IT is all about supporting people. Training, skills, qualifications are important. However, a person’s experience of using IT hardware and software is more valuable to the business, and with training, can be built upon further.
The trend inside businesses is more often on the intangible issues around IT projects, which include continuous improvement projects, user training, supporting flexible and home working, customer service and support.
Outside the business, from the customer viewpoint, there should be less focus on ‘the tech’ and more focus on how the customers will benefit from the outcomes of a technology project, product or service. ‘Us techies’ are often guilty of showing off the latest ‘wizzo tools’, and not explaining the benefits in user speak.
From a domestic view, my recommendation is to be bold and try out new software applications, which could benefit the family. Ask someone in your family or someone you know well to show you what a particular application or ‘app’ does. Most people love showing off their knowledge, and this is a great opportunity for your children to show you what they already know. Try and work out the outcome and benefits of using the software. Then you can gradually learn each of the features knowing how they help produce the end result, whether it’s a presentation, report, website, or spread sheet.
For business people, make sure that everyone knows the basics too. For example there are many Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts. For example ’cut’ is Crtl+X, ‘copy’ is Ctrl+C, F7 runs the spell checker. There are literally hundreds of these keyboard shortcuts, and they all help people save time in a busy business environment.
IT is all about people, so don’t just bury your head in a screen, sit next to someone and ask them to show you. They will benefit as much as you.
I think I should have called this article ‘People and IT’, instead of ‘IT and people’. What do you think?