Back in the mainframe era, end-users typically accessed applications via “dumb” terminals that allowed them to enter data and perform various functions. They had little control over the computing environment or their data, relying on IT to develop and implement software, enable access, back up data, and more.
Today’s end-users have a broad array of computing tools at their disposal, from mobile devices to productivity apps to cloud services. The end-user has a great deal of control over how these tools are accessed and used and where data is stored. In many cases they are able to choose the devices and applications used for work purposes. IT’s role has shifted to the management and support of these tools, a concept known as end-user computing (EUC).
The user-centric approach to IT gives employees greater flexibility, creating an environment that facilitates productivity, agility, responsiveness and collaboration. However, offering more control and more options to the end-user introduces more variables, complexity and headaches for IT departments that must support an ever-broader array of devices and applications.
Now, if you partner with SSD, all of that is handled for you. We have made deep investments in the tools and expertise needed to meet today’s diverse EUC requirements. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need an EUC strategy.
Without a thoughtful approach to EUC, end-users may use the wrong tools, the right tools incorrectly, or unapproved applications to do their jobs. This will hamper productivity, increase costs and impact customer service. Worse, if end-users don’t follow company policies or IT best practices, you may face serious risks related to security, regulatory compliance and data governance.
For example, when employees work on the road or from home, are they using consumer-grade applications such as Dropbox to share data? Are they saving data on their devices? Are they going back and forth between corporate email and personal email? These are just a few of the ways that company and customer data, intellectual property, and sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands.
If user-controlled applications aren’t monitored and managed, it can be difficult to impossible to enforce policies and procedures. Applications may not meet regulatory requirements, leaving the organization vulnerable to fines and even lawsuits. If user-controlled data isn’t managed and protected, it may be lost or compromised. Critical data may be difficult to recover in case of disaster. All of these scenarios can impact operations and result in financial losses.
Organizations need an overarching EUC strategy that addresses these issues holistically. Responding to an issue with a new policy or a new piece of technology does little more than apply a bandage to more serious underlying problems.
The user-centric approach to IT should drive the development of your EUC strategy. Focus on the needs of the user and make users part of the process. Define specific user groups and use cases and make sure they’re aligned with business objectives. Based on this information, identify and build consensus around EUC initiatives. Once you’ve developed your EUC strategy, put it in writing and share these documents to ensure buy-in across the organization. Develop formal user training and revisit and update your policies.
The right EUC strategy can improve user productivity and satisfaction, improve management efficiency, and reduce errors and risk. Let SSD help you overcome the challenges of EUC and implement a holistic, company-wide program that delivers long-term, bottom-line benefits.