We live in a connected society of humans and machines. This world creates great conflict for both humans and machines. Humans must protect themselves from allowing the machines to control them. Some of us attempt to do so by removing technology from our lives at certain times during our day. I say attempt because it is very challenging to do this and very easy to fail. Due to our difficulty in controlling our actions of how, when, and where we use technology, we as users of the machines have become very unpredictable. Machines need protection from humans in order to avoid being cast aside for not delivering an acceptable user experience that is consistent. Herein lies the pain and conflict users consuming IT resources can feel.
IT departments are made up of humans trying to configure solutions and machines have very little defense against their creator. Complicating the situation is unpredictable, volatile, and at times what appear to IT as “abusive” users. The evolution of our society as it relates to technology has moved quite quickly compared to the evolution of our society as a human race. The more we continue to evolve the ways in which we consume and inherently change our behavior, the more complexity we introduce into the IT departments responsible for delivering the tools we use. This challenge presents a situation which forces IT to choose how to overcome this uncertainty.
IT Management may choose to control access in a way that deters users from engaging IT to solve business challenges. This is typically done to prevent the possibility for creating more work for their IT staff and allows them to maintain their IT operational expenses. This is usually met with a lot of confrontation and adversarial behavior. IT departments were created to help solve challenges through technology for the organizations they serve. Applications exist for users to increase productivity for the tasks they are responsible for as a part of their function within the organization.
Many IT leaders are searching to find a way to the past, but Doc Brown is not going to show up in the Delorean and take them back to 1985. Leaders will need vision and execution to support the adoption of mobile. IT in the past consistently engaged with users to understand their challenges and empowered users to be more effective. They assisted senior business leaders in providing solutions that would aid productivity. Controls were merely a precaution to prevent downtime which reduced the amount of time users were unproductive. IT’s continued self righteousness is a path to failure. Users have changed. They are educated and not afraid of technology. They want to be involved in decisions on how to leverage tools available to them, which enables better delivery of their services to the organizations they serve.
As I stated, we live in a connected society of humans and machines. We are mobile and so is our technology. One size may fit one type of person, but not all. If we are able to learn from our past successes, many occurred when we listened and focused on how to help enable the changes of a complex new world offering great possibilities to our organizations. Leaders have an opportunity to make a great impact once again. We can help transform IT to deliver solutions that allow organizations to unlock the potential of their users by enabling the freedom of choice with flexible and secure business mobility. To get started, get out there and talk to your people, they would welcome a change to the engagement model.