10 Rules Enterprise Technology Groups Need to Start Living By

Over the past ~15 years or so I’ve had the opportunity to engage with enterprise technology groups in one form or another whether it be designing solutions with them, consulting for them, selling to them and now, actually working within one.

As a result I’ve had a front seat as they’ve been dragged into a new world where they’re no longer the place where employees are amazed at the cutting-edge technologies they get to work with at the office, but instead a place where just keeping up with the latest technologies has become a massive challenge (Hands up if you work at a big corp and you’re still on Win XP, Office 2003 & IE6).

Compounding the problem is the accelerating pace of technology evolution – not just for the applications and hardware already in the organization, but the growing number of applications and devices they’re expected to support. 25-30 years ago it was a putting a computer on every desk, today I personally have a corporate desktop, laptop (2 actually), blackberry and iPad. Then you’ve got the applications, the intranet and all the servers to run everything. What it boils down to is 100’s of thousands of moving parts that they’re responsible for and that number is only increasing (oh, and did we mention your budget has been cut back?).

So with that context I do think there’s some areas where technology groups could make their lives easier. Most, if not all, of the following rules really only require a mindset shift to implement (easier said than done, I know) Continue reading 10 Rules Enterprise Technology Groups Need to Start Living By

Unconsciously Killing User Experience in the Enterprise

After ~18 moths in a large organization, I’d be hard pressed to find a statement that fills me with dread more than: “Oh, we’ve got this great new system that you can enter your request in now” – No sooner have those words left someone’s mouth and I know that I’ve just lost hours of my life and in short order, will likely start sympathizing with those people who snap in the workplace.

It happens easily enough – A team within a department are tasked with cleaning up their processes and building or configuring a system to automate all that tedious data collection and information submission. It’s a task that is approached with the best intentions but often goes horribly astray at some point along the way. The reason? The Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) begin thinking of themselves as the ‘users’ and when that happens, all hope is lost.

Heck, if it’s a system that only the SMEs need to use then go for it, knock yourself out. Unfortunately though, more often than not, the intentions of these systems is to get users from outside a department or work group to submit information to the SMEs in a consistent, organized fashion. The problem? They’re not SME’s – they don’t know what you know. Actually, the problem in these cases is that YOU don’t know what you know. Continue reading Unconsciously Killing User Experience in the Enterprise

Change Don’t Cost a Thing

A few months ago I was in a meeting where we were discussing the future vision for a set of technologies that would help enable employees in a variety of contexts. The challenge of course, is the ideal state of all of these technologies requires infrastructure – and it’s usually not cheap. As a result,just about every conversation came back to “Our infrastructure won’t support it.”

The default position of many organizations is to adapt the users behavior to fit the infrastructure rather than building an infrastructure to support the desired behavior. I suggested in the meeting that we needed to do a lot less of the former and really focus on the latter which of course, predictably, was responded to with “Do you have any idea what that would cost?”

Actually yes, I do.

Nothing. Continue reading Change Don’t Cost a Thing