Facebook is on to something

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: Putting Productivity First

by Chris Peters, member of the IT Center


Older PCs and technology are bound to be a drag on resources at some point. Legacy systems often require IT support, which turns into downtime for employees. And then there’s the cost … whether it’s in lost productivity for users, extra time for IT, repairs, or parts replacement.

While many companies hold back on replacing older technology, Facebook takes a completely different approach. A recent CIO Journal blog captures some insights from the company’s CIO, Tim Campos, who puts employee productivity first and gains valuable IT efficiencies in the process.

Little things add up

This approach comes to life via the Facebook help desk. While many organizations try to cut costs with outsourcing, Facebook sees it differently. If support is far away, “you have more demand into your help desk because little things don’t get fixed and they become big things over time,” Campos says.

So if a Facebook employee calls the help desk more than twice on any given computer issue, the device gets replaced. It’s that simple. In Campos’ view, the cost of a laptop, $1,500 to $2,000, is minor when compared to the productivity impact of an employee making $100,000 per year. He has a point.

Grab some pretzels—or a keyboard?

They also take an innovative approach to tech accessories by making them readily available in vending machines. Every building has two vending machines on every floor stocked with things like keyboards, cables, and headphones.

Employees can see the item prices, use their corporate ID badges to make purchases, and get quickly back to work. It’s an effective way to streamline long, often cumbersome fulfillment and approval processes. IT is able to spend time on more innovative business solutions, while employees are empowered with choice and control. Clearly, Facebook is on to something. I think Campos summed it up best when he said, “We don’t waste a lot of time on stuff.” 

Intel IT implemented “IT on the Go” vending machines in 2012 and is continuing to expand the pilot. The second-generation units are equipped with sensors and optical and touch screen features.


These examples reminded me of the importance of user-centered computing, and how putting users first and giving them a say in the technology they use can absolutely benefit the business.

What are some of the innovative approaches your company takes to improve productivity?

#UserCenteredComputing #Productivity