The web offers cheap and easy access for our clients (internal or external) to access services 24x7. As a result, our web stores and public facing sites have become "must be available" on the same basis. But how many of us actually follow through?
Stories by George Gorsline
Focusing on the customer perspective of the IT services we deliver isn’t easy. Having the experience of being on “the other side” gives a very different view than what we might imagine it to be.
A case in point is a small stand-alone organisation just coming out of start-up mode now having to integrate its IT into the parent company’s IT infrastructure. The small organisation (we’ll call them Smallco) had started green field and was running its own IT shop on the latest releases of all of the office products: Office 2010, OCS with full VOIP phone-email-calendar-IM-mobile integration, the newest SharePoint, etc. It also had some Macintoshes, and even a few iPads and iPhones. Help desk response to desk-side was often minutes, excepting coffee breaks. Further, Smallco permitted staff open Internet access (barring only porn/gambling/et al), and, for users with special needs, they were given administrative rights to add software to their desktops. What did the parent IT organisation support? Not the current releases, no on-site desktop support, YouTube and Facebook access was blocked, and POTS telephony. To ease the transition, the parent’s CIO committed to support Smallco’s variations in product releases from its standard offerings and to the higher level of desk side service.
If you haven't recently, try spending a few minutes reading a few postings on one of the job web sites (CareerBuilder, Monster, Workopolis, etc). The typical full-time job posting details the job's functions and qualifications for candidates. It may also give a bit of background about the company and its leadership position in its industry, its challenging atmosphere, and that it's a great place to work with terrific benefits. Those applying provide all information electronically, usually a combination of a resume and some additional information use for screening applicants to select the few that meet those qualifications for further review. Screening is often an exercise in keyword searches, and the results will only be those candidates whose input included all of the words (the highest "buzzword bingo" scores). And there's the problem. All of this is done without evaluating the person as a whole. There is no room for someone whose career path doesn't fit the perceived norm. For example, is a PMP designation required for your routine projects? Have project managers with the PMP performed better in your environment than those without it? Of course, some roles may require a designation (e.g. CISSP) to meet industry standards, but are you using certifications as a way to reduce the number of resumes you need to read?