No more guilt about your lack of innovation in administrative IT

administrative ITHelpdesks are mired in mundane tasks that are repeated every day – password resets, user account access and account creations, just to name a few. Manual tasks that really don’t have to be; tasks that should, and can be, automated. Just maintain the status quo, though, as many organizational leaders feel this is often the best way to keep things done. Are you guilty of this? On occasion, I am as well.

The lack of innovation, or the postponement of it (or the downright denial of it) means an organization may not survive generationally over the long haul. Evidence of this thinking abounds; in fact, only 71 of the 1955 Fortune 500 companies still exist today. Some of these organizations go-out-of-business rather than cross the chasm from the status quo to the future, change being difficult and troubling to navigate even for the most successful firms.

Repeatable tasks can likely be automated. Simple steps can be taken to improve operational efficiency and improve system functionality. Insomuch, automating is usually a simple procedure and, in process, can save the organizational leaders a good deal of resources for departments managing these processes. But, many organizations remain manual, out of date and cumbersome even while other, less strategic areas of their businesses are top of the line and fully modernized.

The foundational technology, in which all else is built, not so much. IT leaders (usually the victims of such short comings) then are unable to take the appropriate steps to help internal teams and departments focus on more pressing technology matters than resetting forgotten passwords and allowing non-IT employees to take on these tasks themselves.

Managing the IT minutia is a problem. According to a recent survey, IT and helpdesk employees often are required to address a huge number of calls each day, with more than half of the respondents indicating that their helpdesk receives more than 100 calls a week, a huge amount no matter the size of the organization. Most of these calls are for minor tweaks and quick fixes, important in and of themselves, but ultimately pretty easy to handle, but they take too much time for your organization’s highly qualified staff. More than 56 percent of these respondents said that the passwords needed to access their systems directly affects the number of calls the helpdesk receives. Specifically, complex password usage means that employees need to reset their passwords on a more frequent, ongoing basis.

This leads to difficulty for employees to easily access their systems and information. But there is a better way.

While most organizations require employees to use complex passwords and to change these passwords as often as every month to keep up with the best security practices, the result is wasted time. Users, then, could save their helpdesks a good deal of time if they could reset their own passwords. People who are able to manage and re-set their own passwords and manage their own credentials are more productive; they cost the organization less; and are more security conscious because they can safely and securely reset their own passwords without having to contact the helpdesk.

Self-service reset password managers allow users the ability to manage their own passwords, on the basis of a number of simple, predefined questions commonly accessed through a “forgot my password” button on their login screen. Users provide the answers to a series of challenge questions and are allowed to easily re-enter their systems.

Employees and employers reap the benefits and time savings associated with automated solutions. Why would IT leaders or their organizational bosses pursue such options? Many reasons – lack of money (though that’s a misnomer, these solutions are not expensive and they pay for themselves quickly), lack of innovation or are unaware of the process and time consumed by it.

When dealing with manual technologies, there’s no better solution to manage any associated issues than simply automating these protocols, including self-service passwords resets. While password resets are one of the easiest IT tasks to manage, they also are one of the most distracting and time-consuming tasks IT professionals face; a needless distraction. Manual processes are expensive, automation is not; organizations that automate generally position themselves as innovative and are built or building for the long term.

Helpdesks don’t need to be mired in mundane tasks, repeated daily. Automation is essential. The status quo can be so much more productive and efficient for organizations and their leaders. No more guilt of doing nothing more than what has always been done.

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