Thursday, April 3, 2008

IT and the Totally Autonomous User

Remember the saying, "A adult female necessitates a adult male like a fish necessitates a bicycle?" You couldn't throw a pet stone in the '70s without hitting a adult female wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with it.

I wouldn't be surprised to begin seeing these at the business office - but with a twist. Today's version would replace "business user" for "woman" and "IT department" for "man." All of the major engineering research companies, from Gartner to Forrester to IDC, state that the thought of a centralised and all-powerful IT section is beginning to look as dated as, well, a pet rock.

Said Forrester Research analyst Bobby Cameron in a November interview with IT Business Edge:


"What we are really pushing in footing of linguistic communication is "business technology" - pervading engineering usage that thrusts the concern results. Now the pervasiveness is the existent key. It's just an explosive enlargement of who's messing with technology, both as end users as well as something around deploying it. The concern impact, specifically, to speak to the point of end users being motivated more than than and more to take consequences bringing into their ain hands. They may necessitate some substructure and capability, but at the existent point of differentiated value delivery, that's really where a batch of users are picking it up."

I've written respective modern times about the tendency of concern users operating under IT's radar. It's not just individual users employing their favourite consumer engineerings at the office. In some cases, full sections utilize software-as-a-service applications with no input signal from IT.

Users play an increasingly influential function in endeavor software system purchasing decisions, composes Antony Deighton, senior VP of selling for SaaS supplier QlikTech on SandHill.com, because they find if and how a merchandise will be used. Indeed, failure to obtain user buy-in is one of the quickest ways to kill a software system implementation. Offer a user-friendly interface travels a long manner toward obtaining this buy-in. Writes Deighton:


"It is easy to see grounds of this divergency by looking at the marketplace for email. Microsoft Mentality is typically purchased by the organisation and given to the user. It is very complex and hard to use. Compare that experience to using any of the personal electronic mail merchandises - Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, or others. These applications enable entree to electronic mail from any computing machine on the planet via a simple interface. They have got fewer characteristics but are far easier to utilize than Outlook."

Venture rugged individualist Kevin Efrusy travels so far as to propose that individual workers will ultimately purchase their ain productiveness applications. Efrusy's company, Accel Partners, just invested in Genius.com, A start-up using this theoretical account with its software system tool that alarms salespeople when clients visit the company's Web site, short letters Wall Street Diary blogger Ben Worthen. In essence, workers supply their ain proof-of-concept, composes Worthen.

This isn't a completely new concept, of course. It's a fluctuation on the thought of employees buying their ain PCs, which IT Business Edge blogger Rob Enderle wrote about in May. Of course, there are possible hang-ups to this model. IT Business Edge's Cognizance Hardin pointed some of them out in an August blog.

One issue, composes Hardin, is expecting employees to pay for their ain gear. Companies could surmount this obstruction by providing some sort of a stipend or reimbursement. An even larger issue is workers who might be tempted to utilize their engineering for work-inappropriate purposes. He writes:


"...there's all sorts of material employees can make with offline personal communicating devices (their mouths, for example) that companies necessitate to be concerned about from a liability standpoint."

Point taken. That menace already exists, and many IT sections are struggling with it. With anticipations like Efrusy's, it's not likely to acquire easier any clip soon.

1 comment:

ann said...

Thanks for the post. But would have appreciated a link back to our site, IT Business Edge, or some other acknowledgement that this post was written by Ann All, who covers issues of IT and business alignment for ITBE.joe