I.T Crowd becomes ‘IT’ Crowd as technological developments see SMEs rely increasingly on IT department for business success
For years, I.T departments around the country have been tarred as grouchy tech geeks, but recent research by office technology specialists, Altodigital, reveals that the tide is changing, as almost half of those questioned (47%) position the IT department at their firm as one of the most integral teams in determining businesses success.
Developments in office technology such as cloud computing, BYOD and the internet of things have seen IT managers become increasingly relied on to keep offices functioning effectively, and Altodigital’s latest report (which questioned 750 employees at SMEs around the UK) saw almost a fifth of those questioned (19%) go as far as to proclaim their IT manager as a ‘life-saver.’
In fact, when asked to describe those responsible for IT at work, the qualities that came out on top were helpfulness (58%), intelligence (41%) and a polite manner (20%) – a long way from the unhelpful, grumpy and hard to understand stereotypes that have been historically linked to the I.T Crowd portrayed in the hit comedy Channel 4 series.
When it comes to the most frequent complaints an IT manager hears, computers crashing (26%), a lack of internet access (20%) and broken printers top the polls – 4% of those questioned even admitted to contacting the IT department for help when they had run out of paper for the printer!
Though still a male dominated industry, a quarter (25%) of IT managers at the SMEs that Altodigital questioned were female – and it seems their time is in high demand. Although a quarter of those questioned revealed they are reluctant to ask for help from the IT team and usually try and fix a problem themselves, more than a third of those questioned (35%) admit they do end up calling IT at least once a week.
Tony Burnett, Group Sales Director at Altodigital said: “IT is no longer an afterthought it has become one of the most important functions of business. There’s been such significant developments in the technology space in the last decade that the majority of businesses have had to move with the times and introduce more technological systems and software to help improve business efficiency.
“This has led to an increased reliance on our I.T managers at all levels, to help support less knowledgeable members of staff with every day issues and they have become an integral part of the team. The research shows that the stereotypes around people working in technology are being broken down which is great for the diverse and often challenging industry.”
And the perfect formula for an IT manager? When it came to a wish list of what people look for in their IT manager, top of the list is a quick response time, followed by wide and varied knowledge and a sprinkle of good communication skills.
Altodigital is one of the largest, independent managed services providers in the UK. Today the company employs more than 450 staff across twelve strategically placed regional centres, with further growth expected in the coming months.