Information Technology (IT) refers to anything related to computing technology, such as your computer network, hardware and software that connect you to the Internet, and the people that work with these technologies. Many organizations have an IT person or department depending on their needs.
As we are at the intersection of the Information Age and Experience Economy, IT is an integral part of defining, developing, and delivering your digital customer experience. IT is needed from Marketing and Customer Service projects such as personalizing content in a newsletter or improving web self-service capabilities.
Here are few tips to engaging with your IT folks when creating your digital experiences:
- Follow protocol to find out who you should work with. Following your organizations protocol is always a good idea but even more so when dealing with IT. IT is made up a bunch of engineers – usually very busy and under appreciated. Bring cookies and go through the right channels to ask permission to work with the right people for your project’s needs.
- Get IT involved early. Even when you are in a discovery or conceptual stage of your project, IT will have valuable insights in what is technically feasible and what new hardware or software licenses or other technologies that they will need to purchase and/or put in place for you to realize your dream. You don’t want to find out late in your project that it is not feasible or you don’t have the time or budget for the right technology.
- Help them understand what you are trying to do. Engineers are smart. They understand complex math, how things work, and are great creative thinkers and problem solvers. But that doesn’t mean they understand what you do, have your domain knowledge, or speak your language. Your acronyms are different then their acronyms. Worse yet, you may have the same acronyms but they mean different things. Learn a little of their language and teach them some of yours. Learn how to communicate your ideas in a way that makes sense to them.
Most of all have fun! Like I said, IT folks are creative. Many of them are musicians and do other creative things outside of their day job. True, some of them may be introverted – they are engineers… Get to know them and learn nerd humor. It is totally worth it. Especially for the success of your digital customer experience.