It’s a fact. People are notoriously poor in predicting their own levels of technology usage.
We’ve all done it – opened that long anticipated Christmas present with huge enthusiasm, taken a cursory glance at the instructions or set-up manual, and decided to defer the task until later. The likelihood is that that same piece of alluring tech, plus polystyrene box, wrapper and manual will remain in situ long after the Christmas turkey has disappeared, surrounded by a kind of lingering guilt.
Some of the top gadgets given as presents last Christmas – smartwatches, VR playstations, Bluetooth coffee machines, GoPro video cameras, portable wireless projectors, smart wine decanters – all of these technologies, whilst delivering huge benefit to the user, require just a little bit of grunt work to get set up.
So what are the factors that determine whether we propel ourselves into action and get our new gadgets up and running, or instead take the path of least resistance and hope a visiting cousin with a phD from John Lewis’ tech department will take over this tedious task in due course?
Keep it simple
As in the case of enterprise technology deployments, it’s all about simplicity: least number of steps (preferably one), short instructions, uncluttered interfaces, simple language that every level of technology adopter could follow… Even more critical is understanding the user requirements up front so that employees right across the organisation clearly see the benefit that this new technology is bringing! People are creatures of habit, and increasingly in a work setting we have even less time than before. This means companies need to think much harder about how to stir users into action, and create the feeling that the effort to get on-board with the new way of working will be richly rewarded by the experience delivered and the business benefit.
For “…as a Service” businesses, the emphasis is truly on the Service. In this easy-come, easy-go Cloud environment, switching is easy, and there is a lot of competition out there. You only have to glance at the latest mapping of digital transformation business tools to understand that there is a whole world of choice available in every given category, with each provider under pressure to deliver new customer experience gains. In the end, the user gets to be the judge: if it works and it’s easy, continue; if it’s mildly irritating or complex, revert to IT and demand an alternative, abandon it, or use your own version that you downloaded/bought from home (what’s commonly become known as shadow IT). In this environment, service deserves a firm place at the top of the tech product stack – not as an after-thought.
- End users often don’t have the time or inclination for lengthy tech updates
- The final product has to outweigh the implementation effort
- Short, simple stages will bring the best results
- Complex installations risk the rise of Shadow IT and rogue end users
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