THE NEW USER in the Post-PC Era
IT is undergoing on of the most significant transitions in history as we move into the Post-PC era. This sort of material transformation typically happens only once every 10 to 15 years. What also unique about this market transition compared to the market transitions of the past is that this time technology innovation is starting on the consumer end and bleeding into the work place. Breakthrough innovations in the past transitions all started in the work place and bled into our home lives. As the Post-PC era takes effect, a NEW USER is starting to emerge. This NEW USER has an entirely different set of expectations on how technology helps him/her get work done. In fact, there is a much different work pattern in the way he/she expects to work compared to the past. There is also a basic question that this NEW USER asks on a daily basis – “Why am I so much more productive at home than I am in the workplace?”.
As the diagram above illustrates, the NEW USER has a different set of expectations and work patterns. The key expectations are…
- …that THE NEW USER is inherently more social and collaborative in the way he/she works: Today at home social media usage has surpassed email usage. In the workplace, this same pattern will emerge. The NEW USER will want to work more transparently, interact with others in a more inclusive manner, and expects the systems at work to provide the same richness and simplicity as they do at home
- …that THE NEW USER demands simplified provisioning of technology: The expectation here is that the new user is used to having functionality provisioned to him/her in minutes and hours versus days and months. There is an inherent pre-requisite that provisioning of functionality be simple in order for them to use the technology. Users have always wanted provisioning to be simple. It’s just that today the NEW USER has a better set of available alternatives.
- …that THE NEW USER wants control and choice: Last but not the least, THE NEW USER expects full control and choice on the devices and applications they end up using to get work done and be more productive. Also these devices and applications aren’t always different from the ones that they use at home.
The NEW USER’s NEW expectations make enterprise IT’s job materially more complex. They must give the NEW USER the ultimate social collaborative experience in evolved work patterns, simplified provisioning, and choice, while still providing risk management, audit trails enablement and ensure regulatory compliance as users work in a transparent manner. My colleague Chuck Hollis puts it best about THE NEW USER being different about their attitude with technology — “THE NEW USER is smart, self-sufficient and comfortable with powerful technologies. THE NEW USER needs advanced levels of IT services, and is more than comfortable contracting for these independently if not available through a traditional IT storefront During any market transition there are winners and losers. The companies that succeed in the Post-PC era will have optimized the experience for the NEW USER while effectively managing risk from such actions in this new Post-PC era.
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