Communication – Helping IT Close the Gap with Business

By Lorraine Joseph/ February 2019

Blog first published on ITSMF.co.uk

Until now, my background consisted of marketing mainly for business to customer (B2C) propositions. I’ve worked at a Zoo, for a renowned spa chain, and a retirement village, all very eclectic and interesting companies, all with their own languages and acronyms and terms, but pretty much language you could identify with straight away, even if you didn’t know the industry.

Within these various roles my life revolved around getting new customers, increasing profits, and raising the brands identity. Although there were IT departments I never had much more to do with them than the obligatory complaints ‘my email isn’t working’ or ‘the servers down’ or I need a new laptop’. So, as you can imagine I was a bit nervous taking on a role in an industry so alien to me, not only business to business (B2B) but IT – only very clever people work in IT! 

So, in my first few weeks it was amazing to learn that, well actually IT suffers the same pressure points and the same frustrations as the other industries that I’d worked in. There’s still the same desire to achieve business goals, gain news customers, increase profits etc., it’s just the language barriers between us that’s holding us back.

Tomayto, Tomahto

Communication is key in business and in the past IT may have appeared aloof in its language, but, as technology is now probably the most important change in the modern working world, it’s trying hard to bridge that gap.

From the IT experts I’ve spoken to so far, there is a strong desire to help achieve overall business goals; a more efficient service, higher profits, better employee morale etc. There is a general understanding that we’ve lacked the tools to speak to each other, and, even if we’ve tried we might not have reached the same conclusion.  

The IT world today needs to not just be a service manager, but a business language translator, giving companies and industries the best directions, it can in the simplest, most effective way. This should be a high priority for any organisation, and with new technology and functionality being developed that can make this happen, these targeted actionable audited messages can find a common language to open dialog. Though there are parameters that need to be taken into consideration.

Language for your Industry

So, what do I mean by this? Language changes dependent on your industry, for example in the retirement world we talked about ‘downsizing’, ‘residents’ and ‘CQC (Care Quality Commission). In the spa industry you talk about ‘wellbeing’ and ‘thermals’, and if you work in IT we talk about end users, service desks, and the like. In any case, it’s a language that’s unique to your industry, so communication will be coherent in this language across the board.

Language for your Organisation

Once you’ve identified the correct language for your industry, then you can be more specific by creating a language for your organisation. We all know that there are various idiosyncrasies and acronyms that employees identify with their own company; whether it be a classification, or a development name, these make up the dialects of your company.

These can help make your IT messaging specific to your employees or customer’s needs and is a chance to reinforce the organisations identity and brand voice while still using the overall coherent language.

Language Tools

One prime example of how business language is changing is with mobile notification. Although in the social world mobile notifications seem to be everywhere, business is just beginning to see their potential in keeping the company moving forward. This efficient way of reaching your entire team with short crisp messages/tasks or actionables helps break down the barriers of IT.

We’ve all been targeted by push notifications in the social media world, with free offers of a Starbucks or the chance to get a great discount on Groupon – so using this technology for business gives us the tool to speak to our employees in a language they already know.

Engaging the Future

As a marketer I can say from previous experience that working with IT can be a rocky ride, you don’t understand the processes that need to take place, you have no idea how long things take or who needs to authorise certain requests, or even why. So, it’s great to see (as now a member of the IT world) that IT companies are trying hard to breakdown the language barrier by using straightforward tools which create clearly defined simple messages, leading to actionable auditable tasks.

As Laurie Anderson, an American Avant Guarde artist quoted “Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories.” How much more effective will those stories be when we all speak the same language?  

What Should I do Now?

To bridge the gap in communication you need to consider several things.

Who is your target audience and what is it do they need to know? Think about their perspective and what’s essential to their day to day workload. Try to communicate from the perspective of your target audience using language they will understand.

How do reach your target audience? Is everyone located in one office or are they scattered around the country? Can they all access a PC or are some just mobile based? If you want them all to receive the same messages at the same time how could you make that happen?

Keep communication simple and necessary, too much communication can have the same affect as none at all, and most importantly don’t forget to tell people the conclusion to the message, if an issue is resolved.

How could Marxtar help me?

MarXtar Ltd an international business with over 10 years delivering IT Systems and Service Management solutions. MarXtar’s flagship product Enterprise Notifier delivers targeted, auditable and actionable communications to desktops and mobile devices via the ENgage! Mobile app.

Enterprise Notifier works by informing service subscribers of any major issues or messages. Provides messages in an audited and actionable way, including critical notifications, and allows receivers to respond via the ENgage! App. It also gives the opportunity to gain feedback from all the users. It can be accessed anywhere due to the mobile app and also has a webbased console for all departments. Plus, it can be tailored to match the language of your industry and business.

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