We are constantly told that companies care about employees, that people are at the centre of everything Company X does or that if it weren’t for the people, Company Y wouldn’t exist.

It’s curious and mildly infuriating then that in a survey of 1 000 IT managers across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, only six percent consider how technology will affect users when making new investments.

Unsurprisingly, 47 percent of managers surveyed said that users struggled to embrace new technology.

For some bizarre reason, businesses forget that while new technology can bring about greater efficiencies and cost savings, that technology needs to be used by humans.

When we were presented with this news a week ago by Lenovo Data Centre Group, which conducted the survey, we wanted to find out more about how businesses can – in the words of Lenovo Data Centre Group President for the EMEA region, Giovanni Di Filippo – think human.

Giovanni Di Filippo, President of Lenovo’s Data Centre Group, EMEA.

The Lenovo DCG president tells us the six percent figure came as quite a shock.

“This clearly says that in many organisations the users and the user experience are not top of mind. It’s still the stakeholder and profit value, but it shouldn’t be about that anymore,” says Di Filippo.

Should organisations take a more inclusive approach and integrate users in the process of implementing new technology, the success of the project will likely be much higher.

“There is a strong correlation between really understanding and including your own human capital and the value of the outcome. When you take human capital into consideration you still create stakeholder and profit value, you just do it in a different approach. You take an inclusive and ‘think human’ approach,” explains Di Filippo.

Leaders should involve employees more often

What strikes us as odd, however, is that Di Filippo tells us that in conversations with business leaders, human capital is at the core of decision making.

This distance from thinking about users then, appears to be a tech problem and we aren’t altogether surprised by it.

People in the tech space pride themselves on knowing more about what is going on in the industry than the layman. It’s why many techies scoff at the idea that COVID-19 is being transmitted via 5G.

The problem is that many times a decision regarding tech is made because IT managers believe they know better than the user and we don’t deny that.

But we what is best and what will be easy for users to understand are usually two mutually exclusive aspects.

There needs to be a balance then where user experience is not the last consideration when implementing new technology. Involving users in the process will ultimately help when the time comes to transition to a new technology.

To speak frankly, business leaders can no longer make decisions which affect employees and how they work day-to-day, behind locked doors.

The good news is that this appears to be happening among large corporations and it seems the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a change.

“The last 16 weeks have acted as a catalyst for businesses. They are reimagining the new normal, they are reimagining how the business will operate moving forward and we are seeing a lot of talk about a more ‘think human’ approach in the market,” explains the Lenovo DCG president.

Leading from the front

Of course this all sounds very much like talk, so what is Lenovo DCG doing to put humans at the forefront of what it does?

For one the company works closely with its distribution partners. This is both from a support and education perspective.

Technology moves at a rapid pace and Lenovo DCG works with its partners to inform them about the latest and greatest in the space. This in turn gives the partners the ability to bring additional value to its business clients.

As for support, Lenovo DCG is working with its partners during the pandemic to extend payment terms and fast track rebate payments.

According to Di Filippo Lenovo DCG is working with its customers on a case-by-case basis and helping them where necessary.

But more than that, Lenovo is taking Di Filippo’s advice and asking customers to help guide the direction of the company.

“We talk to our partners, we help educate our partners. We want to make sure the technology is understood but again, technology must be understood with ‘think human’ top of mind,” says Di Filippo.

The president goes on to tell us Lenovo DCG also consults with customers to help modify Lenovo’s approach. In fact, the report which inspired this conversation is being used to inform the direction of the firm right now. Ultimately the firm wants to be seen as a trusted data centre partner and part of that means investing in people.

“We want to be known as the first trusted data centre partner on the planet. Helping our partners, prospects and clients drive intelligent transformation but also delivering business value with tangible outcomes but always with the ‘think human’ top of mind. It’s so important that we keep that top of mind,” the president concludes.

You can read the full report from Lenovo Data Centre Group here [PDF].

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]