Solving for enterprise IT’s user problem: the users who have a problem with IT
A young, increasingly technically proficient group is coming into the workforce in ever-greater numbers – but can large organisations’ IT services teams meet their expectations? This new group of users have never known anything other than an Apple-like experience of technology; flexible, easy and intuitive. They do not remember Citrix MetaFrame, MS-DOS, or strange noises coming from their dial-up modem. They count on having the same IT functionality, capability and capacity in the office as they get at home. The problems occur when the organisations they work for are stuck in old procurement models and long-term IT service contracts that began in the early part of this decade.
A large enterprise or a public-sector IT service deal dating back five years would predate many of the huge technological advances we have seen since then. They include the maturing of the software-as-a-service model, widespread adoption of cloud, huge increases in network capacity, and a quantum shift towards flexible working with all of the necessary infrastructure, such as access to enterprise applications from personal devices.
“It’s time to empower users to take control of their own IT experience. For this to happen, the enterprise IT experience needs to look and feel more like the one at home,” according to James Bunce, sales and marketing director with Capita IT Services.
If an organisation was starting today, it would want to take advantage of cloud, avoid investing in lots of on-premises hardware, and enable users to self-serve as much as possible. The latter point is one of the biggest aspects involved in changing the enterprise IT experience, says Bunce. The generation of people who felt uncomfortable with technology and called the helpdesk for any issue is gradually moving out of the workforce. The people taking their place are comfortable with looking for answers online on their own initiative.
“It’s time to empower users to take control of their own IT experience. For this to happen, the enterprise IT experience needs to look and feel more like the one at home”
“At home, if they needed to put up a garden fence, their first port of call would be to check YouTube for a DIY video. They are just as prepared to take this approach in work. For example, the Microsoft Knowledge Base is now freely available, and it contains some phenomenal self-help content. Just think of the impact in reduced calls to the service desk,” said Bunce.
“IT infrastructure only exists to put smart people in touch with the information they need to do their work. Naturally, this can’t happen easily if you are sitting on a whole raft of legacy applications and you haven’t got a strategy for moving to SaaS. But there are smart ways to achieve quick wins along the way, with relatively frictionless investments,” said Bunce. For example, he suggests it is possible to move to a more user-centred and agile workspace without having to jettison existing commitments to platforms like Office365. “Everything you spend today on infrastructure, connectivity, licensing and support can be wrapped in a price per user per month model,” he said.
Taking this step will reduce call volumes on service desks, which is always a welcome metric. Bunce believes it also delivers against a much bigger business agenda. “Companies need to attract and retain talent. Delivering an IT experience that more closely resembles the consumer arena is the place to start,” he said.