Thursday 1 September 2005

Understanding the Human Impact of Business IT

I find people either love or hate the work of research firms and the like, but if you can stay the distance Diane Morell, from Gartner has some interesting things to say in a report (published in the ACS's Information Age magazine) on The Human Impact Of Business IT.

There are some similarities between Morello's conclusions and many of the issues I've raised in this blog (such as the Intranet Imperative), other articles, as well as presentations I've made on topics on things such as social software, e-mail overload and the always on, always connected technology. Now its nice to see someone wrap this up into an argument that warns business they will undercut half the value of their IT investments if they fail to reform themselves.

I particularly like the observation she makes that "Consumers do battle with spam, pop-ups, identity theft and technical problems for which they lack adequate skills. Meanwhile, employees must operate within rigid standards, policies and security measures that save money for the company and tighten digital security – often at the expense of individual or team innovation."

She identifies what she call "three large disrupters":

  • Thrashing (the constant and unproductive switching between systems, applications and communication channels);
  • Judgement devaluation; and
  • Excessive e-contact.
Morello also points to another article called The Dehumanised Employee published in CIO magazine at the end of last year that is also worth a look. You might also enjoy some of the links to other CIO magazine article related to Supermarket self-service that I blogged about in April.

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