"Deploying large monitors is an incentive for giving up printers," says Pasik. "You'll print less, contributing to a greener environment."
That means you'll also spend less time going to the network print station to get your printouts, hassling with paper jams or toner issues, and filing or recycling paper. Your help desk people will thank you too; according to IDC, IT departments spend 15 percent of their time on printer-related issues.
IT productivity win No. 4: Free up your help deskHelp desk techs spend a lot of time fixing the same obvious problems. The more no-brainer stuff you take off their plates (like password resets or printer maintenance), the more time they can spend on real productivity killers.
For example, every two weeks, Richard Casselberry, director of IT operations for networking vendor Enterasys, meets with his internal help desk department to review the questions they get and brainstorm solutions. One quick fix: Increase the number of incorrect passwords users are allowed before they're prevented from logging onto the network. Gartner Research estimates that password resets alone are responsible for 20 to 50 percent of all help desk calls. By boosting failed attempts from 3 to 12, Enterasys was able to slash support calls without adversely affecting security.
Don't sweat small stuff like printer repair, suggests Pamela Morin, customer communications specialist for managed print services provider Reliable Technologies. If a printer fails, have a replacement ready to go on a rolling cart you can plug in immediately, then send the broken one out for maintenance. That will keep the business customers happy and free up IT pros from time-consuming mechanical problems below their pay grade.
And while remote access utilities like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn can allow your techs to ferret out problems on end-user machines without time-sucking phone calls or email, sometimes it's actually more productive to make a "house call" to the user's desk, says Matthew Podowitz, consultant at The IT Value Challenge.
Many end-user problems are more about business processes than technical issues, he says -- things you can't see by rooting around someone's hard drive. A quick in-person discussion can often streamline the support process.
This is especially true when it comes to supporting C-level executives and their personal assistants. Offering top management concierge-level support will raise the perception of IT's value, which can result in productivity gains down the road, thanks to increased funding.