With so much happening in the world of technology, it is easy for that to command our full attention. Web 2.0, Ajax, SOA, SAAS, Trojans, Viruses, Rootkits, Spyware and the list goes on. The tech world is spitting out the latest and greatest almost daily and one could easily spend the better part of a day dealing with any one of these things (and I am sure I missed some that you are thinking of right now).
But we should not loose touch with the most important aspect of technology – People. Your employees and your customers are the most important assets you have. Maybe it is becoming too easy to forget that.
For example, in the past, employees were rewarded for a job well done and their hard work indicated to management that they were a candidate for a more integral role within the company. Then, that valuable employee was given plenty of advanced training for future positions. Now, some feel that technology related employees are expendable and that their position could easily be outsourced or farmed out to an offshore firm, in the interest of saving a buck.
Then there are the people that pay the bills – customers. How easy do we make it for them to communicate with us? You can operate the most secure, best looking, highest search engine ranking e-commerce site on the Internet. But how easy is it for a customer to actually purchase your product through that site? Abandoned shopping carts are always a big issue with e-commerce sites and most are abandoned because the checkout process is too lengthy or confusing. Can a customer get all of their questions answered quickly? Can they easily find the correct e-mail address or phone number to call? Helping customers do business with your company will provide the best return on investment for you!
So, maybe for 2007, we should make sure to remember that the most important aspect of technology is people, not hardware or software.
Take a look at your staff. Pick out the ones that display the qualities and skills that really make your company run. Make sure you train them and groom them correctly and your company will be stronger than ever.
Review all the ways your customer is exposed to your technology offering, your web site, your phone system, whatever. Locate any obstacles and fix them. Develop ways for customer’s experience to be as smooth as possible.
People are the ones that will restart your server at 2:00 a.m. and people are the ones that will spend their money on your web site.