Education and empathy: IT is about more than technical skills – Episode 63

Whitney Carnes
Whitney Carnes

This week we talk with Whitney Carnes about how IT departments can connect with their users and about running a managed service provider that works with small business. Whitney is the president of Serenity Computer Consulting, an MSP in Dallas and Atlanta. Recorded live at SpiceWorld in Austin.



  • Thinking about your users – overcoming us vs them mentality
  • “IT really needs to remember that their whole reason for being there is to make sure that the users can do their jobs.”
  • Does the IT architecture group remember this? John later wrote about tri-modal IT in his TechReckoning newsletter
  • What can IT do to improve their image
  • Communication: Chuck Hollis on why IT needs a marketing function  This ties in with education: for example, eliminating jargon and explaining what’s going on underneath
  • The black arts of IT troubleshooting
  • The 2014 MSP market: ranges from strategic advisor to help desk provider.
  • “The neat thing about IT is that you can go in so many directions.”
  • IT can’t solve everything, but it can fix your email signature – IT therapy
  • IT requires a lot more than just technical skills. IT training covers the technical skills, but doesn’t cover how to run an IT function or help people.
  • Bad IT is a corporate hygiene issue – doing it doesn’t count as a plus, but if you don’t do it (corporate body odor), it can turn people away. Investment as a productivity tool
  • Free and cheap tools – often the “enterprise” tool is useless and expensive
  • Speaking both the language of technology and of people
  • Know what you don’t know – know when to bring in a specialist
  • Sales teams often mistarget the smaller business market with enterprise solutions
  • @whitneycarnes

Thanks again to for letting us use their space for this session!

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