Have you ever asked an IT person about an issue you’re having, only to be bombarded by seemingly random acronyms and looping, laborious caveats? Have you ever, while being bombarded with said acronyms had the thought: surely things can’t be that complicated.
We’re tricked into blaming ourselves for not understanding or making sense of it. But this just isn’t right.
The truth is, being complicated pays. Because complication equals difficulty, and difficulty equals dependence. If you can make a job seem complicated, most people simply switch off, and when they switch off people become very willing to do whatever you ask to get rid of the problem.
And while you might think IT support people don’t seem like those kinds of people, the truth is IT professionals have often themselves been hoodwinked into emphasising complication by whoever trained them. And thus a hideous cycle ensues.
The reasons for this are perfectly understandable. First, it feels good to be in command of complicated information – like breathing rarefied air. Second, the technicalities of IT are immense, and translating them back into digestible language is actually quite difficult.
So explaining things in a complicated fashion is most often actually a sign of not fully understanding the technology.
Many of us fall into the trap of thinking complicated tech is inherently better. But what we really need to be look for is complexity, not complication.
Complication means elaborate, convoluted systems tied together in long-winded ways; complexity means intelligent, powerfully connected systems which work effortlessly. Complication is a product of poor execution; complexity is an inherent part of the incredible technology at our disposal today.
We want things to be complex, because they can do more things better. But we need to be cautious of things which seem excessively complicated.
When setting up or optimising an IT system, businesses need to give themselves permission to be demanding – to say when they feel things are getting excessively complicated or not being explained properly. This should be a basic component of a strong, healthy IT support relationship.
We are surrounded by needless complication in our everyday lives today, and when you are in control – when you have the clout to say no – you should never accept the premise that IT is inherently complicated or that you simply wouldn’t understand.
Ask more of your IT support team. And if they just can’t deliver, we can always give you a hand.