Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Mehdi Daoudi, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: Help Desk Disasters

Saving nickels and wasting dollars should not be rewarded by bonus or promotion.

So many organizations switched to third-party help desk solutions without really putting in place any performance measures or tracking mechanisms to really measure how good - or bad - the support is.

Some executives got a big bonus for "thinking out of the box" and coming up with a cost-cutting initiative to outsource IT help desks. Those same executives do not want to hear all the complaints of people getting no results and wasting a lot of time in repetitive phone calls as well as no solutions to their problems. Even routine problems become time-consuming nightmares because the third-party support person on the other end doesn't understand the caller or the caller just doesn't understand them.

Was it a good solution for IT support? You may have saved some money on technical support costs, but how much executive time are you wasting everyday because the executive cannot get closure on a problem that would have been a routine (and short) support call? If you do an analysis, it's a clear failure.

Executives who made the decision would rather look the other way at a growing and costly problem. Is that considered leadership today in corporations? Not in my book.

First Step: Admit There Is a Problem
Most organizations won't go back and do an analysis on what they have put in place. Do a post-implementation review - if you even know what that is. (What I have seen in several organizations, the person who is supposed to have a strong, global view doesn't even have a grasp on what good systems implementation is all about. How and why did they get promoted into a leadership position?)

No one wants to see that their great decision was a costly failure as well as a waste of time for people trying to get their work done.

Stop looking the other way and trying not to acknowledge that there is a huge problem at many organizations with the lack of people knowing what they are doing in the support areas. They don't.

In talking to people from three different major banks, they all agree that their IT support sucks. Is that a clear enough description by those of you who live by politically correct corporate-speak?

Instead of flowery euphemisms and claiming that the savings outweigh the "small difficulties", face the facts. It is a disaster and by not fixing it, you are propagating the problem as well as losing money every day.

Typical problems encountered:

  • Can't hear the support person. The connection is bad.
  • Can hear the support person, but cannot understand them.
  • Can hear the support person, but they don't understand you.
  • Have to ask to speak to someone else because nothing is being done.
  • If there is a trouble ticket issued, they try to close it out before you get a resolution so their "problem resolved" numbers look good.
  • Making multiple calls for the same problem because it has not been resolved.
  • Other: You tell me - you know these issues are at your organization.

You're Losing Money - Fix the Problem
Let's be politically accurate. If you are in-charge of the IT area or the IT support area, get your head out of the sand. It ISN'T working. Look for a fix.

If you have a non-technical employee making $80,000- $250,000 getting a time-consuming run-around from a $20,000-$30,000 "technician," instead of a quick solution from a $60,000- $80,000 "technician," are you really saving money? How many wasted hours are acceptable per month? Half hour per executive? One hour per executive? Go to your boss or the corporate board of directors and ask how much wasted time per executive is acceptable?

Biggest complaints from the highly paid executives who have to deal with your "cost saving" support (my comments next to them):

  • I wasted my time with this person for several hours, got the resolution from someone else in 4 minutes. (Calculate the wasted time of the executive. Did you REALLY save the company any money on that call?)
  • I was so frustrated I ran this up my organization's management in order to get someone working on this resolution. (So let's see, instead of wasting one executive's time, your ingenuous "cost savings" initiative tripped up several executives into getting involved in what should have been a routine fix)
  • They cut the Network support staff and a security patch that should have been applied was pushed back. ALL the executive laptops that were connected on to the Corporate network had their hard drives wiped clean. Most of us did not have back-ups. (So letting go a couple of $40-$50,000 technicians made you "look good" at the bottom line. Now go back and add up ALL the wasted time you cost the company because all the executives lost all their work on their hard drives and probably will take weeks, if not more, to try to restore all that lost work - if they can. You think this is a "corporate urban legend"? This actually happened at a big-name company and no one ever went back to calculate all the time lost.)

It's time to sit down and do some evaluations. Better yet, get rid of those who don't understand systems implementation or the idea of having a sense-of-urgency in keeping the organization moving forward.

•   •   •

Carlini's book, "Location, Location, Connectivity" will be coming out later this year.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.TWITTER.com/JAMESCARLINI

Copyright 2014 - James Carlini

More Stories By James Carlini

James Carlini, MBA, a certified Infrastructure Consultant, keynote speaker and former award-winning Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, has advised on mission-critical networks. Clients include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, GLOBEX, and City of Chicago’s 911 Center. An expert witness in civil and federal courts on network infrastructure, he has worked with AT&T, Sprint and others.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.twitter.com/JAMESCARLINI

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Microservices Articles
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
If your cloud deployment is on AWS with predictable workloads, Reserved Instances (RIs) can provide your business substantial savings compared to pay-as-you-go, on-demand services alone. Continuous monitoring of cloud usage and active management of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Relational Database Service (RDS) and ElastiCache through RIs will optimize performance. Learn how you can purchase and apply the right Reserved Instances for optimum utilization and increased ROI.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a common and reliable transmission protocol on the Internet. TCP was introduced in the 70s by Stanford University for US Defense to establish connectivity between distributed systems to maintain a backup of defense information. At the time, TCP was introduced to communicate amongst a selected set of devices for a smaller dataset over shorter distances. As the Internet evolved, however, the number of applications and users, and the types of data accessed and...
Consumer-driven contracts are an essential part of a mature microservice testing portfolio enabling independent service deployments. In this presentation we'll provide an overview of the tools, patterns and pain points we've seen when implementing contract testing in large development organizations.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...