SupportWorld, Jan/Feb 2013

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The Daly Interview recognize the need and are working toward that goal. One thing we're doing, however, is moving some of the old-school services out of the business IT environment and leveraging other companies and managed services providers to do that for us. Michael: Too often technology departments are policemen, writing and enforcing rules and maintaining a very rigid structure to keep everything secure and avoid problems. That's a rather stone-age approach. People have become very techsavvy and often spend quite a lot of money acquiring personal technology. Almost everybody has a smartphone. Everybody has a laptop; many have tablets. So it's not about teaching someone how to use Microsoft Word or locking down the desktop anymore. Our job is to create an environment that allows people to find their own solutions to their own problems. We need to enable them rather than actually do the work. You've got to be quite open to relinquishing control, allowing people to do more themselves. That takes a different sort of mindset. Ortsman: To add to that, we're moving away from all those routine day-to-day calls and empowering the end users more. Whatever we can do to allow more automation, more selfservice so we're not getting stuck on password resets or software installations, we're doing it. People will do those kinds of mundane tasks themselves, if they're empowered to do so. As a benefit, we can focus on being innovative and working with the business to identify its true needs. Michael: It's a fine balance. There's a certain amount of technology governance that's necessary to ensuring that confidential information and business assets are secure and that we aren't breaking any laws in using unlicensed software. Daly: So, back to the question of skills. What's the new skills profile? Michael: I think a combination is very, very important. People still need strong technical skills, but they also need to be incredibly collaborative. They need to be able to partner with other people in the business, understand the real challenges and the impact of those challenges, and be creative in developing a road map of solutions that will resolve those problems. They also need to be flexible and agile enough to help create an environment that allows people to be much more in control themselves. with, how can we allow them to use those tools, be productive from day one, and at the same time maintain the security of the environment? That is critical. Michael: One of the key things that we do is allow people to choose. If someone is a Mac person, we don't force a PC on them, and we support them equally as well. If they want an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or an iPad, they choose. We're very happy to support whatever works. It sets the tone from the beginning: "IT is partnering with me, not just maintaining a standard." Daly: What advice you would give other people in your position to help them make the transition toward innovation shepherd? Michael: Honestly, I think the only barrier is oneself. I've been a senior IT person my whole career, and for the longest time I thought I was the smartest guy in the room when it came to technology. That changed a long time ago. We have many technically skilled end users. My job isn't to tell them how to do things or to come up with the solution for them. My job is to help create an environment that allows them to be successful, to work as a peer alongside everyone else, and to create value for our customers. So, for me, it's a mind shift. You have to change the way you think about the way you bring value to the business. Ortsman: I'd also add that you don't have to create the ideas yourself. We're collaborating with the other IT groups around UBM Tech, with our offices in the UK, and with other IT leaders around the industry. That's key. We see what they are doing, how they're managing, how they're making the shift, and we bring those great ideas back. We talk about innovation and transformation. Our IT group is definitely transforming. We aren't necessarily where we need to be, but we're definitely taking the right steps forward. To download a copy of The War for Talent, visit To download a copy of the "How IT's Perceived by Business" report, visit About the Author Daly: What key technological innovation is going to help us move the needle as an organization? Ortsman: It's been talked about so much, but pushing BYOD to the next level is a priority. It's not something new for someone to come into the company with their own devices. The question is, how do we make that work best? For example, when a new salesperson comes in with tools they are comfortable 12 | Suppor tWorld January / February 2013 For more than twenty-five years, Cinda Daly has managed teams, written dozens of industry articles and thousands of pages of technical documentation, developed training courses, conducted sales and service training, and consulted in the technical support and customer service space. In her current role, as HDI's director of business content, she is responsible for HDI's virtual events, research, and print and electronic publications.

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