From left to right: Roland Serna of VMware, Brian Hall of Microsoft, Ashley Rodrigue of Lenovo, Jason Kennedy of Intel and Nathan Coutinho of CDW.

Oct 24 2014

User Experience Remains a Key Focus in Discussion on the Future of IT

Several industry leaders gathered in Chicago to share what they believe will matter most in the future of IT.

Predicting the future is an inherently personal and subjective exercise, a fact made clear when a panel of speakers from various IT companies gathered to share their take on the future of technology as part of CDW’s “The Future of IT” event at the Feinberg Theater in Chicago on October 21.

Based on their personal experiences and corporate visions, each of the IT leaders put a different spin on what’s next in technology. The one theme that proved to be consistent throughout all of the presentations was the importance of cultivating a valuable and positive user experience and catering the features of IT solutions to that purpose.

Here’s a brief overview of what each of the speakers touched on during their presentations:

Roland Serna, National Channel Lead for VMware

Serna foresees a business world in which dynamic change is constant. He shared VMware’s hybrid philosophy, moving away from a “this or that” dichotomy and toward an all-inclusive “this and that” approach to product development — a philosophy made real in VMware’s support of the software-defined data center through the company’s NSX technologies and its vCloud Air cloud platform.

Brian Hall, General Manager of Surface at Microsoft

Hall focused on the need to sometimes go back to the future in describing Microsoft’s developments around the Surface Pen, used with the company’s recently released Surface Pro 3 tablet. He talked about how many people look at the pen as old-school technology, but he backed up the company’s decision to reinvent the stylus by citing studies that outlined the value of pen and paper in education, creativity and collaboration — values that, according to Hall, the Pen will bring to the Surface experience.

Ashley Rodrigue, Ambassador for Lenovo

Rodrigue conjured up a future of greater convergence, with personal devices offering more apps, and features that are overlaid and accessible through wearable technology, smartphones, tablets and personal computers. She drove home the point that technology companies cannot lose sight of the end-user experience and must ensure that the right features are in the right products so that users actually find them useful.

Jason Kennedy, Director of Marketing for Intel

Kennedy struck a similar end-user-focused note as he explained Intel’s goal of removing the barriers to productivity as a primary driver of Intel’s participation in partner product development. With the support of Intel’s WiDi technology, Kennedy detailed a completely wireless end-user experience, as well as seamless collaboration possibilities and simpler security measures that do away with clunky passwords.

Nathan Coutinho, Corporate Strategy Senior Manager at CDW

Coutinho sketched out the current digital landscape of rich digital experiences that also come with downsides: an overload of alerts and notifications and the unsettling overtargeting of digital-marketing efforts. His advice to companies was to seek out the sweet spot of an optimized user experience while balancing the needs of the power user and the technology neophyte.

Stay tuned to BizTech magazine for more stories and videos from CDW’s Future of IT event.