Posted by: Arun Gupta
CIO, consumerization of IT, influencing outcomes, managing expectations, Vendor relationships
The craze for new gadgets and devices appears to be growing day by day. Emotions run high for some iconic devices and brands, where people are willing to endure cold nights and mornings, waiting for the store to open. The queues are visible across countries, so it is a global epidemic. These are normal consumers vying with the technophiles to be the first to own the product!
I own multiple devices including a few from the company in discussion, but never stood in queues to be amongst the first, though I know a few who did. I have always waited for a couple of revisions or generations to pass by before acquiring the new iconic device; the primary purpose seen seems to be displaying it prominently or announcing it by the footer in the email.
I get carried away; this is not about new devices or the long queues, but about rotten eggs. In China, fans threw rotten eggs at the stores when the company announced to the teeming crowds who had queued up for long hours that they will not be selling the much awaited device. The decision, as the announcement proclaimed, was taken for the security of the customers who turned up in large numbers. Did those customers come armed with eggs waiting for the store to open?
The incident triggered many wild thoughts. Is the idea extensible to other irritating behaviors, from, say, IT vendors who take the CIO community for a ride? What if every time there is a breach of trust, can I shower the vendor sales or support teams with choicest tomatoes (I am a vegetarian, you know!)? Is this a feat worth emulating when projects do not meet timelines or when misunderstanding of basic requirement by ignorant consultants becomes a change request?
It does have finality to the statement it makes: If I don’t like the outcome, I am going to demonstrate my ire. S’il vouz plait, it may aggravate the situation, but it does create a warm, fuzzy and a lighter feeling to have vented out the frustration and anger. Will the slinging match create a better relationship between the CIO and the other parties?
Last week, while working on a few post contract changes to some service delivery benchmarks, I had an urge to pelt a lot of stuff on the negotiating party. My primal fantasy had to be suppressed to stay within defined corporate behavior and work on the issues step-by-step, steering it towards desired outcomes. Civilized acceptable behavior does not provide latitude to hurl objects when events do not take the turn we desire; even when the consumerization of devices brings unwelcome distractions.
Relationships are built over a period of time, but they can be strained for a long time in an unguarded moment. This applies to any relationship, peers, bosses, team, vendors, family, and friends. CIOs forge relationships possibly with a larger set in comparison to some of their peers. Success is highly dependent on setting and managing realistic expectations. Service delivery and change management are key tenets of the IT agenda.
After all we don’t want to be at the receiving end of the rotten eggs.