Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen! I’m very pleased of the opportunity to share and discuss with you our ideas about peoples’ various kinds of needs to use communication technology. We work at Telecommunication operator TeliaSonera in Information Society Unit in research and development. We have future research, economical and social anthropology, not technical background. According to our experience we need much deeper and wider understanding of users needs. It seems that technology keeps converging but controversially peoples needs are diverging.
One problem is that users and producers in the telecommunications field don’t understand each others, they don’t have common sense. *People use the same words but mean different things when talking about ICT For instance “email” some people see it as a part of “Office system” to deliver documents and other people see it as means of “exchanging ideas”. These differences of understanding has led to a confusion as a closed and open systems on email systems. If only the issue had been understood in the very beginning there would be one separate system to deliver documents and another system to exchange ideas. For instance the old FTP-system (File Transport Protocol) could have been developed easier for everyday user. * Very little attention has been focussed on analysing the users’ motivation. Most applications were invented from technical developers own need and imagination. They are often young men. The needs of the middle age women have been ignored, i.e. they wanted hands free phones already during seventies - is still does not exist in fix phones. * The developers and users of technology do not have a common dialogue We think that digital divide is just here: we don’t see on the one hand user needs and on the other hand the possibilities for the use of technology. For instance in a Non Governmental Organisation when they changes meeting hours they could use group text messages instead phoning everybody, this service is too difficult to use and people don’t know that it is exists. * Too many good opportunities are missed . This concerns both users and producers. For instance small enterprises and various communities have difficulties to profit available services, because they are too complicated. (invoicing, marketing, booking etc.)
Our title: The Comprehensive Outlining is very ambitious. Please note, that we exclude items which belong to ICT-technology, such as security, and virus protection etc. We understand that they are quality requirements of technology. We think that it is necessary to have new outlining for the use of technology/services based on needs. Until now everything has been seen from technology point of view. For instance we follow the information society development by looking at statistics describing internet access, host servers, broadband connection etc. Fortunately the first statistics about the use of commerce in internet are available and so on. So we find it extremely important t o analyse the areas of ICT utilisation from the perspective of need. We are looking from the perspective of the customer of telecommunication company because a more detailed in-depth survey of needs will help us to improve both product development and marketing
The picture is drawn based research and life long observation of everyday activities and use of technology. In all this areas there are different professions and legislation. In the article we have studied this picture through different fields such as healthcare, household, learning, what ever organisation, municipality etc. But lets look now picture by picture with European level examples: Telephone communication between people has been possible about hundred years via telephone network. Today possibilities to communicate are multiple via internet and mobile network. Information/data and process systems are the basic infrastructure in Information Society. All the automation and global transactions in large companies and banks are based on this infra. This infrastructure has been developed further to serve private peoples personal business such as booking, shopping, paying bills, etc. In beginning information searching was meta data based and only during nineteen's it has been possible to search real content, such as articles, photos etc. from databases. Mass media: broad casting, marketing, communication to public. Internet has offered lot of new possibilities for marketing and communication. DigiTv is not really a response to peoples needs, but it is cheaper and it has better technical quality for broad casting. Media culture’s roots are in arts and entertainment: movie, music, games. Internet was first a delivery channel and later also interactive media. Self-expression/own production in work, in learning, in everyday life. This area has been totally neglected although it is extremely important for the social and human capital in interactions. It would also prevent the digital dived. In this area there are most untapped possibilities. (Own contents: own pictures, own music, own text etc)
Future Research approach means looking at present situation from future and soft system analysis suits well our study because social change in Technical innovations always require a social innovation and a simultaneity makes it hard to make a difference between causes and consequences. Also processes catalysed by ICT occur simultaneously in different fields .
In my dissertation communications capabilities are defined as three components: access, skills and motivation. We apply this division to these seven areas. In the chart we only give some examples, it is far from being complete. Because we think that own production /self-expresson is most important area, will look at this more carefully. Technical equipment needed are : PC, camera phone, connection to Net, digital video and still camera, text-, photo-, video- and voice process programs, share programs, etc. The tools are not the biggest problem, because people already have at least some of them. What comes to skills: both content and technical skills are needed: writing, photographing, editing, sharing, etc. Here we have a problem: The programs are difficult to use because on one hand programs are complicated and on other hand they are not taught at school. The motivation: “Self-expression and outsourcing one’s own knowledge” This motivation has not yet been generally recognised in service and product development.
Instead Information and Process System has been very well recognised. Technical equipment needed are PC, connection to network, file program, calculation program, security program, etc. These techniques and programs have been so overwhelming, that it was assumed that they are useful in households also. People thought that information technology at home was for recipes and files. Technical skills needed are organising skills, filing skills and motivation is efficient and economical management of needs.
In following two slides we look at structures, which allow the use of technology: technical infrastructure, services and legislation. Here we want to focus on services. Technical infrastructure is quite good already, but we need much more understanding about services concerning firstly communication area. Group services need to be developed further. Secondly in own productions areas lot of service development is needed. The goal is that it would be very easy to produce and share motion picture, text and voice for instance from grandchildren's activities to grandparents.
It seems that in all the areas personal business, information systems, mass media and media culture services has been developed for big customers only, because they have had know-how to develop services together with producer. Small actors such as small enterprises, NGO:s etc have not had resources to participate in such development. Now we need both new kind product development and new professions to reduce digital divide for instance between large companies and small companies.
We think that most important issue is to empower citizens. The active citizen needs new kinds communication services. In order to develop these services we need more sociological imagination, which means studying issues simultaneously from different angles, individual and society. A new kind co operations between multidiscipline researchers , users and producers generates New generic products New generic telecommunication services More social innovations with old technology New professions
Thank you for your attention!
Map of Customer Needs Marja-Liisa Viherä and Leena Viukari TeliaSonera Finland
Lack of Common Sense <ul><li>People use the same words but mean different things when talking about ICT </li></ul><ul><li>Very little attention has been focussed on analysing the users’ motivation </li></ul><ul><li>The developers and users of technology do not have a common dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Too many good opportunities are missed . </li></ul>eChallenges e-2004
The Comprehensive Outlining <ul><li>To analyse the areas of ICT utilisation from the perspective of need </li></ul><ul><li>Looking from the perspective of the customer of telecommunication company </li></ul><ul><li>A more detailed in-depth survey of needs will help us improve both product development and marketing </li></ul>
Future Research approach, Soft System Analysis <ul><li>Social change in Technical innovations always require a social innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Simultaneity makes it difficult to differentiate between causes and consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Processes catalysed by ICT occur simultaneously in different fields </li></ul><ul><li>Hermeneutic approach based on research, experience and practical experimentation </li></ul>
Empowered Active Citizen <ul><li>More sociological imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operation between private and public sectors </li></ul><ul><li>Deeper orientation in need research </li></ul><ul><li>New generic products </li></ul><ul><li>New generic telecommunication services </li></ul><ul><li>More social innovations with old technology </li></ul><ul><li>New professions </li></ul>