Have you ever wondered: what does the IT department do? Often, we only interact with IT when there is something wrong with our computer, network, or operating system, and we need it fixed immediately.

Perhaps you’ve sent an email to someone in the IT department, hours have passed, you still have no solution, and the whole situation is frustrating. What is it that they are working on and why does it seem like IT and the rest of the office aren’t on the same page?

The goals of the IT department and the rest of the office are different, and can often be misunderstood. Aaron Levie, the founder and CEO of Box.net, has found that the IT department strives to: “…implement the fewest solutions to solve the greatest number of problems…answer to expectations around cost and risk, deploy proven solutions. These are fundamentally at odds with the correlated goals of users: use best-of-breed technology to solve problems…answer to the productivity expectations of their manager(s), move quickly by using the fastest, most intuitive new tools.

Here are 5 things that your IT department would like you to know to help you and the rest of your office bridge the gap, create better understanding of how both roles can support each other, and increase worker productivity.

1. We’re on the same team.

IT departments are often kept physically apart from the rest of the team to maintain the office servers, and this causes a physical and psychological drift from the rest of the company.Since many of our requests from the IT department are often met with a resounding “no,” this creates tension between departments. However, many of our problems do not stem from IT. The IT department would like newer computers, updated software, and the flexibility to let you use some of your favorite apps. However, budgetary constraints, company security, and direct orders from managers prevent them from fulfilling these requests. At the end of the day, the IT department wants to support you in your role, and the whole office is on the same team.

Workplace Expert Tip

Include your IT department on updates by submitting office IT tickets in advance and letting them know about office moves or reconfigurations ahead of time. When they have their hands full, reach out to our dedicated IT relocation team for help.

2. The IT department does not have superpowers.

You have the power to troubleshoot yourself. We’ve all been guilty of calling the IT department when our computer has frozen or our printer stops working— before we’ve actually tried to fix it ourselves. Follow the prompts that the computer has given you or reboot it before calling IT. The IT department may be rolling out a new email system or trying to fix a bug that is creating network problems, and distracting them from their workload slows down the productivity of the whole office.

3. We go unnoticed when we’re doing our job best.

Craig Leinoff, a programmer at the United Nations says, “Whether it’s rolling out a new software update or mail server, these are things that employees never feel as a success to the IT world. The IT worker’s job is the same as everyone else’s— it’s to ensure the success of the company, but we go unnoticed if we’re doing our job correctly. As soon as it doesn’t work perfectly, it’s IT to blame.” Most of the time, your network and computer are working the way that they should be. This is because the IT department is constantly working on software updates, implementing server upgrades, and making changes. The IT department makes it easier for you to use the tools that you need to get your job done efficiently. So, have patience with the IT department when a small glitch does arise.

4. Do not underestimate security.

Manish Champsee, web developer of Champsee Solutions says, “It’s not until after security has been compromised or something bad has happened that most people realize its importance. Things like good passwords, updating software, and taking a system down for maintenance. Sometimes it can be an inconvenience to make sure that the infrastructure is secure, but it’s important.” If the IT department asks you to create separate passwords for all of your different accounts and not to download apps onto your office computer, respect their requests. A major security hack can take days for the IT department to repair, and in the meantime create major network operational problems.

5. There is a lot on our plate.

On any given day, each member of the IT department has 5-6 tasks on their to-do list and is given 4-7 tasks additionally by other team members. This does not take into account unexpected network problems or major security issues. If IT does not respond to your inquiry immediately, it is because they are working on something else. Do not take this personally, and understand that they will get to you in a timely manner.

Expert Tip

When having an issue, it is important to e-mail your companies help desk e-mail instead of e-mailing multiple employees in the IT department.

We hope that you have a better understanding of the challenges that IT faces everyday. Working together with IT helps increase office efficiency, especially when your business is going though important changes like reconfiguring, decommissioning, or moving. Corovan’s trained technicians can help support your team to ensure that all electronic equipment is handled carefully and can transition smoothly back to work. We can move offices of 20 to 2000 in a single weekend. This way, you can have email, printers, and infrastructure running smoothly on Monday.

Learn More: Technology Change Solutions