So what does a beauty contest have to do with desktops and cloud computing?
In both, you never have a second chance to make a first good impression! One performance and the votes are in. Having worked on desktops for [many] years, I know that relatively small things to us can make a world of difference to how the User views, and scores, the service or applications they are using.
Just like the beauty business, people don’t care how much starving, plucking or hard work went into what they see, all that matters is the beautiful result. Most Users do not understand or care how they are using applications or a system, just that the usability performance and consistent interface always works so they too can perform. What people are passionate about is the ability to work from wherever they need to, now, all done in a way that reflects their own personal style.
So back to the beauty contest for the IT department, because here too, there is surprisingly a beauty contest. With proliferation of access devices, changing usage patterns, better security, increased transparency along with expectations of bringing quicker value to the business with shorter cycles, users demand an ever more, more colourful palette of options to choose from. And that ugly old thing they used to get from IT? Not good enough.
Many IT departments have limited ability to anonymously measure or capture the true interests and opinions of their user or consumers. Traditional measures of things like network availability will not tell you if your users are getting what they need or indeed, happy. If your judges can’t vote,how do you know if what you offer is truly beautiful?
The desktop is now being redefined and CIOs will have to pass the beauty contest whether they like it or not. A disgruntled User community or failure to meet business expectations will have the same end result. Not winning the beauty contest.
Can we handle the mirror? Of course we can, it is only with the mirror of true understanding of user needs and performance that we can make both the IT department and our users be their beautiful best.
What do you think? Can you share good examples of the IT team and users working together to make it to the Miss World level of excellence in computing?