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Mini-Poll This week we've been looking at desktop management from the point of view of supporting users. It can be a jungle out there, as one reader illustrated:

Somehow, people still sneak through with all kinds of configurations and it's killing us - so many deskside visits it's unbelievable.

But is that the norm, or are some of you managing to keep the peace when it comes to keeping your desktop users happy? To find out we've assembled a short poll to go with your elevenses. Three questions, tick and bash – let us know what you're being asked, why you're really being asked and what you would do with your desktop users if you had the option. Shotguns optional.

READER POLL

Questions – what are the most common things you get asked about? (5 = very common, 1 = rare occasions)

  5 4 3 2 1
Application not responding properly or performance problem
System or service has failed or is not responding
Can't access particular application, files or service (for security reasons)
Loss of information – can you get something back from backup?
Need to reset passwords or change access rights
Security problems and breaches
Don't know how to do something
Receipt of inappropriate/unsolicited email
Loss or damage to equipment
Other (please state)

Causes – what are generally most things that you deal with down to? (5 = major cause, 1 = only on rare occasions)

  5 4 3 2 1
User ignorance or inexperience causing misunderstandings
User having made a change (they shouldn't have done)
User having installed something
User bringing in "kit" bought themselves and expecting support for it
User negligence, e.g. loss, theft of kit
Unreliable/outdated PC equipment
Unreliable IT environment in general
Policies needing to be stuck to
Other (please state)

Fixes – what would lighten your load?

  Major need Work in progress Already sorted No need
Locking down desktop and laptop software configurations
Improving IT reliability as a whole
Modernising the desktops and laptops used
Better remote monitoring/management tools
Better support / call desk tools (Inventory / Asset Management, Help Desk, Knowledge tools)
Provide access to community support options for users to help each other
Defining and implementing more workable policies
Offering more self service (e.g. for passwords, access)
Implement a "pay per call" charge back policy
Enforcement of policy (e.g. through disciplinary)
User training and awareness
Remove all users from the picture
Other (please state)

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