Service Management Blog

I.T. Friction and Social Media

David Manks
by David Manks

I.T. Friction and Social Media

What are People Saying About Their I.T. Experiences Online?

If you’ve ever had your work stopped or hindered by an I.T. issue, or if you’re an I.T. person frustrated by the fact that all of your calls seem to be for the same issue, you’ve experienced I.T. friction.  I.T. friction is not only the loss of productivity that those issues cause, but also the difference of perception between the I.T. person and the end user. Thanks to a first-of-its-kind Forrester Research report titled “Exploring Business and I.T. Friction: Myths and Realities,” we are finally getting a real picture of those productivity loss costs, and the numbers are eye-opening!

An astonishing 86% of the end-users the report studied lost an average of 18 work hours a month (that’s 5 full weeks a year) because of I.T. issues, to the tune of over $100 billion in lossesNow do I have your attention?

To follow up on Forrester Research’s report, we’ve been doing some of our own digging to find out how I.T. friction plays out on Twitter. We wanted to learn what specific I.T. issues end users typically have; what concerns do end users have about I.T. support experience; and what drives end-users to talk about these experiences online? To that end, we studied almost 200,000 I.T. support experience-related mentions from April 1, 2012 –April 1, 2013.

Our first finding is that a vast majority of the sentiment we’ve seen online around I.T. conversations is overwhelmingly negative. In fact, 63% of what we saw online falls under this category, with the remaining 32% being labeled “neutral”, which leaves a mere 5% for positive experiences with I.T.

Let’s have a look at some representative tweets:


Believe it or not, Trinderella, the purpose of the I.T. help desk at your work IS to help people. As any I.T. veteran can tell you, there are a lot of factors that can chip away at your I.T. department’s ability to do their jobs effectively, and a breakdown of communication between I.T. and the end-user is often at the top of that list.

TJ Jablonski.png

Well, I can certainly understand your frustration with I.T., TJ, but maybe they just have a cold.

Clearly, I.T. friction exists, and it is a problem we hope to solve with MyIT.  However, one person offered up an interesting solution:

Katie Parch.png

“I.T. puppies”?  Well, that’s something we hadn’t thought of.  Not sure if HR would approve, but we certainly think it would ease some stress levels.

IT Puppies.png

“You’re not helping, I.T. Puppy!” (Image by K. Kuszpit obtained through Creative Commons)

Stay tuned for more results from our social listening around I.T. friction. We’ll be taking a closer look at why end-users decide to make their complaints so public on social media, the breakdown on what they are specifically tweeting about, and what is to be done about all this.

In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on our findings so far and your experiences.. Why is so much sentiment online only negative? Is it just a case of no one noticing when I.T. does their jobs well?

Let us know in the comments below or tweet me David Manks!


These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

About the author

David Manks

David Manks

David Manks, is Senior Director of Service Support products for BMC Software. David is responsible for driving the go to market strategy and key initiatives for the IT Service Management products and solutions within BMC.