Wednesday, November 21, 2012

User Extinction Threat

But IT shares the same DNA!

By Simone Jo Moore

A while ago I was prompted to tweet ‘too many users in the world – be a contributor. Create, consume, curate, collaborate’. Many of you will recognise Chris Dancy’s 4Cs. Interestingly this sparked a tweet chat that queried whether I was suggesting a theory of natural selection. Strangely, it was not far from the truth as it had brought to mind Sir David Attenborough and if he would view Users as a species in danger of extinction. A new meaning to the term ‘weakest link’ was a rejoinder to my tweet but rather, I believe that they could be the strongest link if IT were brave enough to allow it.

It seems that when we come face-to-face with a user, IT bundles itself into a proverbial Hide to observe what they will do. However, if we truly sat and watched Users work as naturalists do with wildlife, then perhaps not only our understanding will be enlightened but our attitude toward them transformed. It’s time to appreciate what we find fascinating or even strange in their behaviour and see how Users are intricately linked to the reason why the ITSM world exists. 

Cold blooded is often how IT has been regarded – a lack of humanness in technology except for what humans have designed and programmed. Users have been the subjects of many a failed technology experiment thrust upon them by some mad scientist brain trying to perfect a supposedly better DNA structure for them. All the while completely ignoring the fact that User technology genes are already evolving quite nicely on their own. I know the DNA difference between a human and chimpanzee is less than 2% yet that gives us - to quote a favourite movie - ‘Einstein, Mozart …’ ‘Jack the Ripper!’

The more you observe, the more likely you are to find that Users are definitely evolving as the younger of the species are adapting their behaviour to circumvent circumstance, keep their internal function steady and get a job done. IT sometimes appears to prolong the older species dying process by trying to work with lowering oxygen levels and persisting longer under compromised conditions such as hordes of screaming users ready to torch you and long nights hiding through a thunderstorm rollout.

We need to tap into, not change, the heart of the business, the User brain. We can learn from the way they behave and evolve to the changing business environment. Users are far from extinct, in fact, their numbers and demand on the environment is increasing and their ability to adapt seemingly greater. I recant my original tweet - they are creating, consuming, curating and collaborating. 

If you turned the microscope on IT, you’d notice that we’re not any different to Users, in fact we share the same DNA – so why behave as if we are different?

Many thanks to @itilzealot for sparking this blog.

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