Online communities a godsend for IT managers

Ninety-four percent of survey respondents said they had to visit more than one site to solve one problem

For many IT professionals, web surfing and Google searches help them get the job done more quickly, according to a recent survey.

King Research conducted an online survey of more than 200 IT professionals which revealed that a majority tap online communities to help them solve problems on a daily basis.

Some 93% of IT professionals reported that they are able to do their jobs more efficiently and “save time by using IT communities to solve system administration problems.”

Online communities helped 87% of respondents to find answers to technical problems, while 12% admitted they visit the sites for entertainment purposes. About 70% said they visit online communities to research and solve security and systems management issues.

And 94% of survey respondents said they had to visit more than one site — such as forums on Google Groups (61%) and other sites — to solve one problem. Just 5% are able to solve problems with one online community visit, and more than one-quarter of respondents said it typically requires two site visits to solve an IT issue.

“This is clearly a pain point for participants with 75% of participants who work in IT saying that a comprehensive community [able to] answer questions without the need to visit multiple sites would be beneficial,” the report says. “Better search is the most frequently cited improvement that would add benefit to online communities for technical information.”

Other suggestions included resident subject matter experts and moderators, live forums and policing of community content for accuracy and currency.

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Tags web surfingonline communitiesmanagementGoogle

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