by Vijay Ramachandran

Great Expectations

Jul 23, 20132 mins
BusinessEnergy IndustryHiring

Enterprise end-users are raising the threshold on what they think of your efforts.

Delivering on a promise to end-users is hard in the best of circumstances, but what happens when the bar gets raised so high that it’s damned you do and damned if you don’t?

Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.

—Peter Drucker


A CIO recently told me that the stress levels many of his peers faced were a result of their playing technologically-skilled entertainers, providing a high-energy show—juggling multiple roles and hats in the process.


But stress is not just about working long hours or even donning multiple hats. It can come from having too much to do as it can from having too little to deliver. It can be about having to hardcode business outcomes into projects and it can be about having to recognize the power of expectation.


My 23 years of covering technology and the business of technology, my interactions with the CIO community, and our research clearly indicate that technology rarely fails.


However, in almost all the deployments that go sour, the overwhelming reason is end-user rejection.


Delivering on a promise to end-users in the best of circumstances is a tough act, but what happens when the bar gets raised so high that it’s damned you do and damned if you don’t?


Curiously, I’ve seen expectations rise in direct proportion to end-user comfort with technology.


From a situation where everything enterprise—compute, bandwidth, and, even the class of hotels to stay in—was superior to what individual employees could rustle up on their own, the worm’s turned such that most organization’s don’t have a snowflake’s hope in hell of keeping pace with devices or connectivity or even the apps that end-users like to use.


That’s where the comparisons commence, and bitterness begins.


Surprisingly, the bile can rapidly rise on both sides of the table. A CIO I know has been patiently fighting his own team, when it comes to adopting off-the-shelf and non-customized apps (often the kind that users choose).


The magic truly happens when you catalyze the reaction between technology and end-users. Get it right, and you see the creation of true value. Get it wrong—Kaboom!