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Got 99 #ITProblems but a Glitch Ain’t One

Got 99 #ITProblems but a Glitch Ain’t One

Thursday, March 10, 2016/Categories: risk-management

Whether you work in development, project management, or any of the thousands of areas of IT, you’ve probably banged your head against a number of IT Problems.

Technology makes our lives easier until it doesn’t. And you’re not just dealing with your own IT Problems – you’re dealing with your clients', too.

We reached out to a group of technology businesses and asked them to vent about the IT Problems (or #ITProblems, as they’re called on Twitter) that drove them nuts. Here’s what they had to say.

5 #ITProblems from the Front Lines

  1. It works locally, so why isn’t it working on...? George Jaray, software developer at (@GeekHive), says that nothing is so frustrating as when his code stops working as he moves from development to staging to production. Why must these bumps in the road be so bumpy?
  2. Documentation – what’s that? Solomon Soldaner, senior engineer at (@ChelseaTech), cites lack of documentation as his number one #ITProblem. He says all IT departments need to pass the “bus test.” If a particular person were to get hit by a bus, would it be possible for someone else to take over their responsibilities? If not, you need better documentation. Want more insight? Check out Soldaner's article "The Single Most Important Tool in Supporting Technology."
  3. Fear of (code) commitment. Brent Hartmann, CEO and senior web developer of (@BitcookieNC) says his number-one #ITproblem is not committing his codebase often enough. While he loves being in the flow of programming, he reminds himself that he needs to take a breather now and then to commit code in order to avoid losing his work.
  4. Can’t you just add this feature? Dominic Acito, founder of (@DomsTechBlog) offers this #ITproblem: non-developers don’t usually grasp the amount of work that goes into making software, which leads them to underestimate how long small changes to a project will take.
  5. When these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. When we asked Phil Azzi of GeekHive for his #ITProblems, he said, “When I can’t find the droid I’m looking for.” Hey, we get it. Some days you’re just trying to find a protocol droid and his counterpart, hoping a Sith Lord won’t decide to force choke you. It’s a hard life, Phil.

3 Takeaways for Technology Businesses

Because we work in risk management, we see everything through the not-so-rose-colored glasses of IT professional liability. When you have a problem with a project, you could wind up dealing with disgruntled clients and sometimes even lawsuits (more on common IT moves that trigger lawsuits).

The #ITProblems we looked at above point to the following three takeaways for IT professionals:

  1. There’s often a communication gap between you and your clients. Clients don’t understand what it is you do – and that can lead to unfair expectations, miscommunication about project goals, and other frustrations. (Read more about client communication in Why E&O Insurance Is More Important for Tech Firms than Others.)
  2. Sometimes you can't avoid problems. Even the best coders find themselves stumped on why something isn’t working. That’s what makes IT problems so, well, problematic. No one is immune to tech problems. Take some time to review your conflict resolution procedures at work. Make sure you’re doing what you can to catch problems before they get to clients and to handle client complaints quickly and fairly.
  3. Know what #ITProblems can be covered with IT business insurance. Your business insurance can’t commit code for you or solve documentation issues. But it can potentially cover your business if a client sues you over a mistake in your work. (Learn more about Professional Liability Insurance.)

IT problems can be especially troubling for small tech firms. Losing a single client could lead to a significant loss of income. While tech problems are aggravating, nothing is worse than one that actually hurts your bottom line.

Learn from the tech professionals we talked to today and make sure to protect your business from miscommunications, tech errors, and other #ITProblems.

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