Feeds

Is the IT Dept failing users?

Can it catch up with personal devices?

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.