I wanted to write this blog to explain why for the past two years, we at CrossRealms International have been working on creating an engineering desk to really provide value when something goes wrong whether it’s a workstation, a user, a system, an environment, or cloud.
Let me first start by stating the obvious: the technology stack needed by organizations to achieve their business goals is getting complex. Even with increased cloud adoption (which promised to make things easier with one stop shop), the business technology stack continues to be more interconnected, complex and less secure.
The classical support desk which helps users with their printing issues, application access, passwords etc. is slowly becoming irrelevant because the issues have become more sophisticated with tentacles in just about everything. VPN access, Identity management, cloud administration, application support, disaster recovery, ransomware, cyber security and many others. What made things even harder is that due to the economies of scale, technology vendors reduced their service desk staffing and removed the option of escalation to solve complex problems. In summary -fixing the desktop is no longer useful because most likely the issue is somewhere else.
So now what?
As a practicing consultant I attended many customer meetings to figure out how to align our services with their technology needs and for the past few years, four issues kept on cropping up:
With the above items in mind, the engineering desk was born and we started the hiring and training processes necessary to build this department two years ago. So What is this engineering desk? It’s a group of IT professionals with advanced technology certifications working together to solve both the simple client issues and the more complex root cause analysis, security and product integration issues covering Tier I, II and III across the relevant technologies. From Cisco Certified Professionals to Microsoft Certified administrators, Palo Security Engineers, Sophos Architects, Splunk Consultants and many others, we would start with a two year program to train individuals across these industries, provide them real projects to develop field expertise, then work together to solve customer issues.
Does it work? As it stands, I have three observational facts:
I’m sure we are going to find new opportunities for our engineering desk and deal with adversity as we continue to grow it and add more technologies– I will keep you posted and for the next blog, I’m going to discuss why the engineering desk is a great option for engineers in their early years of practice and what I observed during the interviews