or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
I was reminiscing the other day when a customer I was working with, received an email attachment they could not open. They were still on Office 2003 and it was a .DOCX type document. In a modern version of office, I managed to open and re-save backwards so it could be read. Apparently the user could not have the office 2010 viewers, as they were 'Non-Standard'. Just reflect on that.
How could the need for a standard ICT environment overrule actual usability for its users? It just doesn't make sense does it? Many years ago at a local authority I won't name, but was on an island that declared itself a Microsoft-Free zone. (Many of my housing colleagues and wider friends might find that very attractive). Think about that, all those savings from ramped up license fees, new creative ways of charging by the processor cores & all that. Freedom indeed and it made economic sense to the elected councillors.
The big problem was that the staff had difficulty reading half the documents and spreadsheets that came in. Vertical applications for departments had problems too, as they came with integration to Microsoft and other mainstream products, not Lotus SmartSuite (or whatever it was). Staff actually took files home in order to read them and do their jobs. Clearly not a good situation.
After a number of departments travelled over to the mainland, (the nearest PC world was only 10 miles away), they bought a few copies of Office out of their own budgets, some out of their own pockets! I remember a very heated meeting where users & IT staff were arguing hammer & tongues. The ICT support person stated "Well if you buy Microsoft office from your own budget we CANNOT support you!". The user replied rather angrily, "Well you don't fu**ing well support us now with this cr*p, do you?I felt sorry for the IT support people, after all it was not their doing really.
It wasn't too long later that that island permitted Microsoft products again throughout its council. Probably proving that no man is an island (completely) from Microsoft.
Still, it does underline the point that ICT rather than blindly keeping to a simple, standard applications image, that's easy for them to maintain, needs to flex to allow users in the business or organisation to carry out their work without unreasonable strait-jackets. Do you suffer this problem in your organisation, if so are ICT serving your organisation or the other way around?
Related Post: Skype speaking translation, could this be of great use to us in #UKhousing ?
I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.
Tame Impala - Feels like we only go backwards.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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