The vast majority of IT users have little if any real idea as to how their systems work, rather as most drivers of modern cars have little idea as to how an internal combustion engine works and how it is dependent on '000s of lines of software code. They expect to be able to turn a key and drive off. As cars have become increasingly reliable so they have become rather like a utility, there to be used whenever needed with the sole requirement to have fuel in the tank and arrange a visit to garage every 12 months.

This basic lack of understanding means users tend not to consider the complexities being created by the constant changes to individual devices and/or connections within a network of devices. All organisations will have acquired IT hardware, systems and software over a period of many years. Not surprisingly this piecemeal acquisition process will have brought problems along the way relating to compatibility between the various applications and associated hardware. Generally solutions will be put in place, in the form of a temporary fix that papers over the cracks but often simply stores up more problems for the future.

Those organisations without an in house IT support function will rely on external advisers to fix the issue so they can get back to doing what they do as quickly as possible. Too often unfortunately they are likely to be confused as to what is actually being done by this (generally) invisible support team and wonder, when of course things are not going wrong, what they are paying for and is it good value for money?

This approach means the organisation never gets the chance to understand the real underlying issues - it just knows the email systems are 'down' or some database isn't synchronising properly with individual computers. In addition, the IT support team is perceived as a necessary cost, rather like the annual audit, and so they are never encouraged to really get to know the core issues to be addressed - apart from anything else, the clock is always ticking and this support tends to be expensive.