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How IT Departments Cope with 24/7 Requests

Handling requests 24/7 and managing personal use of Wi-Fi by employees were among the topics at this month’s IT practice group teleconference. Here is some of the advice members shared:

  • Some IT managers are on call 24/7 for major problems, even if it means driving to backup servers in remote locations. Others have a partner or outside consultant who can step in to help.
  • One agency uses Veeam, a paid service that keeps a snapshot of servers in the cloud and offers high-speed data recovery.
  • When it comes to contacting all employees when there is a problem with a server or a potential emergency such as a hurricane, agencies use Twitter or text messaging. “We had to explain to people that they can access Twitter messages even if they don’t have their own Twitter accounts,” one member said. Setting up text-messaging groups can be effective for issues that affect only certain departments.
  • One agency has a help desk composed of a trainer, an account manager and an accounting systems staff member. Emails sent to the help desk go to all of them, and the first person available will answer the question.
  • Procedures vary for responding to after-hours texts requesting help. “If it’s reasonable, I’ll respond,” one person said. “Otherwise, I’ll say I’m not at my desk.”
  • Most are using the same devices for printing and copying..
  • Personal use of Wi-Fi by employees can be a challenge. One has a 5 MG Wi-Fi network dedicated to mobile phones and guests. “If there’s too much use, I can change the password and shut some of them out.”