Is anyone else getting really hacked off with Microsoft at the moment? If it isn’t enough of a nightmare that Windows update runs without permission at really inconvenient times, like when shutting down the laptop just before leaving a client, now, they are trying to force me into Windows 10 by doing it automatically unless I opt out via an increasingly hard to find cancel option.
In one case, I needed a work PC, turned it on ready in advance of use and came back to find it was part way through the process. I had to wait 30 minutes before I could reverse it by declining the user agreement and another 30 minutes before it had reverted to the previous operating system.
It basically just isn’t acceptable behaviour by a supplier, creating unplanned outages of key business equipment. It’s not ok to run half an hour of updates when I can’t unplug the laptop, at a time not of my choosing and it’s not ok to upgrade my software without my permission. As a business user, controlling and managing the timing of change in my organisation is essential and I feel frustrated and cross.
Mind you, it’s not just Microsoft; iPhone software updates have also become pushier and cloud based software interfaces often change overnight with no warning. Recently our online document signature package dropped its embedded address book making sending documents slower and more frustrating.
Now I accept that we are all resistant to change and often will only come to terms with it when it is forced upon us, but nonetheless when change happens, being cared for as a customer really matters; especially when trying to balance the daily stresses of running a business.
So what can I learn for my own business? Communication and choice are really important to my customers in feeling cared for.
Now in the spirit of changing what I cannot accept and accepting what I cannot change I also note that despite my frustration and my anger these business practices by the software giants are here to stay. It is not an option to simply opt out of using Windows or my iPhone or go back to manual signatures, God forbid! Instead, I must modify my business to work in an environment of unexpected changes and also minimize the potential impact on my business of system downtime with contingency plans.
What does that mean in practice? Well, firstly it seems inevitable that I will need to upgrade the practice to Windows 10 so I need to schedule time to research this, check the implications, upgrade a test pc and then agree a roll out plan with the team. All of which, I probably should have done some months ago, but it wasn’t urgent. Doing this earlier with future upgrades will probably save me time and stress.
Next, I need to accept that online software products are subject to unanticipated change and therefore have regular time scheduled to review changes, when they occur and update our procedures and processes as necessary or even find an alternative product if the change means it no longer meets our needs. In short the business needs increased flexibility to deal with an increased frequency of change. Resistance is futile!