In spring 2015, the IT Desk, Help Desk, and IMS merge together in order to create a one-stop place for student’s technology needs
By Angelica True /// Staff Writer
After nearly 18 months of planning, preparation and renovation, the new Information Technology Service Desk is almost ready for its grand unveiling next semester. The IT Service Desk merged the IT Main Office, the Help Desk and the Instructional Media Services Desk to create a single point of access for technological assistance.
“In the past, each [office] had a role in what it took care of. IMS was really the instructional part of it; really geared towards the classroom,” Chief Information Officer Adam Buchwald said. “Whereas the Help Desk was not academic, it was about personal issues, and then [there was] Client Services and they were geared towards assisting faculty with instruction or personal problems.”
When Buchwald took the position in 2012, he realized that there was a critical flaw with the organization of the tech departments: “You really had to know too much as a person to figure out where to get help. The concept behind this was to make it less confusing.”
While the consolidation project was meant to simplify processes for users, the IT staff and managers faced challenges: funding and logistics were both hurdles in the redesign.
“I actually brought a consultant into my staff. We had this massive reorganization,” Buchwald said. The consolidation was “difficult because duties, titles, reporting lines and skills that people need change, but the people don’t change.”
Previously, IT staff members were expected to be knowledgeable only in their respective departments. Now, they must be proficient in all IT department know-how. Student IT workers are feeling the pressure to adapt to their new positions.
“It’s tough to make a transition mid-school year,” former IMS worker Mark Loyola (’16) said. “There are a lot of people here from IT who don’t know how to do IMS things, and there are a lot people from IMS who don’t know how to do IT things.”
Eventually, Buchwald hopes that the reorganization will enhance the staff’s knowledge and professionalism, and improve the overall structure of the department.
“We had three different areas in IT that were all staffed by different people. We can now consolidate all that staff, have fulltime staff and much more staff to apply to service.”
Buchwald and IT staff also hope that the consolidation and addition of tables, chairs and charging stations will attract more clients to the service desk.
Despite the struggle of adjusting to their added responsibilities, changing roles and new space during the service desk’s soft launch, the renovation was received as an improvement over the old system.
“The help desk was just not a good place to be, neither for customers nor workers,” former Help Desk worker Jack Carrick (’16) said. “It was just a really unpleasant room. It’s more professional the way we deal with students’ computers [here]. We can take computers to the back room and work on them on our own time without [the customer] looking over our shoulder.”
Loyola believes that in time, both customers and workers will adjust to the new design.
“We’re just like software,” Loyola said. “You have to go through beta testing and find out what the bugs and kinks are.”