For or against: Where does your IT stand?

By Simon Stanford, Managing Director, O2 Enterprise sales

Every organisation faces technology challenges. But I’d wager some of those challenges are borne out of the relationships you have with your own ICT providers.

You may wonder why I’d say this, especially given where I work. Well, the pressures facing IT departments today have changed exponentially in recent years. There are increasing security threats and, for many, an increasing regulatory burden. IT spend is increasingly more fragmented at a time when people are working in new ways, needing to collaborate and communicate differently. It’s made more difficult by the fact that much of our technology infrastructure just wasn’t designed for this digital, always on, want it now world.

It’s not technology first

The latest IT buzzword to address this problem is ‘mobile first’. Which couldn’t be more wrong. IT should be about ‘people first’. That’s why I say that some of the challenges stem from the very suppliers in place to help you. Why would you expect providers with a history of chaining people to desktops and databases to really understand how people – your employees and customers – now behave? Their comfort zone is surrounding us with inflexible, expensive pieces of kit that puts corporate needs before the people who actually use it. I’d argue they’re still struggling to really understand what mobility is actually about; in their words we’re not people, we’re ‘seats’ or ‘desktops’. They still think it’s the business that needs to be more productive, not its people.

It’s people first

We’ve known it’s people first since we started out some 30 years ago, as a mobile provider focused on helping people communicate, connect and consume differently. And as we’ve expanded our portfolio to help customers address broader ICT challenges we’ve stayed true to this approach. Always starting out with looking at what people want to do. How they want to work, how they want to buy and how they want to sell. After all, it’s people who make any organisation successful: people who can deliver better, more engaging experiences for customers and stakeholders.

So at O2, we focus on people first. By looking at what they need to achieve in their working day, and then finding the devices, apps, security and connectivity to support them. Our ‘Day in the life’ programme has been putting our people in the field with your people since we started in business.

Delivering real results

One thing I can say with absolute confidence is that the only constant is change. We evolve by the day, and that touches every part of a business. The old ICT approach of forcing behavioural change around a ‘one size fits all’ approach to technology is over. Look at almost any industry and you can point to examples of success or failure according to whether organisations have recognised that people change, and adapted to that change. Which is why any approach to ICT can’t be technology first, but must always be people first.

To find out how O2 can help you put your people first, visit our website.