It’s not a good thing if your business users hate dealing with your IT department. Not just because an IT issue typically means they can’t complete their work, but also because it often takes days or weeks to get the problem resolved. That’s not good for the business or the bottom line.
One of the obstacles IT has to overcome these days are users who believe every interaction with technology should work as simply as an app on their smartphone. Now that’s more than likely not possible for every interaction, but it’s an important point to remember when you’re thinking about making things easier for your business users. If you attack making things easier for them by considering their mindset, it will take you a long way to turning them into allies.
Before you can determine a way to improve the relationship, it’s important to look at the root cause. Considering that most things accomplished by business users is wrapped up in some sort of technology, inability to gain access to SharePoint for example, or an outage of any kind — small or large — can have an effect on how they do their job. Added to that, response by IT and handling of the issue, factors into how the user feels about the situation.
Exploring Business And IT Friction: Myths And Realities, a study commissioned by BMC and conducted by Forrester Research in April 2013, “found significant gaps between what the business user experiences and what IT believes that its business users experience. This gap causes great frustrations to both sides, bleeding off energy and forward momentum and causing tremendous and measurable loss to the company via both hard and soft impairments.”
It’s likely that is what’s causing the disconnect between your business users and IT department.
As a matter of fact, two of the key findings of the study revealed critical areas where business users were impacted.
- "There are significant gaps in customer satisfaction..." looking at customer experience from the business side and the IT side, we found significant gaps in customer satisfaction. Business users are not as satisfied with the services IT delivers, whereas IT thinks they are doing pretty well. This means that IT organizations need to get real about their customers’ experience — and actively improve it.
- "... which have a severe impact on business productivity." Business users at all types and sizes of organizations in all geographies are experiencing severe productivity losses, ranging from 10% (a few hours per month) to more than 50%. In other words, companies are losing money because their people can’t work. IT organizations need to beef up their service support and delivery activities to ensure minimum impact to their clients: the end users.”
And that’s where the problem lies. When technology isn’t working properly, business users can’t get their work done. That costs your company a lot of money. The study revealed the average cost per employee for lost time was just over two thousand dollars. On top of that, they don’t feel as though they’re getting good service from their IT department to resolve the problem.
How can you improve the problem and ultimately the relationship?
Give your users control over resolving the problems.Don’t make them wait for IT to solve every problem. Establish policies and implement automation that will allow them to help themselves so their work day is less impaired.
Hold your IT department accountable through defined Service Level Agreements (SLA). Define service levels in partnership with your business users, then measure on a regular basis. Make sure to continuously assess users’ needs to ensure the SLAs are measuring the right things.
Keep communication lines open. Nothing trumps good communication to build strong relationships. Keep users in the loop on what’s happening and make sure they’re included when decisions are made that will impact their work.