February 20, 2014

The Caretaker Refocused

I think that there is a caretaker in every person who services technology.

Today some IT caretakers tend to the ‘feeds and speeds’ of what information technology is. Refreshing, re-imaging, re-installing, all in the hopes of providing a stable platform for their business to thrive on. That definition of caretaking changes dramatically when you move into the world of cloud, mobile and social. This environment is judged not only on how stable, secure and scalable it is but how engaging it is to the user.

That engagement point is where I have focused my caretaking.

As more and more interactions with our constituents are enhanced and individualized by technology, I believe that for IT leaders to be successful today, they need to own the user experience. Truly own it. Care about it, feed it, nurture it, grow it, scale it, ultimately leveraging it to provide a memorable user experience. In the end you have created an engaged and happy customer.

For example, when you shift your focus away from mundane datacenter processes that are automated by cloud APIs, you free yourself and your thinking to expend more mental energy on building a platform that people want to use instead of have to use.

Adding value to someone’s day is the secret of this refocused caretaker. It becomes easy when you are thinking mobile first. By meeting your users where they want to meet, on the platform or device they want to meet on, you begin to understand your users on a more individualized basis.

It is time for IT leaders, and caretakers of all kinds, to refocus their empathy at what matters most, the user’s experience.

Own it.

Phil will be at SxSWedu next month, participating on the panel, CIOs: The Catalyst for Innovation in Higher Ed.  For more on SxSWedu, see Extreme Networks To Rock With Panel At SXSWedu.

About The Contributor:
Phil KomarnyCIO of Seton Hill University

Phil Komarny has been vice president for Computer and Information Technology at Seton Hill University where he served as the institutional catalyst in initiatives which positioned the school as a leader in strengthening learning through the use of mobile technology. In this role, Phil also provided daily support of the University’s entire technology infrastructure, developing new software and website applications and managing institutional use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs and podcasts. In 2011, Komarny was selected by the Pittsburgh Technology Council in the non-profit category as a finalist for the CIO of the Year. Next month Phil is taking on a new role as CEO of Robots and Pencils, Inc.

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