I highly recommend Karen Schneider’s latest post, IT and Sympathy, over at the ALA Techsource Blog. It’s the best post I’ve read about working happily and effectively with your IT department in a while. This is golden advice:

…remember nothing is “free,” even if it didn’t come with a price tag. Second Life
isn’t “free.” Instant messaging isn’t “free.” WordPress isn’t “free.”
(In fact, that sucking sound you hear may be your RSS feeds dragging
down that server hosting your blogs.) Or, more correctly, all of these
technologies are “free” as in “free kittens,” not free as in “free
beer.” They come with maintenance and deployment issues, from opening
ports on a secure network, to how much bandwidth they will use, to how
much time IT personnel need to devote to deploying and maintaining the
“free” software.

So is this:

…honor the requests you make by bringing them to fruition as best you
can. This will mean some self-restraint and selectivity. But every
technology deserves to be deployed to the best of its ability.

Communication and managed expectations are what good relationships with the IT department are about. Do you really need it “now”? Probably not. Plan with your IT team not around them…or you’ll run the risk of creating your very own Nick Burns.

Written by

Fred Simmons

As a Managing Partner and the Director of User Experience at Gulo, Fred enjoys making website interactions more natural and improving UX design. Outside of work, Fred enjoys golf, BBQ, craft beer, movies where the bad guy wins, comma-separated lists, and talking about himself in the third person.