Broken IT Departments Force Employees to ‘Google It’ or Quit: Study

Just about every midsize or large company has an IT department, but it’s often seen as broken or unhelpful. Sometimes, this lack of support (or perception thereof) forces employees to quit or seek their own unapproved solutions.

Workflow and content automation firm Nintex recently queried 1,000 full-time employees across various industries and departments to get a robust sampling of where companies go wrong when it comes to administrative and back-office practices. While the study spans several disciplines (including HR, sales, and administration), IT was most interesting to us. Overall, 62 percent of those who responded to Nintex’s survey say they’ve “observed” broken processes within the IT departments at their company.

The biggest complaint is “troubleshooting,” an area where 59 percent of employees feel their tech department can do better. Some 43 percent say “equipment onboarding for new hires” needs work, with 42 percent suggesting the flow for getting new equipment is just terrible. Around 36 percent of employees say the department just doesn’t seem to know how internal apps or services work, and 23 percent report resetting their password is more trouble than it’s worth (which may be why passwords are still terrible).

Employees leaving the company also had something to say; 19 percent thought “deprovisioning” someone who has left (or is about to leave) is a process that needs help.

IT is so bad that 76 percent of respondents say they simply Google their questions rather than bother tech pros for an answer; 64 percent ask someone else in the office, and 19 percent say they query someone outside the company if they can help.

In-office support teams are considered “prompt” by only 24 percent of respondents. Remote IT departments are seen as responsive by seven percent of those queried, which might be a side-effect of outsourcing to outside vendors handling multiple accounts (or an undersized internal team). That clashes with how IT teams view themselves: 43 percent of staffers in the tech department say they are able to handle requests in an “extremely prompt” manner.

Factoring in age, Millennials are the boldest employees: some 46 percent say that, in the face of their information technology team being slow to respond to their issues, they will use “unsanctioned” apps or services to solve their problems. Around 23 percent of Baby Boomers do the same. If you’re in IT and thinking “how dare they!”, slow your roll: some 60 percent of IT employees admit to breaking their own rules in order to troubleshoot or solve problems.

Overall, 58 percent of employees felt their company’s IT processes, rules and overall performance are “broken.” That number skyrockets to 72 percent amongst employees looking to leave their jobs. Information technology woes were found to be the largest contributing factor in employees looking for new jobs; 58 percent report broken IT practices played a “significant role” in their decision to seek new employment.

2 Responses to “Broken IT Departments Force Employees to ‘Google It’ or Quit: Study”

  1. When mentioning unresponsiveness did anyone get any kind of idea what they considered unresponsive? Cause think for a second in this day and age we demand instant gratification. So the fact IT didn’t take a police escort to their desk the moment their ticket came in for their issue that sometimes happens may not be fair to say IT is unresponsive. Maybe their IT department chose to go to her coworker Greta who spilled her coffee on her laptop and now can’t work at all.

    Or maybe their company should not outsource their help desk across the see and make some customer centric focuses. Who knows.

  2. Nailed it.

    I sympathize with IT people who have to deal with people who don’t sign up for offered trainings and then don’t know how to use technology. And users who develop an issue, and make effort to record error messages and sequence of problems to help the IT person diagnose the problem. And dealing with users who are already frustrated by the time they talk to someone in IT.

    HOWEVER . . . after decades in the workplace and knowing lots of IT people personally, I have seen a few maddening patterns that make people hate IT.

    – Fixing a problem “good enough” without explanation, and leaving the user with a piece of technology that is going to soon malfunction again because the tech could not be bothered following the problem to it’s source.

    -Explaining nothing to users, than resenting them for knowing nothing and being frustrated when the same problem re-emerges.

    – Blundering through a problem for an extended time when their is someone else on staff that a quick text would have elicited the solution from.

    -Lying to users about what can and cannot be done in hopes they don’t know better and the tech won’t be forced to undertake a long and more difficult job.

    – Admitting nothing, apologizing for nothing, keeping users – fellow employees – in the dark about everything in order to maintain the knowledge-power-imbalance they hold.

    These are usually the source of bad IT departments.