Kelser Helps Reader's Digest Promote Better Communication with IT Pros
I recently had the chance to help Reader’s Digest update an article titled “11 Things IT Professionals Don’t Want You To Know”.
It’s no secret that IT is a little misunderstood. Part of our mission at Kelser is to connect IT strategy to the overall business strategy of our clients. When integrated into the company as a whole, IT can be a major business enabler, helping achieve goals across the business. It starts with viewing IT as more than fixing things when they break.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to participate in this Reader’s Digest article. To be honest, I feel the article portrays IT professionals in a bit of a bad light at times (though the updated version is much better about this!). Overall, the purpose of the article seems to be to help the general public get inside the head of IT professionals, see things from their perspective, and improve communication. I’m all for that.
In fact, I love that my quotes were used to break down some misconceptions, starting with the idea that Macs are invulnerable to cyber attacks. There are, of course, some vulnerabilities that affect just Macs or PCs, but no computer is invincible. Even the iPhone cable can be hacked.
One comment I offered that didn’t make it into the article was for the “You can’t hide anything from us” section. Rather than viewing IT staff as an internet gatekeeper or watchdog, I think that every organization needs to have an internet policy that makes it clear what is allowed and not allowed on a company network. Content filtering serves a big purpose, but educating employees on cybersecurity risks as well as the company stance on personal web browsing and sites that are explicitly not approved in the employee handbook is key.
My favorite section of the article is “I can’t make a four-year-old computer fast.” It’s an important point that’s easy to forget. Technology often has physical limitations at play. Rather than grinding it out until the bitter end, it often makes sense to upgrade periodically and keep your organization running smoothly.
I was also glad to add my two cents in the last section, where the article says, “Sometimes we make five-minute jobs last an hour.” My main issue is with the word “make.” As with any profession that involves troubleshooting, sometimes what seems easy and quick is anything but. Other times, you get lucky and something that seems challenging comes together in a snap. Estimating how long something will take is impossible to do right every time, but manipulating how long something takes is never part of the job for any true professional.
All in all, it’s an honor to be the only named source in this article by such a well-known outlet. I hope it’s of use to people and helps break down some misconceptions!