Not every part of working in the IT department is glamorous or as fun as browsing the Internet all day. IT jobs involve plenty of duties that are necessary evils. Many of these tasks are mildly annoying on a single computer but become frustrating when it comes to dealing with a fleet of computers, and staff members may have to wait for the IT staff to fix a problem before they can get back to work. This means a lot of hounding the pros to get the job done, evenly if it’s not humanly possible to finish the job any quicker.
1. Cleaning Up Cables
It seems like every time we add a device, more cables clutter up our lives. It happens at home with a computer, a printer and a router. It’s that much worse in the workplace. There may be dozens or hundreds of cables running from here to there. When left unkempt, they become trip hazards, while a cord that comes unplugged can cause a network to go down or data to become inaccessible. Diff
erent tools help hide and organize those cords in a safe manner, but starting the job can be daunting. There are also companies that specialize in cable management that can be a great option as well.
2. Restoring Data
Any IT professional worth his weight in Ethernet cables has a data backup plan, but he always hopes that he won’t have to use those backups. When a server crashes, the IT department has no choice but to restore those backups. With an office or clients waiting for their data to be accessible, yesterday isn’t soon enough.
3. Answer Helpdesk Tickets
Whether it comes from someone inside the company or a client, dealing with inane tech support questions is no one’s cup of tea, especially when there are more important tasks on the day’s to-do list. What makes it even worse i
s when the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t understand computer language in the slightest. A simple task can take much longer than anticipated lead to frustration for both parties.
4. Upgrading Software and Operating Systems
As a homer user, it’s annoying enough when a program wants to update and bugs you with a pop-up until you click “Ok.” Some of that software requires you to close all of your browser windows before you can proceed. Windows updates will download automatically and prompt you periodically to restart the computer. Now, imagine this on dozens or hundreds of computers, some of which may not have seen an update for months if the IT department has fallen behind.
5. Upgrading Hardware
Hardware can be even trickier than software because sometimes it’s just not compatible, and the IT pros may have to install hardware to work with computers running various versions o
f an OS or that don’t have the right ports. Workarounds can solve the problem, but they add time.
6. Rebooting the System
What’s worse than an unexplained problem that has resisted all troubleshooting efforts? Sometimes, all you can do is reboot the system, but this can range from a few seconds to a dozen minutes depending upon the type of system. Of course, this time prevents everyone in the building or clients across the world from accessing the files or apps that they want. Everything might smooth over if rebooting the system fixes the problem, but it doesn’t always work.
About the Author: Gordy Nixon has worked in the IT industry for over 9 years and has established his own IT consulting firm. He recommends other IT professionals stay up to date with recent news and trends by reading The Tech Republic Blog.