Home > Small Business IT > How Users Unintentionally Hinder IT Pros

How Users Unintentionally Hinder IT Pros

My last blog post discussed “How IT Pros Alienate Regular Users.” After a few comments from IT Pros, this week I would like to shed some light on the flip side: How Users Hinder IT Pros.

As an IT Pro, I have experienced the same issues over and over again when dealing with users. In most cases, the problems are very straightforward, but communicated incorrectly.

I remember the following statistic from college (many years ago) about computer errors:
4% of errors are hardware; 6% of errors are software; and 10% of errors are user problems, although I tend to think the percentage of hardware errors has dropped since then.

Here are some useful tips you can do to assist your IT Pro:

1. Reboot
Believe it or not, rebooting can solve a lot of computer issues. This is especially true if software or hardware drivers have been recently updated.

2. Look At What’s Changed
Many errors or issues can be a result of something changing. This can include new software, or system updates. Other changes in the environment can also cause issues. The change may be small and not directly related to the computer. For example, I had a client once who called in a panic. Her screen was flickering, and she was unable to work. This was during a summer heat wave. As I entered her office, I noticed she had put a small fan on her desk, to help keep her cool. She had plugged the fan into the same power bar as her monitor. As a result, when the fan was on, the screen flickered.

3. Never Be Embarrassed
Some issues can be caused by downloading harmful software, but not realizing it. This software is usually hidden or misrepresented in “legitimate looking” software. Malicious software can also be triggered by clicking certain links or going to sites; we have all clicked links we should not have. Telling your IT Pro what you suspect was clicked or downloaded can aid in troubleshooting. A good IT Pro should never comment or discuss materials found on your system. There are two exceptions to this rule: if the computer is a company unit, and the material found on it violates company policy; or if the material on the computer is illegal.

Your IT Pro is not there to make your life miserable. You both want to have the same result: get back to work immediately. If you work together, solving the problem will be faster and less aggravating for both parties.

Categories: Small Business IT
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