Drug Dealers and IT are the only people who call their customers “users”

By Daniel O'Leary posted 07-08-2012 11:22


Drug Dealers and IT are the only people who call their customers “users”

Seriously, why does corporate IT have more in common with a street pharmacist than the genius bar at the local Apple Store? Is Lotus Notes or SharePoint the new corporate crack? What does it say about an industry where customers are treated in such low regard? Have I just been watching too much ‘Breaking Bad’ this summer? 

As customers, we need to change this mindset. 

Dan, are you really serious?

Yes, I’m totally serious. In fact, IT is eerily similar to drug dealers. Their entire goal is to get you addicted to their technology products, and have literally no other alternative to get your fix. You might hate the enterprise software products they provide, which are outdated and worse than you could buy on your own, but until recently, there were no alternatives to the corporate IT cartel. 

The rise of the cloud and shadow IT

Some intrepid “users” have taken it on themselves to provide the tools and services they need to get work done; to get their fix without waiting for IT to provide it. Consumer tools and devices are being smuggled in to the enterprise, and cloud services are growing like wildfire as customers charge services to their personal credit cards to get things done.

The War on Drugs

Clearly, this model is not working for anyone, especially IT or the customers they serve. As AIIM President John Mancini notes, “Why is it that I feel so powerful as a consumer, and so lame as an employee?” It certainly has to do with IT’s view of us as nothing more than technology addicted users who muck up their plans. Therefore, our only option is true revolution on behalf of customers everywhere, and as John puts it, we need to OCCUPY IT.

Join the revolution!

You seriously need to read and share John’s manifesto called “Occupy IT.” The five demands of the #OccupyIT Manifesto are:

Demand #1 – Commit to the cloud to become faster, more agile and innovative.
Demand #2 – Mobilize everything to have more access, more often.
Demand #3 – Make the business social to increase meaningful engagement.
Demand #4 – Digitize anything that moves to improve responsiveness.
Demand #5 – Prepare for extreme information management by securing the right expertise.

Are you ready to join the revolution? Grab a free copy of the book at , and stand up for your rights as a customer. 

#IT #occupy #customers #Users #revolution


07-11-2012 20:09

While I agree with much of what John wrote in his manifesto, I'm not certain that CoIT, BYOD, Cloud, ... will actually solve the "addiction" problems. All that will change is the pusher. Instead of looking to corporate IT we'll look to the street for our fix.

07-10-2012 11:27

It's wise to consider the words that characterize our relationships with digital technology. Especially with corporate technology we often feel "used" by overarching systems, and sometimes even "abused." [Insert rant here.]
As the saying goes: Perspective is everything. The switch from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement is neither just a shift in technology nor in words. It's the paradigm shift cited 15 years ago in The Cluetrain Manifesto: Markets are Conversations (Locke, Searls, Weinberger).
In the UX/Content Strategy community, a question arose regarding the phrase "consume content."
Some designers and strategists were appalled that their lovely work was being consumed like junk food across the Internet. Erin Kissane invited alternatives for a verbing of content, which brought: Experience, Absorb, Assimilate, Enjoy...
What if ECM vendors switched from FUD to "Experience [ECM Product] and Enjoy the Absorbing Assimilation of your Enterprise needs!"
In the end Kissane preferred "use" for it's simplicity. But let's face it folks, if you sell something, then you are working with "consumers," who pay to consume your systems, services, or content. The bigger question is how are you working for them?
The Internet is a global home of citizens, consumers, and just plain people. The future of ECM is their choice, based upon their preferences, understood through their conversations.

07-10-2012 08:53

Also highly recommend the book for anyone in the biz. John does a great job. And if anyone doubts the cloud, take a look at the keynote from the Netsuite conference this year. Stuff's a changin.
Years ago, we put a small imaging/doc management system in for a small insurance company. After a few months I got the call where the IT manager who's first line was, "You know, you guys are like drug dealers. You give us this stuff and we really like it and got to buy more." I took it as a bit of a compliment since it meant the systems was working well, but the story came to mind in reading Dan's post.