CEO of HBC
No support for IT support
I’ve joined a huge multinational corp as IT helpdesk support and I’m shocked by its antique system. The team is overrun by requests and not enough manpower to cover all the users. The helpdesk line is always on call and the software is out of date and no budget to upgrade. I’m having second thoughts and would not have guessed such a big corp is such a mess. No wonder the turnover is so high. What’s your advice?
Sidney Yuen - Career Doctor
Posted Wednesday 17th July 2013 02:43:00 PM
Dear Mo It has constantly amazed me that how seemingly well-known multinational companies are not as efficient as they are expected to be, particularly in the age of the internet and e-commerce whereas technology is moving at a speed that organizations, with their current structure, are not able to catch up. Your situation is definitely not unique. From our research, the legacy system of large companies is slow, full of middle wares/patches, and the IT department’s colleagues are as frustrated as their internal customers. Some Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have been promoted through the ranks and their comfort zone is IT and they do not have the strategic skills to align with business strategy. Therefore, IT budgets are not approved as they are perceived as a ‘cost centre’. It is no surprise that a lot of companies outsource their IT helpdesk support to countries like India or the Philippines where labour costs are lower. This is not a system upgrade issue, it is about culture; the way a company conducts itself. I am pretty sure that your company doesn’t have a high level of customer satisfaction. Mo, you need to ask some hard questions; ‘Am I able to solve users’ problems in a timely manner?’, ‘Beside the system itself, does the process make sense?’, ‘what is the chance of fixing the problem so that it won’t happen again?’ If you answer ‘no’ to each of the above questions, you would either suggest ways to turn the answers to a ‘yes’ or find another job that gives you satisfaction. One way to do is to discuss your improvement ideas to your supervisor. You need to gather data that demonstrates the seriousness of the problem; staff turnover, morale, customer complaint rate etc. and see how he/she responds. And hopefully your supervisor is a good listener and courageous enough to make changes. Recently, there was an IT help desk manager who came to me with a similar situation, we discussed this and we decided to review its operation indicator report and assemble a plan to drastically reduce the incoming calls by fixing the root cause of the problem. This required a cross functional team effort. We called this project “avoidable input analysis”. The outcome was that we cut down the number of incoming calls by 70%. Maybe this is an idea that you can try with your department.