The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust once-anonymous IT support workers into a new role: corporate saviors.
As millions of employees make the transition from well-maintained office equipment to jury-rigged kitchen table setups, information technology departments have been called upon to keep companies online and connected. Requests range in size and scale, from replacing employees' $5 mouses, to speeding up networks, to keeping multimillion-dollar data centers up and running.
For many departments, the result has been virtually unprecedented workloads. Many IT directors have been juggling major issues alongside relatively minor ones. At Bay Area transit agency SamTrans, IT manager Edward Kelly got help from AT&T Inc. to quickly increase the speed of connections to the agency's networks once its 200 employees made the switch to remote work. At the same time, Kelly's team of five was flooded by calls from employees who'd forgotten their computer password.
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