by April 1, 2010 0 comments

Sometimes the solution to the most complex problem can be very simple. In
fact it’s so simple that it seems like common sense when you finally find it.
The big challenge here is in finding that ‘obvious’ answer, because after all,
‘common sense is the least common of all senses’. So if you notice, most
technologies that have attained widespread popularity and success today, are the
ones that have been adopted by the masses readily, because they make immediate
sense to them. Let’s look at some of them.

Today, the highest accessed website is not the one with a fancy design, lots
of graphics, and oodles of content that you have to scroll through to find what
you’re looking for. It’s Google. All the complexity of Google is hidden in the
background for the engineers to worry about, not the users. And to think that
before Google, there were so many complicated search engines, which were fit
only for the tech-savvy to use. The lesson to learn here is to keep your
technology deployments simple for your users. Your users will appreciate and
automatically start using it, without requiring umpteen training workshops to
teach them how to use it. Change management will be smoother if things are kept

Likewise, the most popular smart phone is not the one with lots of fancy
buttons, scroll wheels, stylus, etc. It’s the iPhone, with its simple,
multi-touch user interface and a big screen from where you can operate all the
functions. Users don’t have to read umpteen manuals and undergo a six month
training to learn all of its functions. All the controls are intuitive and easy
to learn. So the learning here is to keep your solution intuitive, so that users
automatically learn to use it and you don’t get hundreds of support calls to
your helpdesk.

The same goes with the BlackBerry, which became popular for doing just one
thing well-email. Everybody has an email id, and is addicted to it. So instead
of the user going to the email, why not just let the email come to the user the
moment it’s sent? The lesson here is to stay focused on the problem, while using
technology to resolve it. If you taking care of all the other smaller problems
surrounding it, you’ll lose the big picture.

Our cover story this time is on the latest hardware that’s coming in the
market. We’ve covered everything from simple tech to share one PC amongst
multiple users to complex server innovations. Before choosing to buy or deploy
any of these technologies, first define your problem very clearly, and then
identify the most simple and intuitive technology to deploy. The rest of the
detailing can happen after that.

Anil Chopra

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