Corporate IT Support and the 21st Century User 9 November, 2011Posted by paralleldivergence in ICT in Education, Internet, technology.
Tags: ICT, IT support, Service desk, technology
TRADITIONALLY, ICT Support is a regimented service, based on providing known or predictable support for a limited range of products in a carefully structured business environment. Users are supplied with access to standardised hardware systems and applications that have been approved in the standard operating environment and their range of access is limited according to their status. When they are faced with a problem (aka ‘incident’), they are usually directed to one recommended path to gain ICT support, but often they have a negative perception of it – too arduous to report and too long to wait for action, leading to a view that ICTs are too unreliable to use.
Courtesy: The IT Crowd
Consider the grade 5 teacher who through a sweeping school improvement initiative has had her blackboard replaced with an Interactive Whiteboard, projector and laptop computer. She has undertaken the necessary professional development and made major changes to her work practices to incorporate ICT-based teaching in her repertoire. She has been successfully teaching with her new resources and has transposed most of her content to digital form because of the efficiency and student-engagement gains it offers. Suddenly, the IWB goes blank. Thirty sets of ten-year-old eyes gaze at her. It’s 10am and there are still many hours of the teaching day left and so many possible points of failure to check. How does traditional ICT Support resolve the extended repercussions of this incident for the teacher and her students?
Meanwhile, at Progressive Boys High School, the year 10 students have been asked to make sure they all bring in their school laptops in order to complete an on-line assessment task scheduled for a 10am start. In four separate classrooms, the 110 students must logon, visit a specific web page and complete a series of questions and activities in order to show competence in their course. It is quickly discovered that in total, eight of the laptops are not working for varying reasons, fifteen students are unable to logon due to username/password issues and one of the classroom wireless access points is not functioning. The four supervising teachers look on dumbfounded while the school’s only technology support officer scurries between laptops to try make connections. How can traditional ICT Support assist the flailing TSO to allow what should be a reasonable ICT-based assessment activity to operate?
And what about the 21st Century back-office worker who has discovered and dwells in the real-world of consumerised information and communication technologies? He has implemented a brilliantly-effective solution for managing and tracking workflows with his entire team using a free and mobile cloud-based service because IT do not offer a service that fills this growing need for his team. Aside from the concerns of privacy and corporate data security, how does traditional ICT Support deal with the growing need to provide new, effective and integrated applications as well as access potentially viable online third-party solutions?
A revolution is taking place in the enterprise today that challenges the status quo of restrictive end-user standards, policies, support methods, and budgeting decisions in place. The approaches traditionally associated with the IT department are not optimal in this new era and the real business impacts of failures must be recognised. Boundaries between work and personal technologies are diminishing, and employees expect the technologies they rely on in their personal lives to be available to them in their business lives, and vice versa. Corporate IT Services must enable, not hinder the obvious benefits of this progress in the workforce. How well is IT Support functioning for you in your workplace?