Four Fried Chickens and a Coke

By DANIEL ANTION posted 11-28-2012 14:40


The buzz is starting to build around the 2013 AIIM Conference, and I use the word ‘buzz’ instead of ‘hype’ because this conference delivers on its promises.

I will be speaking at this conference at 11:30 on Thursday, March 21. My presentation is titled “Four fried chickens and a Coke – Serving IT customers what they really want!” The following is a preview.

The problem for IT organizations today is that we’re used to giving our customers what we want them to have, and we aren’t used to giving them anything that is cool. Well, in fairness, the stuff we want to give them was cool, during the 90’s, but it’s not cool any more. Are we (yes, I’m an IT Guy) out of touch? Are we out of money? Or, do they not understand the big picture? I am going to break with my peers, and my coworkers, albeit in different directions and say that it’s all of the above.

We might be out of touch, but it’s not technology that we are out of touch with, it’s people. That’s not surprising considering that, as a group we spend most of our time talking to our shoes. We have always had a collection of cool tools, utilities, things that we are “evaluating” and we have always been trying to figure out how to adapt these things to mainline application technology as opposed to just our tech groups. The problem has been that by the time we deemed something worthy, enticed a few bold end-users and convinced upper management, the cool thing had been eclipsed in the marketplace – more IT failure. People have changed, and now we have the opportunity to say “yeah, we can hook that up to our network” to the CEO when he brings his Christmas present to work on January 3rd. Respond to him (them) and trust that they will understand the twists and turns of the market. By accommodating the early adopter, at least the solution stands a chance to work for a while.

If your customers are out of touch, it isn’t technology that they don’t understand, it’s the other constraints on IT, but those are easy lessons to teach. Like you, they operate under a finite budget that probably required them to disappoint some people (sorry, you can only go to one conference; only one of you can attend this training; I’d like you to have that certificate, but I can’t pay for training, testing or give you a raise if you get it…the list goes on). Similarly, they understand the pressures that compliance, privacy and security concerns put on everyone in an organization. So stop making it an IT Thing! We are all in this together, and IT has to do what IT has always had to do, understand the users’ requirements and put technology in terms they understand – even when it’s their own technology.

That’s what I’m talking about (in March). We have managed to accommodate BYOD, end-user demand for some cool things and mobile access, and we have managed to satisfy the budgetrons and the lawyers. We have been doing this for years, way before BYOD was an acronym and any of this stuff was cool. We may have actually figured some things out, and I’ll be sharing as much as I can in March.

You can register for AIIM 2013 here.

#AIIMConference #SharePoint #IT #sharepoint #BYOD #mobile
1 comment


11-29-2012 10:33

I disagree though that you should give people what they want. What you should do is know WHY people want something, and then build something that satisfies their real desires. Most people don't know what they want. To quote Henry Ford, "If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse."