Friday, May 11, 2012

Why I.T. should not be in control of your business

Recently, I have been involved in some interesting conversations whereby IT people are enforcing restrictions onto employees without fully thinking through the consequences for the rest of the business.  What interests me more is that they are able to connivence the management of the business that it is the best way to work.  Care needs to be taken to ensure that a few dollars saved in one place, doesn't lead to significant costs in the rest of the business.

One of the things that I liked, mentioned in a session at Lotusphere, is that IBM is trying to make common tasks in Lotus Notes so simple that they can be preformed in 2 or fewer clicks.  Obviously, this is in response to feedback from the user community about their views on usability.  I think that this is also an important consideration that all IT departments need to give when thinking about their users.  How can I make their job as simple as possible?

Let's consider the iPhone and the iPad.  Why have they been so successful?  It would appear that they are really easy to use.  With little or no education people seem to be able to use them and even full in love with them.

Employees want to be able to use the tools they require to productively fulfill the requirements of their jobs.  Frustrations with technology leads to loss of productive time.  IT departments often place restrictions on what users can and cannot do on a machine which lead to frustration.

The result can be the loss of good employees and even make it hard to attract great talent.  I am just wondering if it is time for the business to ensure that IT is running for the business, not the other way around.


  1. Ah! but we now have a generation of people whom do not know how to socialise with other human beings.
    Just as children who once went outside after school to play with their friends are now found in front of a box with a control in their hands, chopping off heads and other hideous things.
    Technology is costing peoples jobs and the joy of conversation where you can see expressions and body language.
    Instead of interaction between two people you know get to talk to and automated machine.
    I know this is called progress and it can't be avoided but I hate to think of people becoming redundant due to Technology.


    1. Thanks for your comment Aroha.

      You are correct, it would appear that we have a generation who are poor communicators. A lot of children seem to be parented by video games and the latest gadgets. The life/technology thing seems to be a bit out of balance. Kids seem to have less imagination and creativity as a result.

      As you have mentioned, there is much more to communication than what technology seems to be able to provide in its current state. While body language can be seen through the use of video conferencing, there are other senses which lack engagement.

      I don't entirely agree about your comment regarding technology costing people their jobs. I know of very few people who are out of work because of technology. I am not saying that it doesn't happen, but it is rare. In most cases, employers will re-deploy skilled people to other jobs within the organisation. The savings in one area of the business mean that more can be spent in other areas.

      When I was at school, I remember a teacher telling us that when we left school we would have more time for recreation because of technology. This has not ended up being the reality. Instead, we seem to be more and more busy and as a result new jobs are being created in industries which didn't even exist a few years ago.

      When I work with companies I am most often talking about people and not technology. Technology, usually plays a big part in the solution to provide better collaboration, but it is all about people. People don't do business with businesses, they do business with people.

    2. Thanks for reading and replying to my comments on Technology.

      There is no stopping Technology, it is the future but along this journey I believe that people will lose the ability to engage with one another person to person.
      No amount of Technology can replace Human interaction.

      The loss of jobs I mentioned are those of Companies that have automated answer machines, so instead of talking with a person you are instead listening to the instructions of a recording that gives you step by step instructions to get done what you contacted the Company for in the first place.

      Yes, years ago many thought that all of this Technology would give people more time just to "be" but it seems to have in many cases made life more complicated.
      Juggling several things at the same time can make life difficult.

      Children of 9 yrs old and younger have mobile phones, ipods and gaming machines, so young yet already thrown into the World of Technology.
      Where is the imagination that children are supposed to have; the creativity seems to have been pushed to the back of the line.
      Even as a parent, many of us have become redundant, surplus to requirement, regarding helping them with their Homework as the Computer has now taken the place of the parent.
      Helping your children with their homework wasn't just connecting with your children but also keeping the parents brain moving and thinking.

      I'm a people watcher; I love to sit anywhere and watch people, their interacton with others, their body language, expressions, things that you can't get on or through Technology.

      Sure Video ( video conferences etc) allows people to interact but it is a forced interaction not a natural interaction.

      You can't shake a persons hand through Video conferences.
      Once upon a time a hand shake had great meaning in not just greeting people but in Business Deals and as part of being courteous.
      In fact I remember being taught how to meet and greet people with a firm Hand Shake.

      I guess I'm just getting old and don't wish to lose personal contact with people face to face.. lol..

      I don't like being put on hold when I've made time to phone a person. I expect them to show me the courtesy of dealing with me before they go to talk to someone else.

      Old Fashioned I am.

      I have a friend who is in her 90's and when I visit her, she tells me of her once a week, day out doing her Grocery Shopping and paying her Bills.
      To her it is the high-light of her week as she gets to see and talk to people and it gets her out of the house.

      Now Companies want automatic payments but to many people like my friend and myself, prefer to see, greet and interact with actual people.

      I don't want to go to have a coffee with my Mobile phone, chatting to my friends on the other end.
      I want to see them face to face.

      I have also become aware that when dealing with people via phone on a Professional level just how impersonal it is, and in most instances the person can't be read and I feel their treatment of you can be cold and tactical as their objective is to deal with the matter a.s.a.p so they can deal with whatever they have next; that is usually happening while I'm still dealing with them.

      It's like everyone is in such a rush that they can't stop to take a breath.

      Kind Regards,


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