A few weeks ago, we joined forces with askSpoke to host our March FleetAdmin Panel virtually on the ITKit Podcast! This hybrid event allowed us to serve our FleetAdmin Community while sharing our panelists’ expertise with the ITKit Podcast community. With what’s going on in the world right now, moving to a digital event was an easy choice. Your safety and wellness, and that of our community members and employees, are our top priority.

We look forward to resuming our FleetAdmin Meetups at our San Francisco office as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, tune in to the podcast, read below, and check out askSpoke's blog to learn more about it!

The inspiration for this panel was the launch of our first employee resource group, the Women’s Organization of Fleetsmith (we affectionately call ourselves the WOOF Pack!). March was Women’s History Month, so we wanted to celebrate the awesome women in IT by bringing them together to talk shop and discuss some of the hottest topics in their field.

Our panelists

What they talked about

Building and supporting tools for a remote-first team is top of mind right now. How can we develop a tech stack and support strategies that can handle a distributed workforce? Our panelists suggested choosing cloud-based tools, prioritizing communication (and staying in touch throughout the day), scheduling regular 1:1 meetings, and finding creative ways to replicate the invaluable "water cooler" experience.

How do we build a security culture at our companies, and what are the benefits of doing so? Modern companies—especially in the SaaS world—are moving towards a model where IT and Security teams work closely together. Our panelists said that a strong security culture helps IT deploy new tools because employees are more engaged and informed, but finding a balance between usability and security is an ongoing challenge. When building trust with employees, our panelists suggested IT and Security can help start the conversation on the right foot by authorizing apps employees already use.

What’s the difference between human-centric design and humanist IT? How can we best implement these practices and promote them from within our organizations? Our panelists said the principles of human-centric design, thinking about what you're building with a person in mind, can be applied to IT teams when they're building infrastructure. Humanist IT is the way that infrastructure is put in front of employees: the way it is socialized, the amount of empathy applied, and IT's willingness to be transparent and honest. The ultimate goal of both? Creating a level playing field between IT and the rest of the business.

Empowering employees: Walking the fine line between building rapport as a help advocate and facing ticket abuse. Our panelists said that creating clear, confidence-building documentation and consistently re-sharing it helps train employees to find help on their own.

IT support and administration can often be a thankless job. How can we avoid burning out? What are your best tips for self-care? Our panelists mentioned being proactive: not sitting and waiting for tickets, but taking action to avoid the repetitive stress of answering the same questions. And though employees can often be frustrated when they approach IT, sometimes the best way to resolve the situation is to walk away, take a break, and ask your teammates to step in.

And of course, the age old question: Star Wars or Star Trek? Our panelists' responses were mixed. Listen to the full episode of this special Women in Tech FleetAdmin edition of the ITKit podcast to find what they said!

You can reach us at community@fleetsmith.com or sign up to stay in the loop on our latest events in the Bay Area and beyond.