Why Doesn’t it Work? A CIO’s Lament

Why does our meeting room tech not work? Maybe standards is the answer.

I recently met with a CIO for a large tech company and he expressed great frustration regarding the company’s meeting room technology.

He wanted relief from his pain and frustration – nearly every time a meeting starts,  someone from his team has to be there or at least be “on call” to help connect the technology and get the meeting started.

This CIO handed me the user control interface in the meeting room and asked if I could initiate a meeting. No surprise, I could not; the screen did not respond to my touch commands. He looked at me and said, “See, it doesn’t work.” He immediately blamed the touch panel manufacturer, and demanded a new integrator.

This CIO joined the company only three months prior and one of his first directives was to get the technology in the meeting spaces to work.  At this point, he was ready to pull everything out and replace it all.

Overwhelming Demands on IT

This same company recently hired 400+ new employees and the demands on IT were overwhelming. He and his small team did not have the resources to babysit each meeting; however, this was their unfortunate reality.

In doing a review of the technology, I concluded that they had some great technology (for which they spent a great deal of money on) and their integrator was industry-respected, yet nothing seemed to work. His organization was frustrated and disappointed.

I Just Want it To Work

His desires are like most clients I meet with.  He is looking for simplicity and scalability. We talked about how to achieve that while his team works to keep up on the many demands that comes with explosive growth.

Here are my suggestions, although not necessarily the quick fix he was looking for:

  1. Establish technology standards via room type. This requires discipline and is not an easy process.
  2. Consider hiring an independent technology consultant to help.
  3. Outline what success looks like to you. Maintain tight lines of communication with your integration partners to ensure tight alignment.
  4. Begin with the end user in mind.

At the end of the day, it is our goal to make sure our client’s technology investment is worth it. That end users can come into a meeting room, push a button and it just works. One way to ensure this is to build global standards. We believe standards and scalability will improve the user experience for everyone.