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Column: Don’t let your company’s IT ruin internal comms

Don't let your company's IT ruin internal comms

November 5, 2013

Considering the fact I’ve grown up around computers, and my entire career has been intertwined with the development of technology and the web, you may be surprised to hear that, since entering the world of IC, I believe that many people are worrying too much about the web, and technology as a whole.

As a technologist, a rabid consumer of gadgets (reformed), a geek, a designer and communicator, I have always viewed advances in technology – from the birth of internet forums, to Twitter, Facebook and the iPad – as ways to make the things we do better, more ef?cient and wider reaching, writes digital guru Paul Mullett.

Nothing has been affected so dramatically by these services and technologies as communication.

The enterprise always struggles with rapid adoption of new communication methods.

Rolling out new ways to connect often requires at least moderately up-to-date tools, and when you consider that some corporates are still running web browsers that predate the public launch of the social media big-boys Facebook and Twitter, you can begin to understand why things can get messy.

I strongly believe this undermines, quite unintentionally, one of the key values of IC – that your staff are important and that your company cares.

Sure you may say this, and you may circulate the ?nest of publications to tell everyone so, but when your IT literate, smartphone-touting staff are expected to struggle by using ancient technology and crippled web browsers, those words begin to ring hollow.

This really doesn’t help us as communicators either.

You may very well want to use the latest technology, your senior management may have looked at Pinterest, at Twitter, at Facebook, at something their kid was using on their MacBook, and said “We want that, but for IC”.

However, without empowering your staff with the right tools, that’s just not going to happen.

And don’t get me started on mobile technology.

The entire BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) situation to me highlights that staff are not enthused about modern technology and how it can help them work.

Rather it is a damning sign they have just given up waiting for their company to get with it and resorted to using their own tools to improve their working conditions.

But all is not lost.

With careful planning and a strong knowledge of what is possible, you can still deliver quality IC, maximising the current capabilities of your organisation.

You will have to compromise, and set boundaries early on, but once those are in place, the skills and imagination of great IC professionals can come to the fore.

Put the message front and centre, maximise the tools you have at your disposal and, if your company’s IT is still in the mid 2000s, stop kidding yourself that you are going to build the IC social network of the future.

Do all these things, and you’ll stop IT ruining IC.

If you can do it with legacy systems, imagine how good you’ll be when you have all the right tools at hand.