The modern, mobile workforce is more dependent on technology than ever before, and yet, are becoming more independent in regards to setting up and supporting the technology they use. In the past, users relied on IT departments for everything tech related. But now, users are taking technology into their own hands. Furthermore, there is a new expectation that IT will exercise less authority and provide users with more autonomy.
To this point, Bob Janssen, founder and CTO of RES Software, recently wrote in Wired, "The new breed of tech-savvy young professionals who are accustomed to sophisticated and efficient technologies in their personal lives are taking over the workplace — and, with alternative cloud-based solutions often just a credit card away, they’re skeptical about traditional roles of IT departments. They will proactively pursue alternative solutions if current IT resources and processes don’t meet their needs."
Let users solve the majority of their problems
Many IT departments are on top of this dependency shift and have taken on a more user-centric approach to delivering IT services and evaluating enterprise technologies. These can-do IT teams often adopt service-oriented IT frameworks, treat their users like customers, and implement tools that provide user self service — so users can get their own technologies and solve their own problems with built-in guidance from IT.
Self service tools, like the one available with the Casper Suite, allow users to perform a litany of tasks on their own — and all from one convenient location. Users can:
- Install packaged software, apps, and content
- Set up accounts and settings
- Run basic maintenance and support tasks, including reset passwords and link to printers
This lets users get the technology they need, when they need it, and without disruption to their workflows. As Janssen writes, "imagine empowering your company’s employees to access these services and applications through an interface that resembles the ease of use of the Apple App Store or Google Play.”
The ticket to fewer help desk tickets
This user-centric approach balances the needs of users and IT in many ways. Not only can self service ensure that users get technology as they need it, but it also saves IT a significant amount of time and money in the process.
For example, if a user can install their own software that was prepackaged and customized by IT with the simple click of a button, that's one less request for IT to deal with. And if users all over an organization are provisioning their own settings, running their own maintenance tasks, and binding their own devices to Active Directory, this lets IT focus on larger tasks instead of the typical mundane requests that bog down their day.
Freedom for users, control for IT
Janssen says it best, "Businesses can automate on and off boarding, give employees self-service data access, and reduce the number of service desk tickets and turnaround times that are such an encumbrance to the IT team by taking the intuitive interface of an ‘app store’ supported by underlying automation and security rules."
With the right tools and approach in place, IT can be less of a guard and more of a guide for users. Users can have their freedom and IT can keep the consistency, compatibility, and compliance needed to help any school or business succeed.