From: Neil Jones, Head of IS, Newport City Homes
Sir – One of the biggest problems I face in the workplace is a lack of understanding on what technology can achieve. This happens on a number of levels, with some people actively enjoying repetitive tasks (I know, it makes no sense to me either) and never making my team aware of the opportunity to improve tasks, to other people asking for automation or new systems without ever fully understanding the processes they are trying to replace.
Technology seems omnipresent in our lives now; smartphones, iPads, laptops, games consoles, the list goes on. But the important thing to understand about these devices is that they require no ability for systems thinking. As technologists we understand this, but to some people it is all too easy to equate being able to book a holiday online with ‘understanding computers’.
Is there a way to overcome these barriers to understanding? I find adopting the middle ground works for me. I’m happy to show the business new technologies and systems and I’m happy to listen to what individuals would like to achieve from the technology. It’s an iterative approach and it does require some patience but the results can be very successful with the business happy to ‘own’ these resulting solutions.
End users, eh? Where would we be without them?