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The New Normal: Managing Expectations in a Changing Office Landscape

Todd Turner
July 25, 2016

Patrick Layton, director of Managed IT Services
Patrick Layton, director of Managed IT Services

There’s no doubt that greater familiarity with technology is affecting user expectations in the modern office space. A younger generation has entered the workplace and their understanding and attitude towards technology is much different than their predecessors. These millennials grew up with computers and computerized devices. They embrace technology and expect innovation, simplicity, ease of use, and even fun.

However, beyond the obvious shift in the generational paradigm, there are other factors at play that govern these evolving expectations.

We wanted to learn more from the people who actually encounter this phenomenon on a daily basis, so we reached out to several dealers and manufacturers to learn what they are experiencing, why they think it is happening and how they are positioning their offerings to support it.

The Dealer’s Perspective: Evolving Expectations

What have dealers identified as the most significant changes in user expectations over the years? Chris Taylor, CEO of Fisher’s Technology, told us that they have witnessed expectation shifts primarily with the user interface experience, system to system integration, and information security.

When it comes to basic device operation, Taylor said that customers now demand interfaces that are simple, easy to learn, and familiar.

“Overcomplicated, non-intuitive UIs are no longer tolerated,” he said.

Taylor added that information security is a significant point of emphasis across all the technologies they implement.

“Health information is perhaps the most obvious expectation increase in recent years, with HIPAA compliancy becoming a dominant concern for health IS professionals,” he said. “But protection of information from theft, corruption, and being taken hostage spans all industry verticals.”

Patrick Layton, director of managed IT services for Chicago-based dealership Impact Networking, also cited increased security concerns and attributed our ‘throw away culture’ which sees customers quickly cycle through technology – especially mobile devices and computers – as the driver for these concerns.

“Customers expect releases of new versions of technology, and updates to software much more frequently because consumer technology changes so rapidly,” he explained. “Network security has always been a concern of ours, but it has become a more prominent issue for our customers in recent years.”

Unsurprisingly, greater connectivity and speed of service were mentioned as one of the more significant expectation changes. Layton noted that customers today expect to be connected at all times and from anywhere. He added that most of them also want to be able to use a single device for both work and personal applications.

“They don’t want to carry around two phones or have multiple laptops or iPads,” he maintained. “For all of the departments at Impact, we’ve seen a demand for both a faster turnaround time on service and a more connected service.”


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