Is this Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

What’s the web changing, and are we helping?ll

with 5 comments

threads on a loom

The internet changes marketing

I’ve recently read with interest Brian’s post on how university marketing departments just don’t get it. Briefly, some have produced promotional videos; an enterprising firm has hosted and promoted copies of these. Rather than being glad about the publicity, there have been take down notices issued. It made me wonder if there are other pockets of resistance to change.

The web – and Webside(TM) working – changes corporate access

I like many ex or soi-disant road warriors have a corporate laptop. I was used to carrying lan cables, phone cables & adapters, mini-switches, I have a locked down laptop which I use over a VPN to access corporate services. We have an IT support organisation that can look after this. My employer is moving to webside working; I still need to chuck up a VPN, but I can do that from my home PC; from an internet cafe – from my little eee PC. I understand some of the senior guys, and some of the software simians (@kerryb ‘s periphrasis of codemonkeys – as he honestly points out via Scott Adams) actually use Macs… This complicates support, because it means that you can no longer rely on folk having standard kit. This means you need better self diagnosis tools, and savvier staff to handle the calls that can’t self clear. It also means we need strong commitment to track down root cause, as it’s no longer (if it ever was) acceptable to say “You shouldn’t be using that software”. It also means that we have to stop some of the nonsense measures. Time to close an incident is irrelevant, if there hasn’t been a clear. But then, we get to targets…

User experience changes perceptions of official software

JP’s talked before about how people are used to using their favourite tools, and how it will ring them into the Enterprise. He’s pushing that… @san1t1 has discussed elsewhere how bizarre it is to have training to use a purchasing system, pointing out he must have missed the training to use Amazon etc.

People are used to intuitive systems, be they from GetSatisfaction.com or 37 Signals. Arcane comands on COTS stuff won’t cut it.

What should we do?

Well, I’m tempted to suggest like Richard Dennison “Proceed until apprehended”. You’re meant to push the envelopes; if you’re not taking risks – and sure, making mistakes, you’re not learning anything.

And…?
If things are causing you a problem and pain – shout long and loud so people can see the pain points – and address them.

Picture Credit Daniel F. Pigatto

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Written by SteveEllwood

May 20, 2008 at 10:27 am

Posted in Web 2.0

5 Responses

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  1. Unfortunately there’s a bit of a conflict between “Proceed until apprehended” and “If things are causing you a problem and pain – shout long and loud”.

    I tend to assume that adopting non-standard tools and (ahem) “liberally interpreting” corporate rules comes with the responsibility to fix problems yourself, rather than bothering the helpdesk. But then I’ve never been one for bothering helpdesks anyway.

    Kerry Buckley

    May 20, 2008 at 10:34 am

  2. Oh, and I can’t claim any credit for “software simian” – I stole it from Scott Adams.

    Kerry Buckley

    May 20, 2008 at 1:04 pm

  3. I think your last point is key, especially in an organisation where there there is no choice to use a system, then you need to get feedback to the right people that they have made poor decisions. I have several times raised my concern about a site only to be told ‘everybody else likes it’

    sandyblair

    May 20, 2008 at 1:11 pm

  4. Kerry, I agree with not bothering the helpdesk, if it’s your toolset.

    If it is the corporate expenses system, or the performance management system… shout.
    As Sandy says, if you don’t, you’ll get “Everyone else likes it.”

    shaidorsai

    May 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm

  5. Still think periphrasis sounds like a skin condition.

    DE

    May 21, 2008 at 11:09 am


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