A new study from InformationWeek reports that there is a disconnect between the perceptions of end users and IT departments. While more than half (60%) of IT respondents said IT was integral, only 43% of non-IT participants concurred, and only half of business users reported being “moderately,” “very” or “completely” satisfied with the performance of their own IT departments on projects, compared to 68% of respondents who work in IT; 20% of end users reported being “not at all satisfied,” compared to 9% of IT staff.
That this great divide exists should come as no surprise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not significant, especially to the network group. The users-versus-IT/us-versus-them culture has many causes, including limited budgets and resources, the need to keep existing systems up and running while trying to develop new ones, and unrealistic demands from management and end users. Three decades ago it was about the arrival of IBM ‘business’ PC clones and even worse, the Apple Mac, making an end-run around the IT department. Today, in addition to the Apple iPhone and other smartphones and tablets (BYOD), the current list of transgressors includes the consumerization of IT, cloud computing, online file sharing, and 24×7 anywhere/anything/anybody connectivity.
In the most recent Unisys study of the consumerization of IT, the company found a deepening divide between mobile information workers and the enterprise IT departments that support them. “This year’s research shows that the consumerization charge is being led by an elite group of highly connected mobile workers who are using the latest technologies to better serve customers and help their organizations succeed — regardless of whether those technologies are officially supported and sanctioned,” said Fred Dillman, Unisys chief technology officer.
According to CIO Insight, it’s no problem understanding why users can get frustrated. Businesses lack insight into network activity: 23% of organizations experience serious, service-impacting problems every day; nearly half encounter these problems every month; serious problems can take 30 days or longer to resolve; organizations will have up to 250 performance-related tickets open at any given time; and nearly 30% of organizations do not have a clear understanding of how much bandwidth they’re using.
The bottom line is that today’s enterprise networks are sinking under demands that are both changing and accelerating. By 2017 almost half — 45% — of all networks will be obsolete, so if you think users are unhappy now, just wait.
For another take on the issue comes from Gartner Group VP Mark P. McDonald, who offers ten telltale signs IT is isolated in your organization:
Image credit: Monica’s Dad (flickr)