Click here to close now.


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

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

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.

Latest Stories
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application del...
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...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...