The power at the desktop is increasing by leaps and bounds. How do you get your user class to “leap and bound” in maximizing your return in this arena? Ensuring that your user class knows about the full range of supports available, and making maximum use through best knowledge, is a sort of Index of User Awareness. How to increase this index, and its use?
First, let’s realize that there’s been a definite shifting of burden within the realm of the daily business grind. This shift has been happening over the course of decades. Twenty or thirty years ago, users would fill out a reports form, or a programming request sheet, for submittal to an information services department in order to receive output: a report, or a change to “the system” for example.
Now, users can design and deliver their own reports. In many organizations, authorized users can create such things as their own rapid entry screens specifically tailored to their own job’s needs. They can invoke new business rules through simple selects. They can update constants such as pricing, shipping, discounts – and much more – when possessing appropriate business authority.
In other words, users are their own information service agents – and in many cases their own system configuration agents. Given the evolution and effectiveness of customizations, online help, training, tutorials, and knowledge-shares – the sheer power at the desktop – there is increasing expectation and necessity that users take full advantage of this power.
Some organizations leverage this power very effectively. Others cannot seem to harness it. IT must help Business make full use of the lever that this power at the desktop represents. Business must access, use, and benefit from this full desktop potential in achieving the best return on investment for these technologies.
In cycling back to business’ modern responsibilities in The Business-Technology Weave, we can see that it’s not only necessary for the business C-level execs to bring a readiness to the table, but also for junior, middle, and upper management to qualify themselves for the swim in the accelerating stream of business-technology planning and use.
August 3rd: On this day in 1790, the US Coast Guard is founded (as the Revenue Cutter Service)]]>
In matters of ignorance, consider that your organization is at tremendous risk for inefficient operation. Any entity in the modern Business-Technology Weave that is not keeping up with new knowledge and emerging concepts in the mutually reinforcing business and technical realms will contribute to an imbalance. All of this helps us to understand two basic things required of Business (and thus for the enterprise) in the modern Weave:
1) With the increase in sophistication of business information systems, and their comprehensive reach and weave into every corner of your operations, IT needs Business’ help more than ever in sizing and fitting support to business. The organization needs an engaged business element that makes a strong, good faith effort to self-motivate in maintaining a base of knowledge. This knowledge includes common information, technical and otherwise, that is necessary for Business to help plan its own support in the Weave through a Business-driven IT Strategy. We’re not trying to create a duplication of effort and knowledge between IT and Business, but Business needs a solid qualification upon which to draw so they can pilot the Business-driven IT strategy. As we come to define this posture, we will begin to speak of the IT Enlightened Organization.
2) More and more power, knowledge, and tools are being delivered to the desktop. The assumption by your surrounding industries – that is, training vendors, software developers, value added remarketers, and competitors – is that your user body is going to seize the initiative and make effective use of this “front side of the screen” power. Product developers draw assumptions upon which to scale their products and, increasingly, they assume your users remain informed, educated, and self-motivated. IT needs Business users to actively engage within the zone of desktop power – the zone that has been scaled and marketed specifically for the user class. This frees IT to assume greater and expanded capacities for support to the increasingly sophisticated and time-consuming backoffice support requirements, while simultaneously casting about for better supports to business and subsequent discussion and planning. Also, Business users must realize a full return on investment from this power – that is, the organization must capture the potential and make full use of these tools in making your business run at full efficiency and effectiveness. Users must also understand data, and be able to responsibly use, vet, and manage data. Let’s call all of this the Index of User Awareness.
In the coming days, let’s explore the Index of User Awareness, and ensconce everything within the IT Enlightened Organization.
August 1st : On this day in 1903 the 1st coast-to-coast automobile trip was completed – from San Francisco to New York.]]>