This has bothered me for quite a while, and I thought it about time to mention it. Hang on though, this may be a bit of a rant, but it bears bringing up.
Of course, it’s part of the language of IT, part of the culture as well. You know the jokes, “if only we could get rid of the users, our support costs would go down”. Good for a laugh on a stressful day, but what’s really being said there?
Are we that far off the path of providing quality, usable, enjoyable technology solutions for our businesses that all we focus on is the difficulty in doing so?
I think we’re missing an opportunity to re-connect with our co-workers, our customers within the business. They should not be minimized in the we that they are by IT. They’re our co-workers and cube neighbors. They deserve our respect. They’re out selling, or balancing the company budget, or dreaming up a new product to sell. They’re not trying to be challenging, they’re simply using the tools we provide to get their job done.
The issue I see is that most IT staff are too busy trying to solve problems rather than provide solutions. What it really boils down to is a change in attitude, and revising perspectives. We’re missing the point if all we’re trying to do is reduce call volume.
Just like the larger goal of the businesses we work for – our focus in IT needs to be on satisfying our customers. In order for the business to grow and prosper, it needs to focus on the customer. So too does IT.
No longer is IT about providing a standard computing platform. Or stressing everyone out about security. Of course these are important things, but they are but one aspect of the technology landscape within an organization.
The consumerization of IT is greater than supporting the iPhone or Android devices. It’s an opportunity for IT to join the revolution in our industry. Corporate standards are great, but as more people make the move to provide their own computing platform, we need to rise to the challenge of providing great user experiences and outstanding support.
Raise the Bar
What we need to do as IT professionals, is to look outside our environment for inspiration. Look at how other companies are solving the challenges facing them. Accept the fact that people expect more of IT than we provided just a year ago… heck, more than we’re providing today.
While I’m not an Apple fan, I do admire the user experience all their customers enjoy. Sure, the phrase “it just works” is over-used, the reality is that it’s true. This is the new standard that our business customers expect. This is the new standard we need to meet. This is the new opportunity we have as an industry.
I hope it’s not too late.