I don’t believe anyone can dispute the growing influence end users have on how IT services are chosen, sourced and evaluated. This does not mean IT operations organizations are ready to fully embrace the end user as a specific focus. Many assume application transaction monitoring and mobile device software update support is enough – at least for the time being. The reality is it isn’t enough and treating the end user like peripheral hardware is not to their benefit. This is managing the situation – not enabling the end user.
Improving end user experience is not about keeping an eye on them or trying to support their mobile devices it’s about removing IT barriers, reducing complexity and making them more self sufficient and productive. This objective is best broken down into logical areas;
- Social Enablement
- Security & Resilience
Each area has a set of activities and objectives:
- Support: Identify, address and report common/local issues, pre-emptive problem management and real-time end user IT status specific their individual needs and priorities.
- Social Enablement: Social, communication and collaboration tools to foster and enable information flow between different users with common interests, goals and objectives.
- Security & Resilience: End user and device authentication, content protection and data protection and recovery.
- Productivity: BYOD enablement allows the conducting of business from any device and location. Users download and given access to applications and access to local resources and information on company facilities based on their specific needs and within company policy.
It is unrealistic to think the objectives for each activity can be accomplished all at once. They are only achievable if each activity has a path containing logical, measurable steps. This is also needed as each activity can have ties to others (e.g. to deliver a level of support requires a level of security and resilience).
In the paper Path to Improving the End-User Experience the activities are explained and broken down into the five levels (undefined, reactive, proactive, service and business) providing objectives to assess the current end user environment and improve upon it.
A barrier to success is IT operations’ need to enable the users from the datacenter perspective. If the end user is the focus then the starting point is the end user (do IT users care about the datacenter?). However, to show value a plan must have two perspectives, one IT operations and the other the end user. In the paper each level describes the activity and value to both IT operations and the end user. This allows IT operations to associate effort and investment directly with end user productivity.
Improving end-user experience, satisfaction and making them more productive increases a company’s effectiveness and makes it more competitive. It’s a no-brainer.