There is an IT Revolution happening and the most unlikely person made it all clear to me. In 2007 I persuaded my wife (a lawyer by trade and not into technology) to switch to the iPhone from what she thought was the coolest sounding phone, the flip Motorola Razr. After a lot of coaxing, she finally started using it for the features it had beyond making phone calls. She was pregnant with our first child, and because of the iPhone she started documenting her pregnancy on a personal journal with pictures and thoughts of the day. One day she came to me and asked me how she would get all the pictures and notes off her phone and on to the computer. I said it was easy: just use iTunes, plug in the phone, set up your sync, etc. Then I saw what I call, the stare of, “It just got too complicated for me, you do it.”
Then it happened. The IT Revolution. Right there. As I was syncing the phone, she goes on this diatribe. I was only half listening so I will summarize. Basically she said, why can’t the phone automatically sync to the computer and then when I edit it, the pictures automatically sync back to the phone? iCloud was launched 4 years later.
This innocuous conversation helped me solidify three main trends that are empowering the IT Revolution. First, expectations on technology are high. More people believe that technology can change and improve their daily lives. Next, more people expect the interface to technology to be simple and finally, access to technology should have no boundaries.
Point 1: Tech Expectations are High
The term “more with less” has really become cliché now, but what it translates to is that the expectations on technology solutions are high. We want technology to fill the gap between more value with less people and budget. Many people call this the “new normal,” but to me it is the evolution of expectations. Organizations, and the people that support them, want technology to help bridge the competitive gap. One way to do that is to leverage unified solutions. My wife did not expect to use the iPhone for just making calls. It was the unification of the platform, and the apps that are built on it, that made her see the exponential potential of the technology, and that is a good thing. It made her see more uses for it and helped her do more with less.
Point 2: Simple User Experience
Unification of technology is not enough, though. It has to be coupled with an intuitive user experience. This is a critical mind shift from older models of technology development. In the past, IT solutions were delivered in a technology silo, which means the user experience was based on the product not the user. Sure we created roles and “views” for different people, but it was still limited to the function that the technology solved, not the business goals of the organization. I have worked with so many organizations that had full time people developing the user experience to match their business and breakdown the silos. That has to change.
Point 3: Any-*
The revolution didn’t start for my wife on her laptop. It started on her smartphone. Now, the revolution is not just about mobile, but what that represents: the idea of access and use from anywhere, anytime, any device. Nimsoft has embraced this by creating a solution that is both open and accessible, that doesn’t presuppose how organizations will leverage the technology. While Nimsoft leverages best practices and out of the box experience, we enable and encourage organizations to make it their own.
Gijo Mathew presents Empowering the IT Revolution: What’s New for Your Business? at next week’s Nimsoft user conference, n•fluence 2012.