User enablement is an important, if not essential, consideration for IT professionals. I recently gave a presentation at MacDeployment 2016 and at Apple community events on this topic, examining how the consumerization of IT has not only made bring your own device (BYOD) programs popular, but has adjusted the organizational expectations of the modern IT department.
There is an unspoken responsibility for admins to anticipate the needs of users and management alike, both for productivity and operation considerations — regardless of whether the environment is for a Global 500 company, R1 research university or K-12 school district. Plus, the proliferation of mobile devices has prompted IT to offer users seemingly round the clock access to resources, data and opportunities that were unavailable a decade ago. In addition, it’s also encouraged that IT professionals stay relevant, modern and add value to any given project. No small tasks.
Tools to aid IT in their quest
It’s important to consider both people and processes when configuring and implementing any technology to better enable users. If people are happy and processes are creating successful results within a school or firm, an IT professional’s (or IT department's) position will continue to be a rewarding addition to any organization. As a result, knowing the potential of technological tools and trends to achieve common goals is essential.
There are plenty of tools available for Apple admins, both open- and closed-source. Most admins that are a part of Jamf Nation use more than one resource for management, and often place Jamf Pro (formerly Casper Suite) at the center of their toolset. Due to the various techniques for deployment, including modular imaging and thin provisioning, it’s critical to compose a workflow that not only utilizes Apple programs such as the Device Enrollment Program (DEP), Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Apple School Manager, but also one that incorporates any open-sourced tools IT might need to get the job done. There is no one solution for all, this is why it’s essential to utilize several tools to engineer deployments and achieve user satisfaction and organizational results.
Driving an organization’s success
Once a balance is struck between the management tools that are at an admin’s disposal, they have the ability to actively participate in the planning, administrative, and advocacy work that is important to an organization’s technology and operational success. While success may look different depending on the environment, IT professionals can bring value to the schools, businesses, employees, teachers and students they serve.
At the 2016 Jamf Nation User Conference, Fletcher Previn of IBM provided insight into what user enablement can do for an organization and how it can be achieved. It will be worth watching how other firms will interpret these new techniques and technologies to shape their cultures and environments.