Enablement

by Brian Katz on June 11, 2013 · 0 comments

Memorial Day weekend was a fun long weekend for me. Although as with anything, there were many choices to be made. In my case I have two daughters who had very different schedules last weekend. My younger daughter was playing in a soccer tournament while my older daughter was participating in a charity fundraiser. Since there was 130 miles separating the two it was going to be difficult, if not impossible for everyone to participate in both events. Yet through the use of technology, I was able to attend both events and make the whole family happy.
On Saturday, I spent 5 hours in the car to see my younger daughter play. I had to get up at the crack of dawn to meet her and her mother at the field and I got to watch two great games. Nothing like seeing your daughter put the ball in the net for the winning goal. Yet Sunday was going to be difficult. They still had to win their last game in the morning to get to the semi-finals and my older daughter still had her charity event to go to. We knew if they won we could head down to watch the semi-final but there was no way to be there for the first game.

That’s where technology came in. My wife had her iPhone with her and she turned on Facetime. I watched the whole game including my daughter scoring the tying goal from my computer in the comfort of the house. To be fair, it wasn’t ESPN quality but it came out pretty good. This isn’t limited to Apple devices either, one could use Skype or Ustream to do the same thing. The point, though, is that I had found a way to use technology to allow me to be there. My older daughter was thrilled because she got to get meet her fundraising goal all by herself and to be fair, my younger daughter was too excited about making it to the semi-finals to care.
We went down to the semi-finals, which they won, streamed some of the game to their grandparents and then went to watch the finals the next day (they won that too). The cool thing was that their grandparents had only had their iPad for a week. We called them up on the way down to the field, walked them through starting Facetime and they were set. Although, grandma still hasn’t figured out to look at the iPad, we kept seeing her forehead.
The point of using technology isn’t to use it for technology’s sake. The real reason to invest in any technology is because of what it enables you to do. It doesn’t change when you start talking about work. The goal of any technology at work is to provide the same thing for your users. You want to make their life easier. When you enable them to be more flexible and agile, when they can work from where they are, when they need to, you end up with happier and more productive people. It’s the transformation of work being a place you go to it becoming something you do.
You use technology to make the impossible possible. Business processes that only 5 years ago seemed cutting edge are improved because you find a way to let technology enable them to be performed faster or more simply. The old way of doing things now seems archaic. Emergencies that meant people had to drive an hour in to work late at night or on a Sunday can now be fixed wherever they are without getting in the way of family time. Business that was lost because it took hours to communicate the needs of your consumers because you had to go back to the office to enter the data now happen instantaneously.
The goal isn’t the Consumerization of IT or the Itization of the consumer. It’s the enablement of the user through technology to be more productive and efficient while being happier. We have lived forever with the DNO, Department of NO, but if you look closely at the users who actually work in IT, they’re asking for the same thing that your regular users are as well. They want to be able to use the right tool at the right place at the right time (the 3Rs). The tools they want are great devices matched with great apps. You see, when you spend the time figuring out how to say yes rather than no, everyone wins.

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