By Jen Sweeney
It’s amazing how much change has happened in enterprise IT in recent decades. Around the turn of last century, IT service delivery standards were remarkably different. Organizations focused more on IT’s efficiency than on the end-user’s experience. As a result, companies stuck with the same version of an operating system or other technology for a few years at minimum, they often blocked use of social media, and generally restricted use of personal tech devices for work.
It’s a completely different landscape today. Consumerization has changed service delivery standards, in business and in all aspects of life. In the same way that customers demand more from businesses, end-users expect more from IT—they want access to current technology, the ability to use their own devices for work, a range of support and training options, and the freedom to innovate and experiment to find new, better ways of working.
IT leaders have had to adapt to keep up with user demands—formulating policies and standards that cover everything from mobile devices and cloud storage to social media and collaboration apps. What organizations are left with, however, are inefficient procedural patchworks instead of systematic approaches that put customer service at the center of IT service delivery.
Consumerization has had a profound effect on enterprise IT, and will continue to do so. It’s no longer a trend and it will not reverse.
For today’s IT leaders, the challenge is complex. They must take stock of their current systems and find a way to transform them into approaches that acknowledge the value of each employee’s contribution—tangible or intangible—to the organization’s broader aim of creating an outstanding customer experience. Here are three tips to help IT leaders meet the challenge.
Practice saying “yes”
Be a help, not a hindrance to improving your company’s productivity. Find out what your users need or think they need, and help them solve their problems by offering the right solutions. Ask questions and listen. See how you can aid your employees in accomplishing their business goals. Besides helping your company grow, this approach will also assist in attracting and retaining standout employees.
Continually find ways to improve
Establish a committee that regularly looks at your company’s technology needs from a broad perspective. Include legal and finance as well as other lines of business and early adopters. Identify ways in which you can incorporate new technology and put plans in motion. Take a new approach to end-user feedback—find out what to measure, how often, and how to create value from it.
Embrace the inevitable
Consumerization has had a profound effect on enterprise IT, and will continue to do so. It’s no longer a trend and it will not reverse. Consider the number of organizations— big and small, public and private—that are moving to the cloud. Of note: Apple uses Google cloud services, while agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency use Office 365.
Cloud products provide end-users with much of what they need to increase their productivity and efficiency—simplified sharing, easy collaboration, anywhere and on any device, reliability, and up-to-date software. Cloud options are powerful, flexible ways for IT departments to adapt to the changing needs of users while keeping security and costs in mind.
The bottom line
Transforming IT service delivery is not simply about meeting end-users’ growing demands. It’s about giving end-users the tools and resources they need to be productive, efficient and engaged—which, in turn, ensures that they can do their part in providing the organization’s customers with the best possible experience.