First off, I plan on writing more technical articles at night but just moved in to a new apartment. I have 4 current articles in my queue dealing with optical character recognition of pdfs, tables, and captchas as well as creating a wireless Arduino device.
That said, I am now on my fifth call to IT regarding what should be the simple task of setting up my email in Office 365. I use Linux, as a large number of developers and techies do and sadly, each step to get my email online has been a painstaking process with IT only fixing the problem in front of its face. I have had to have the service first reinitialized, then a key attached to my account, and, finally, I am wrangling access to each product I should already have.
Something tells me that software analysis and the process of discovery could have saved my pain and reduced the number of insults hurled at a few college kids looking to make some side money with 0 industry skills. Of course, that is what we do with college students and immigrants, pay them peanuts, give them a little, and let them handle the work no one wants. On the other hand, the massive IT budgets that make my own look like a needle in a haystack are being misappropriated to pay for God knows what.
In today’s environment, where a day can cost a lifetime, this needs to change. Deploying resources to study upgrades and major changes is a must and that means analyzing the means of failure and working around them.
Failures come from a variety of sources. Sara Base offers a good review of them in A Gift of Fire. They include:
- Lack of understanding of the material that can be overcome with research
- Sloppy user interfaces
- Too Little Testing
- Failure to understand a products uses and potential conflicts
- The pressure for profit
- Product loyalty and fads (one that I have personally noticed)
- An unqualified workforce (another thing I have noticed)
- Not understanding the depth and needs of the user base to an adequate degree
In this instance, issues 1, possibly 2, 4,5,8, and 9,10 have created a perfect storm that is now harming every aspect of the institution’s communications.
Most of the issues can be overcome with research and testing of a product. I implore IT to take these issues to heart. It costs time and a great deal of money not to do this.