In too many organisations ICT Is something that happens in the background. It is an unseen force that keeps things going that people don’t think about until it goes wrong. It is a bit like electricity, it is just there. You flick the switch and on it comes and you don’t stop to think of the enormously complicated infrastructure that supports your glowing light bulb.
The first thing you do when you have a power cut is to try the light switch. The first thing you do when your ICT fails is to say how rubbish it is.
We are driven by the last thing that we remember and our memories of ICT is of when it last broke. As Kahneman wrote, ‘as odd as it may seem I am the remembering self and the experiencing self, who does my living is like a stranger to me.’ Memories are much more important than reality, if such a thing exists.
I started this blog soon after a conversation with Stephen and at the time I felt that it is time to change. It is time for the technology to come out of the basement and into the light. Too often ICT is hidden but it should be in everyone’s face. It is too important to leave in the shadows.
Now I am not so sure.
I am sure that technology is too important to leave in the shadows yet what I stutter over is the prominence of the role that technology needs to play. For most of us it is a set of tools, an enabler that allows us to deliver the goods and services we have promised. Where this is the case technology should not dominate the business but support it. It should not be more important than the people.
If it can be pulled off, the best trick will be to take the tech out of the problem. ICT needs to become less seen. It is not the technology that is important but rather what it can do.
The automotive industry has been excellent in hiding the enormous amounts of technology in its products inside sleek and appealing styling. Their industry’s focus has been on driver experience, comfort and safety. Companies such as Apple have done the same with consumer tech.
It is not the technology itself that needs to be in the glare of the sun, it is the focus on the user experience that needs to come out of the shadows.