Mobile First? Cloud First? How About People First?

Posted by C/D/H Consultant on Nov 1, 2016 9:23:30 AM

With Satya Nadella taking over the role of CEO, Microsoft's stock is at or near its 10 year high. Nadella is getting high marks for his emphasis on being open to new platforms and embracing mobile and the cloud. He is leading the charge and now Microsoft is landing the crown jewel of its portfolio: Office for iPad and Android devices.

Nadella's new mantra is Mobile First, Cloud First. However, if you really dig in and reflect, you'll see that mobile and cloud are just platforms on the path to a much more valuable focus for IT - the user.

Mobile First: Mobile provides an incredible platform to redefine how and where we work. With the right devices and solutions, employees can leave the office and still have their data when they need it most.

Cloud First: We have evolved from centralized data to distributed data. In the mainframe era key relevant data was highly unified and managed. With the growth of PCs and the Internet, we were able to extract data, manipulate it on our PCs and store it on local hard drives, USB sticks and on-premises servers. Cloud centralizes of all our data, but with the flexibility to access and manipulate that data from anywhere.

However, neither mobile nor the cloud are panaceas for the user. Simply handing a sales rep an iPad or migrating your staff to Google Drive or Office 365 will not improve productivity. The answer lies in how these technologies and solutions are customized around the end user's needs.

Tiffany Bova, Senior Analyst at Gartner, calls the time in which we live The Experience Economy. In this new age, people want more than just commodities; they want more and they are willing to pay for it. Think about the coffee analogy she shares. Most workplaces provide free coffee yet people are willing to spend upwards of $4.00 and 15 minutes to get a high priced coffee on their way in to work, or while on a break.

Let's apply that analogy to technology. Typically IT is giving out free coffee in the form of solutions that meet the needs of IT leaders and their IT budgets. Meanwhile, users are going out to find premium lattes in the form of ad hoc collaboration solutions from Podio or Dropbox. They are scouring the Apple App Store for apps to manage expenses or track appointments. This is the result of IT being overly focused on technology deployments rather than embracing People First technology solutions.

A People First technology approach starts with the users. The People First approach collaborates with IT to ensure that what is built and deployed can be supported. This approach recognizes that security, collaboration, governance, and deployments can all be accomplished within the guidelines and policies of IT. However, the People First user experience is not just a buzzword for how apps and websites are built, it is how all technology should be built and deployed.

So as we roll out technology solutions such as Office 365 or an iPad app, we need to ask, "Are we giving them a 20 ¢ cup of coffee, or a scrumptious triple venti half-sweet non-fat Caramel Macchiato?

C/D/H has been providing customized technology solutions that drive results for nearly 25 years. We evolve and grow just like you. Let's talk about evolving your technology offerings for your users using a People First approach.

Topics: Mobile