User-Centric IT: Transforming IT to Put People First

For the past few decades, companies have deployed enterprise technology by first focusing on the business problem and secondly on the user needs, which could explain why so many enterprise IT projects fail due to low adoption.

But failure is not an option in today’s business world, where the only constant is change. Technology has a major role to play, not only when it comes to changing the way organizations compete, but also shifting the behavior of employees across industries. Thanks to the devices and apps they use in their personal lives, people now have very different expectations and demands for the technology they use at work.

Of course, no one is closer to this change than the IT organization. Today’s IT environment is shifting from a model of central control to one that puts user needs at the center of IT planning and design – what we are calling User-Centric IT.

The User-Centric IT model is the result of ongoing discussions between Geoffrey Moore (author of Crossing the Chasm), CEOs from Box, GoodData, Jive, Marketo, Okta, Skyhigh Networks, and Zendesk, and other technology leaders. By working closely with CIOs, the group defined a new model for implementing technology throughout an organization that will lead to higher adoption, agility, and success.

Today, this group gathered in San Francisco to discuss the new framework with an audience of CIOs and IT leaders, discussing the five core principles that define a user-centric organization:

1. User-Centric IT serves the business by empowering people.
IT’s evolving role is to empower people to work better and smarter. Getting people to engage, connect and act in real-time adds incredible velocity to a business.

2. User-Centric IT adapts to the way people work, not the other way around.
Business technology should fit seamlessly into people’s workflows. It should be easy to use, flexible, and customizable to fit the style of each individual and department.

3. People, information and knowledge must connect in real time.
Collaboration is a growing imperative for today’s knowledge-based workers. Hoarding knowledge is out, sharing and collaborating are in. In the user-centric IT environment, people have intuitive and natural ways to share and collaborate with colleagues, partners and even customers.

4. Mobility is a work-style preference, not a device.
Mobility is a way of life. People expect access to information from anywhere at any anytime via any device. User-centric IT goes beyond simply allowing mobile access to limited services, instead supporting the mobile work style from any device.

5. Security should be inherent and transparent to the user experience.
Security and compliance are both mission-critical. But heavy-handed security measures or cumbersome processes are counterproductive, and users will find workarounds. Security must be ever-present, inherent but invisible, integrated into the systems presented to the user without creating friction or delays.

The path to User-Centric IT starts with putting people first. Leading IT professionals are empowering employees by understanding and embracing the tools people need to drive business forward. Businesses that will succeed in the information economy are those that effectively align IT initiatives with business objectives.

Today, we are excited that the industry is taking a step in the right direction by putting users first. During the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing more about User-Centric IT and the core principles behind it.

So, how user-centric are you? Go to to learn more and take the test.