's happier.
7. Offboarding terminated users
Without SSO, when an employee leaves the company IT must login into every single service to disable their accounts. For a SaaS-heavy company, this could be several sites and loads of tedium. Using SSO, you disable one account (whatever the SSO service was using as an identity provider) and EVERYTHING is turned off for the user. Magic.
We get it, salespeople are people too and need to get paid same as anyone else. But between the unending cold calls, unsolicited emails, and LinkedIn stalking, we just don't have time to deal with them, usually.
Even with the highest patience and sympathies we can only say "no thank you, I'm not interested" so many times before losing it at the neverending pitches. When in doubt, forward them to Lenny.
9. Less than honest users
We know you are lying. When we ask what you were doing when you got infected with ransomware and you say "nothing!" we know you were lying. When we ask you to try a reboot and you say "I did!" we know you are lying.
When you ask for a new computer because you "NEEEEED IT" for a new project, we know you are lying. Just tell it straight, you'll save our precious time, and yours. And don't leave out little details — what's meaningless to you might be super important to us.
10. Being stuck in a user support role
Most everyone starts at the help desk or another role primarily helping users with their computer woes. This crucible is necessary to build a foundation of knowledge and experience, but every IT pro soon feels the need to break free from user support. Whether you're stuck in help desk or a lone wolf wearing every IT hat, being in such a position for too long can really wear on an admin.
The best way out is to level up and learn new marketable skills. And of course, CBT Nuggets has the training you need. Whether you want a deep dive into AWS, Python, Windows Server, or security, pick an area you can both apply to your current role and expand to continue your career with.
Your new skills might provide you with one less thing to worry about. As for the other ones, we can only hope technology and end users get a little "smarter."