Technology develops at an ever-increasing rate, and AI and automation play a bigger role every day with computers doing all the heavy lifting. But it’s still down to the humans to engage with the systems within an organisation.
Human centred design and thinking is often considered a starting point for disciplines like product design and customer engagement strategies, but possibly less so when it comes to IT. This shouldn’t be the case.
Success in an organisation’s eco-system will often come from getting the balance between the humans and the technology right.
What are human factors?
Human factors or ergonomics examines the relationship between human beings and the systems with which they interact, and focuses on improving efficiency, creativity, productivity, and job satisfaction, with the goal of minimising errors. This last point is particularly important considering the importance of IT security.
What role do human factors play in your IT strategy?
Understanding what people need to achieve and how they engage with technology across your organisation will give you key insights into how each user group makes use of technology, differs in their use of technology (because humans are not consistent), what their struggles or weak areas are or what type of support they need to make the best use of technology.
As highlighted in our Password Protocols article many industry reports indicate that most data breaches come from inadvertent human errors rather than malicious activity. To err is human. Giving your team guidelines and tools, like a Password Management solution, can help them to avoid some of these mistakes.
They key areas of your IT strategy impacted by human factors are:
- Security – plan for avoidable risk and errors
- Compliance – provide documented processes and ongoing training to ensure your team is informed, practiced, and have a reference point when needed
- Adoption – ease of use and consistent performance are critical for buy-in and adoption of IT strategies and technologies
In short, develop IT strategies that are human-friendly, if not human-proof, remembering that the goal should be to reduce human error, increase productivity, enhance safety, and create comfort.
Your humans can give you a competitive advantage
Technology changes rapidly, but the truth is that humans don’t evolve at nearly the same pace. While there is a reasonable expectation for us humans to deliver new skills – like the agility and ability to adapt at speed, while at the same time developing qualities such as critical thinking and emotional intelligence – there will still be some decisions, processes, and functions that can be completed better and faster using technology and automation. And that’s good.
There are however qualities that are innately human, which technology can’t replicate. Things like empathy, creativity, collaboration, self-awareness, innovation, coaching, mentoring and the ability to build trust. Make sure you leave space for this in your organisation and that your technology is an enabler. These human qualities are as important to your service and product offering to your internal clients (each other) as they are to your external clients – especially in the remote world we’ve become so used to.
Practice being human. It might just be what sets you apart. At Business Technology, we’re certainly making it one of our goals for 2022.
Meet our team of extraordinary humans here.
Doing business better. Together.