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Eight is enough! IT's biggest frenemies

Dan Tynan | June 11, 2013
Colleagues can be both allies and adversaries -- here's how IT can cope with the eight worst types of coworkers

IT frenemy No. 3: Pedro de las Pajamas
Because he's special, he gets to work from home. And because he's constantly having tech issues, you get to work from his home, too.

Though he's rarely seen around the office, Pedro's no slacker. He gets his work done without anyone standing over his shoulder. Thanks to Skype he never misses a meeting. And because there's no separation between his home and work life, he'll respond to urgent emails and texts after most of his colleagues have clocked out for the night.

But Pedro can be a support nightmare, especially if he lives and works in a different time zone than other employees, notes Bomgar's McNeill. He may also be using devices and applications not officially sanctioned by IT, posing potential security or compatibility problems.

"Remote workers need just as much tech support as those in the office, but they can cause more headaches," says McNeill. "If they're located in different time zones, you need members of your support team available during those hours, regardless of how inconvenient that may be."

You start to understand why Marissa Mayer banned them from Yahoo.

How to keep them in check: Having secure remote support tools are critical for helping frenemies like Pedro, McNeill says. You'll also need education materials on hand so that remote workers can get up to speed on company procedures and technologies on their own.

"Supporting remote workers requires IT to be constantly one step ahead," he says. "You need to anticipate challenges before they arise while also ensuring the tools they're using to assist these employees are not exposing the company to serious risks."

IT frenemy No. 4: Leaky Louise
She was only taking work home — she didn't mean to lose that thumb drive with your entire client list on it.

Louise is nothing if not dedicated to her job. Every night, she religiously loads data onto a USB drive or emails files to her personal account so that she can catch up on work after dinner. Though technically against company rules, nobody seems to care — and it's for the good of the business, right?

Nearly half of all employees take company data home with them at least once a week, according to a February 2013 survey by Symantec and the Ponemon Institute. One-third of all companies surveyed by Kaspersky Labs last January reported data loss due to staff members losing mobile devices. Though not as insidious as a rogue insider, Leaky Louise could potentially be more damaging — especially if she works in a highly regulated industry, such as finance or health care.

 

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