I’m a technology fan. For personal use, computers, home theatre, digital photography all require endless (but enjoyable) research to figure out which new toy offers the best value. For business use, technology requires no less research but, the process tends to be less enjoyable. This could be because technology is an ever moving target.
Whether you’re talking about hardware and software for the office or the latest in home theatre technology – it seems the product evolves faster than it can be implemented. For an IT Administrator it can take months or even years to deploy and get users to actually adopt a new technology. By the time they become proficient it has become out of date. It is also a frustration for the knowledge worker being asked to change from the familiar. Spouses often react the same way when a new TV appears at home but, I digress.
Bottom line, technology is confusing. Open OfficeTM for example showed a lot of promise against the mighty Microsoft office. Adoption; however, has been slower than many expected. Now, new products are entering the fray in an attempt to become the productivity environment that business users ‘live in.’ There are new online alternatives to Microsoft from Google Docs, Adobe Buzzword and even Cisco. We all simply want the best tool to get our jobs done without having to think too much about it.
Transparenttechnology makes everyone’s life easier. Success can be achieved by implementing technology that adds efficiency or functionality without affecting a one’s daily job. The challenge for vendors and the IT staff who wade through all the marketing – is to determine which products will give the most benefit to users, without disrupting the core work process. They also need to be able to do this with shrinking budgets and project timelines.
As a server software vendor, our success is partially due to the fact that we provide a tool with broad functionality and flexibility that is tightly integrated with whatever core business applications the knowledge workers are used to – even if it changes over time. It is often transparent to the user that anything has been installed – they get the functionality they need without changing the way they work.
Might I also suggest switching to a digital TV signal at home? You’ll see how a little ‘transparent technology’ upgrade can enrich your life away from work too.