From Platform-Centric to People-Centric IT

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By: Daniel Newman|

Photo Credit: bradsterling via Compfight cc

Just as the focus shifted from hardware to software in the modern business world, we’re now seeing a similar transformation with IT models. Platform-centric IT models and design (where companies base the majority of their IT around a single solution ecosystem) are making way for people-centric models. The future of technology does not lie with complex applications overly laden with obtuse features. Ease of use, agility, intuitive UI, and a more streamlined user experience are the real future of IT.

IT professionals have traditionally been constrained to work within the confines of devices, the applications made for those devices, and the ways in which those tools could be used. There was very little room to challenge processes and seek more efficient IT practices. But people-centric or user-centric IT practices hinge on allowing employees to customize how they work.

Make Platforms Work for You, Not Vice Versa

For years, IT professionals have managed software rollouts with little to no say in their design. Not only did these platforms need to integrate into the business, they had to work as intended. It was up to the IT department to learn the ins and outs in order to support the user base. But as technology continues to rapidly evolve, there’s just not enough time for IT departments to get up to speed on individual platforms, train users,and successfully incorporate the new tech into everyday business.

Digital transformation hinges on adaptability and customized applications unique to each business. There is an unfortunate amount of guesswork involved in adapting pre-packaged IT solutions. Your IT staff must not only roll out the new tools, services, or platforms, but they must know how to use them and address users’ issues. It’s no longer viable to make one-size-fits-all IT solutions.

Rather than wasting time and resources to push in a new system that has little noticeable benefit, wouldn’t it be better to customize and deploy uniquely tailored solutions and only pay for exactly what you need? This is the goal of people-centric IT: Creating IT solutions that are easy to use, address specific issues, and drive business.

Reassess the Value of Your IT Strategies

As more companies move toward digitalization, it’s no longer viable to assess IT performance with traditional cost-analysis metrics. In-house development can be tricky unless the entire organization is involved in the process and collaborates toward driving the business forward. Some of the major questions business leadership should ask about IT include the following:

  • How does a certain technology drive the core business? If your IT department is constantly addressing user issues, fixing bugs, and playing tag with software vendors, those technology solutions clearly aren’t driving the company forward. Your applications, tools, software, and other platforms should not be wasting time and resources–they should be bolstering business and keeping your employees free to do their best work.
  • What value is there in the company’s current IT projects? If there isn’t a clear benefit, why waste the resources? Company leadership needs to measure the success of IT projects and the long-term value of their results.
  • Can development and deployment times be improved? People-centric IT is geared around making things simpler for IT staff. It’s more efficient to build and deploy exactly what your business needs rather than force a complex third-party platform to fit into your business model.
  • How smooth are roll-outs, and are these new technologies worth the investment? Every new implementation needs to have a goal, and if those goals are not being met, you need to consider why. Is the platform able to perform as desired or is your IT department running in circles trying to make something work when it’s just not the right solution?
  • Is your IT department future-proof? Think about where you want your company to be in the next few years, and consider how well your IT department can handle the challenges to come. Are you going to need to recruit fresh, forward-thinking talent?

Value Outweighs Capability

The biggest attraction to adopting is that you’re pursuing tangible value without the costly bells and whistles that add implementation time and real costs. Some platforms may be riddled with features that indicate a wider spectrum of capability, but are those frills necessary to your core business?

Modern businesses need to be agile, flexible, and proactive. Adopting technology that cuts out unnecessary resource consumption and provides a clear value to the business saves time and money so you can put those resources toward your organization’s core business. User-centric IT aims to remove the excess from your daily operations and, as a result, helps move your business forward.

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About The Author

Daniel Newman

Founder and President, Broadsuite, Inc.

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.

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