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IT vs End Users: The Real Debate?

by Naresh Sarwan on September 15, 2011

Chris Riley, writing on the AIIM blog discusses and age-old debate: end users vs IT departments.  He contends that many debates about certain technologies are fundamentally about the needs of end users vs the intransigence of IT departments:

What End-Users want is to solve a problem, or increase efficiency of a common task. Not only that, they want to solve it without spending time on the solution.  Even technical end-users don’t want to waste more brain cells then they have to on technology.  Why?  Because it’s not their job. We are all spread thin with our day jobs, so adding just one more thing unrelated to core duties is very frustrating.  On the other hand, IT is paid to handle complexity, the more complex the better.  IT puts the technology pieces together, and makes things work.  Once they build something, their job is to maintain the status quo until a new approach arrives.  Not only that, within IT are specialties, those who are great with hardware, those who are great with a particular software package, and those who are great with network security.  The more proprietary the technology, the more specialized the admin, the more security.  At least for now…” [Read More]

Chris illustrates his points by highlighting some competing/contradictory technologies to demonstrate how these can be rationalised into end users vs IT departments.  He also makes the valid point that by coming to terms with the requirements of end users, it may be possible to use hybrid solutions that combine the best of both worlds to improve end user experience.

It does not have to be this way.  IT and enterprise software vendors need to focus more on productivity enhancement, and business use case.  IT should once again be more cutting edge then their end-users.  Solving problems end-users did not even know they had.  By doing so transforming their value from a specialty in obscurity into a science of efficiency.  And as a community we need to get over ourselves and realize:  Box.net vs. SharePoint = End-Users vs. IT. Mobile Capture vs. Document Scanners = End-Users vs. IT.  Cloud vs. Physical Hardware = End-Users vs. IT.” [Read More]

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