Back in April, I decided to take some time off and take a backcountry backpacking trip in Zion National Park in southern Utah with a good friend of mine from Italy. This was the first time in a very long-time that I have taken a vacation without packing up the kids and standing in the TSA security line and dealing with the challenges of modern air travel. This trip was intended to “refresh” my mind and decompress from the modern world. It appeared to me though that even though this trip was an “unplugged” trip with no cell phone coverage or internet connection, it would be far from the days of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
I realized that as a modern user of technology my needs have changed and how I use technology has definitely changed. When I packed my 40 pound backpack, it included a modern GPS so we wouldn’t get lost, my fully charged iPAD with topographical maps (I did have a paper map as well), and my iPhone so I could take pictures along our route and once we had sell phone signal I could upload them Facebook. One night as I was enjoying a fabulous Italian Pasta meal my buddy made in the backcountry that I realized that this whole thing around User Oriented IT was not limited to what we can accomplish in the workplace, but what we could accomplish in our personal and business lives—regardless of where in the world we are located.
Adam Smith’s last blog article User Oriented IT Conversation In Red Rock Country is a great example of what can be accomplish by your workforce if they are given the freedom and flexibility to do their jobs. We had a group of product managers, product marketing managers, and user interface designers working on their laptops, tablets, and smart phones from the desert outside Moab, Utah.
Users are eager to be productive, but we cannot place constraints on them such as requiring employees to be physically in the office each workday, setting defined “working hours,” controlling what devices they work on, or how they get their applications. As business leaders and managers, we need to look for ways to balance the need for User Freedom while still maintaining a reasonable set of controls.
User Oriented IT is about 1) providing your end users an environment that they feel they can do their job without “feeling” the controls IT placed on them, 2) allowing them the freedom to use the device they are most comfortable using while working on applications they are most productive using, and 3) the flexibility to work from the coffee shop, from home, the office or from a tent in the desert.
It’s the 1-2-3 way to Unleash the Power of Your Workforce!
If you would like to learn more about User Oriented IT, LANDesk’s CEO, Steve Daly will be presenting at Gartner IT Infrastructure and Operation Management Summit in Orlando, Florida on the June 18, 2013.