This one’s for the leaders.

Are you CEO or COO? Senior manager? Well-connected big fish in your enterprise? Then please, read on.

In truth, this post is for everyone else too, but it is leadership types whom I am hoping will be those who are most inspired by it.

So leaders – as individuals occupying elevated positions in the organisation, you are probably aware that your experience of IT service is quite different to that of the ‘regular’ staff. Right?

For instance, if you – personally – identify the need for a software application which might create efficiencies in your day-to-day job, or which might deliver considerable business benefit, then you’ll know how to get that utility into the business. If you are a CEO, you’ll probably harangue your CIO or CTO. If you’re a CIO, or another senior manager, you’ll more than likely be aware of the right person to talk to to make it happen.

But what if one of the other people in the organisation – that is, one of the ‘users’ – spots an opportunity for technological innovation? I’m sure you need no reminding of who exactly these ‘users’ are. They are the guys and girls who are the product of the carefully considered and expensive recruitment policy that you’ve implemented. So in this the information age, who do these ‘users’ turn to in order to turn their information technological ideas into reality?

Ah yes, the IT service desk.

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” – OK, that was unfair…

Are these talented employees – oops, I mean ‘users’ – with their myriad skills and capabilities, only permitted to use the standard computers, with the bog-standard software on them? It might even be that these 21st century digital natives are being frustrated in their nascent dreams of fast-paced technological innovation by the ribbons of red tape served up an anachronistic IT service philosophy.

“The process says no” – or if not no, perhaps it says, “fill in form SR973D – and ensure it is countersigned by a line manager and IT sponsor”.

“And then we’ll say no”.

Here in 2016, we’re surrounded by amazing (and continually emergent) technology. The (brilliant) workforce in modern enterprises could be working inpartnership with a different kind of IT service function. They could – in this bright new tomorrow – be guided in their innovation attempts by IT experts who know their stuff. A collaborative approach such as this could help employees to quickly access (for example) statistical tools, open data sets, social networking analysis packages – which I would wager do not exist on your standard PC builds currently. Furthermore, in this imagined and sunlit future, your intelligent staff would be free to leverage all manner of modern technology – beyond what you or I could dream up right now – to help keep your enterprise ahead of its competitors.

But the old IT service philosophy is about protection rather than pro-action.

This has bothered us for a while, so we decided to try to do something about it.

We created Cxi to help drag bring front-end IT functions into a new era. Our aim is for the adoption of an alternative philosophy which can change the way in which the corporate workforce and the internal technology experts interact. We say “down with clunky IT service desks which are mainly about fixing broken things and controlling ‘user’ permissions*”. Our vision is something different; it is of a business-facing function which relishes collaboration between workforce and technologist. This, we believe is the route to enterprise innovation on a scale as yet unimagined.

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