Feeds

Is the IT Dept failing users?

Can it catch up with personal devices?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Desktop The number of tools the enterprise can deploy to enhance productivity is huge. And even if the tools are generally simple to use, they are also mind-bogglingly complex under the skin.

Balls in the air

Each tool, including the desktop PC, has to interact with all the others securely, quickly and seamlessly. It is such a a juggling act that it can seem remarkable that it works at all.

The reason it does is down to the hardware manufacturers and programmers who create the products, but the IT department has to assemble these products a way that furthers the aims of the business.

This is no simple task, now that computing devices are commodities that growing numbers of users have at home. The IT department cannot move as quickly as many end-users would like, not just for cost reasons but also because interactions between devices cannot be foreseen until tested.

Moving targets

This was not the case when end-users started bringing in their own hardware and software back in 1980s, when PCs were rarely networked, and swapping files – usually Lotus 123 spreadsheets and WordPerfect documents – on floppy disks was about as interactive as it got. After a while, standards kicked in and desktop hardware and software became increasingly standardised.

People no longer sit in front of their desktops until it's time to go home

Fast-forward to the 21st century and as well as the performance and functionality improvements that you might expect, the way users work has also changed hugely.

People no longer sit in front of their desktops until it's time to go home. They are mobile in and outside the office, and some come into the office only occasionally.

The result is that the hardware platform needs to change, which means some form of smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Software needs to be smarter too, for example to handle the fact that the network may not always be fast enough to save large datasets, or may not even be connected at all.

Devices are more personal, acting as information providers for people in their roles as both individuals and employees. They expect a lot more say over what devices they can use and when, and more autonomy from the IT department. This is what we mean by the consumerisation of IT.

This time it's personal

At the same time, legislation and experience demand that the organisation has greater control over its data. This requires a more complex IT environment that can separate end-users' personal data from company data.

IT departments need to adapt to the growing diversification between the needs of the organisation and those of individual employees. Instead of a big, one-size-fits-all desktop rollout, they could, for example, gather feedback from end users about their expectations of IT.

The IT department needs to adopt a consultative approach. It can no longer control everything from the centre and hope that users will fall into line. To win their trust, it needs to target leaders, such as power users, and win them over to new ways of working.

It needs to listen and seize opportunities for transformation. Above all, it needs to recognise that all the policy documents in the world cannot make end-users more co-operative. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.