alasta: I'm probably going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I personally believe that there is a crisis of confidence among corporate IT functions. I should stress that these behaviours are not universal across all desktop support staff and many are faults of management rather than the people at the coalface, but having worked in corporates for many years I keep seeing the same problems to varying degrees:
- IT people are entirely reactive. They see their role as waiting for things to fail so that they can fix them. They rarely look back at what went wrong and how it could be prevented in future.
- IT people don't understand what staff use various software applications for, or what day to day challenges they face with that software. If a particular application is not fit for purpose then staff are expected to 'just put up with it' rather than having a constructive collaboration of what might work better.
- Following on from the above IT people often don't seem to have escalation paths for particular software packages. Of course I don't expect them to know every intimate detail of every application that the organisation has deployed, but they need to ensure that they have access to some resource with specialist knowledge rather than just shrugging their shoulders and saying it's 'too hard'.
- IT departments have cumbersome processes for logging jobs. Sure, I respect that you need to have systems in place to receive requests and manage that workflow, but do requests for help really need to be passed across half a dozen people over the course of six months until someone eventually comes back to me and says "has the problem fixed itself yet?". Also the forms for logging jobs are often confusing for non technical people.
- IT functions are often fragmented with dysfunctional communication between them. For example department X manages application X which only runs on Internet Explorer version 8 and are blissfully unaware that department Y manages application Y which only runs on Internet Explorer 9.
I can see the frustration from both sides, and the hostility between IT support departments and their customers is something that has worried me for some time.
My last IT Management role was with a very large organisation, your scenarios certainly did not apply there.