The Prime Minister’s announcement of a free laptop and broadband connection for more than a quarter of a million families is a welcome step towards bridging the digital divide.
Inside the firewall we rarely talk about the digital divide (more and more services moving online but employees are still disadvantaged but their lack of knowledge with the browser and the workplace web). In my conversation with employees I am still amazed how many people have no, or poor, connectivity with the workplace web. Whether it be the lack of signals, poor speed or dated technology, I continue to hear of employees struggling with online services.
I believe in my job I sometimes forget not everyone has a deep relationship with the web. The cure? Certainly more time and resource given to training users to understand and engage with websites, plus easier interfaces (that’s why Yammer is so easy to adopt) and raising the level of technology we use (I get far quicker connection when logging in from home than I do in any office). But all this costs. While we are quick to move services online we are slow to teach, hand-hold and adopt these services with the user.