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Most organisations want to deliver innovation through IT.
A lot talk about transformation as being the way to do that… to refresh their IT estates so that IT really delivers tangible business benefits rather than simply providing “more of the same”.
I think that’s absolutely the right idea. But I see people really struggling to make that vision a reality.
If you think about it, maybe we can see why. Building and managing an
(EUC) estate is a mature and well understood activity. Since the mid ‘90s,
with an updated operating system (almost certainly a version of Microsoft) has been the strategy. Virtualisation has added to the mix but the basic principles are the same.
Two unstoppable trends are combining to disrupt this status quo: firstly, an explosion in device types and secondly, the rush to cloud platforms and SaaS delivery by application providers. In the future, most business apps will be available and possibly only available (see Adobe’s recent stance) via the cloud over a browser.
So, what does this mean for innovation? We have to be realistic about how much change is possible in one go. Clearly, for many organisations, there are real obstacles to transformation in people’s minds: cost, risk (security), the fact that the new model just seems too radically different from the current way of thinking and so on.
You know that the days of ‘one size fits all’ desktop procurement are over… but honestly don’t know what to do about that.
Two points to consider that might help.
One: start moving from an equipment/kit perspective (‘John will need a desktop PC’) to a user profile/persona perspective (‘John has these application needs to do the job we are hiring him for’ and ‘John uses these applications to do his job’).
This is really the best way to unlock the door to transformation: how to provision the user in the most efficient manner – in terms of the right software, device, applications, connectivity, database access and so forth. Does John really need, for example, the same level of gold-plated security as Jane his boss or would it be more efficient for the company and for John to have a more flexible, cloud-based working environment?
The second thought: if you are serious about innovation and estate transformation, you need to put change at the centre of all your thinking and planning going forward.
People’s roles are changing. ICT is now used by everyone in the company or public sector service delivery organisation you work for. You need to meet that demand, in a way that you can manage. How people work can also change, dynamically, over time: if you took a snapshot of everyone’s ICT needs on January 1st, I’ll bet you a big sum of money by July 1st at least some of those needs will now be radically different.
To get to the user profile level of ICT delivery, as well as the ability to flex and change as user requirements do, you need to be building an on-going management process that looks at how people work and which devices and applications they really use.
We’re starting to help companies do just that, with our Centrix Software
How? By identifying what resources are out there and, more importantly, how they are used and what each individual user needs to do their job - not just on January 1st, but on every day of the year.
So, in summary, if I have one message, it’s this: the transformation journey starts with understanding the user as an individual. Get this right and you will be well prepared for the disruption ahead!