Our IT team is really the best. They are hugely popular with the staff and I can't imagine a better team. It's a 100+person R&D facility with 3 IT people. Here's how they do it:
1. Invisible firewall - there is one, but you can FTP, ssh, etc. to your heart's content without noticing it. It's even possible to run P2P apps. Of course, if it's non-work related then you're signing your own pink slip. Also, they do audit all PC applications on the network remotely, but I've never been queried and I run some really odd apps sometimes.
2. Simple to use Help ticket system - and they're fast in responding.
3. Adequately staffed - that helps.
4. No restriction on smartphones hooking up to the Exchange server - company doesn't pay for any phones or service though.
5. Multiple VPN services available, so if one doesn't work, try another. Worse case, SSL VPN is available or webmail over SSL. Helpful when traveling abroad or visiting companies that block VPN ports.
6. Support for Windows & Linux, but if you want to run a Mac you can. They'll support you as much as they know.
7. Software purchased under $2000 doesn't need to be vetted, reviewed, quoted or anything else. Just buy it on the dept credit card - with your manager's approval of course.
8. Printers everywhere - we are a printer company, so that helps, but we have competitor's products too, so if one fails and you're waiting for it to be repaired, you have at least two others to print to easily.
9. Copious amounts of network storage for shared files. All RAID. All backed up.
10. Large email quotas, which are instantly upgraded for power-users.
11. Overall a can-do, but pragmatic response to requests - want a load of email or docs archived? They won't waste their time or yours burning DVD's, but they will copy it to an HD and vacuum pack it for you.
12. Finally, no, and I really mean no, draconian controls or policies. Just don't set up a rouge WiFi AP or download porn. Basically, the cardinal rule is - get your work done and be a star.