What is IT? 5 Crazy Misconceptions About the Role of IT Professionals


For many IT Pros, being a “jack-of-all-trades” is a pretty standard job requirement. From managing server performance to eradicating malware and setting up workstations for new employees, the responsibilities vary in level of complexity and effort.

Many of IT’s tasks are handled behind the scenes. As Nitro’s Desktop Support Engineer puts it, “If IT is doing a good job, the users shouldn’t notice.” In other words, when networks are running smoothly and users are working without technical interruption, it means IT is straight up slayin’ behind the scenes.

That said, because IT’s handiwork isn’t necessarily front and center—like the quarter’s biggest sales deal or marketing’s new citywide ad campaign, for example—it can be tough for others in an organization to fully grasp just what their IT team does.

With that in mind, we asked our IT pals on Spiceworks to tell us about some of the misconceptions their non-IT coworkers have about the role of IT in the organization. Here are the 5 most common answers we received:

1. IT just runs around fixing things.
True, if the WiFi goes out in your corner of the office or your neighbor’s computer has a meltdown, you’ll likely spot your IT guy or gal swooping in to make things better. However, before they were interrupted with the repair request, it’s highly likely they were planning for an implementation or doing network maintenance to prevent future fire drills.

2. If IT isn’t running around fixing things, they’re not busy.
See explanation above. These guys have TONS of other stuff to do aside from putting out fires—like building a strategy for adapting to the spikes in bandwidth consumption, inundation of new devices, and new security risks posed by the all-powerful “Internet of Things.”

3. Anything that plugs into the wall or uses electricity is IT’s responsibility.
Yes, our computers, routers, switches, and A/V systems all consume electricity, but that doesn’t mean your IT resource is an electrician. For problems with the coffee pot or a light bulb, your best bet would be checking with the office manager.

4. Your personal devices are supported by IT.
Sure, if you’re having trouble accessing your work email client on your personal mobile device, IT should be able to assist. But if your last OS update didn’t install, or you can’t remember your password for the App Store, you’re on your own. IT has business-critical stuff to take care of, for cryin’ out loud! (If you ask nicely for advice, however, someone might throw you a bone!)

5. If an IT Pro administers a software solution, they’re also an expert in how to use it.
Knowing how to deploy a piece of software is very different than knowing how to employ a piece of software. I know, right? Mind = blown.

Don’t fret—we’ve got all you Nitro Pro users covered on #5.

With our library of video tutorialscommunity forums, and of course, our online support portal, there are many options for getting the PDF help you need without submitting a single IT ticket.