IT Focus Area: strategy
April 1, 2015
How to Manage End-User Computing Across Your Enterprise
Today’s employees view mobility as an expectation, not a privilege.
They use apps for every aspect of their personal lives – from downloading media to chatting with friends — and they expect the same level of convenience at work. More employees are asking: “Why can’t I access my business apps the same way that I access my personal apps?”
If you don’t give employees apps on demand, they will bypass IT and find what they need elsewhere. According to McAfee, 68 percent of U.S. employees use non-approved applications.
In addition to employees, enterprises are also seeing the benefits of mobility. According to a survey by Motorola, manufacturers who use mobile apps save an average of 42 minutes per day, per employee. Meanwhile, flexible out-of-office work saves IBM more than $100 million per year in office space.
However, mobility also raises a number of security concerns. How can you enable mobility while keeping your data secure? What processes must you put in place to manage this?
Questions to ask before you roll out end-user computing
End-user computing is a cost-effective way to overcome these challenges.EUC platforms are created based on end user needs, with an agile, efficient and secure IT infrastructure that supports them. It provides a framework that:
Secures and monitors devices and applications
Manages hardware and software maintenance and performance
Optimizes revenue by saving costs
Most IT organizations are in one of two stages with EUC — either virtualizing applications for the first time or updating an existing implementation.
If you’re taking your first steps towards virtualizing applications, here are some questions to ask:
How will you provide the applications?
How many apps do you currently have, and who is using them?
What licensing issues must you address?
Do you want to provide a desktop refresh service? Do you have the staff to do this?
Here are questions to ask if you’re updating an existing implementation or virtualizing a different subset of applications:
Which applications do you need to deliver now?
Do you need to upgrade your environment since your last virtualization project?
How will you manage this?
5 keys to managing end-user computing
When you support mobility, you can boost productivity, enhance employee and customer satisfaction and cut costs.But end-user computing requires a detailed assessment, along with the proper team to engineer and support its design and execution.
Here are five keys to managing end-user computing:
1. Move apps into your data center
This allows you to deliver apps to any device, while you guarantee and measure their performance. Moving apps into your data center also lessens the amount of work from the endpoint and untethers workers from their desks, so they can work from remote locations.
2. Understand your team roles
Many IT organizations have 10 people doing 10 percent of the work that’s needed to manage virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). They might have one person managing the desktops, another person managing the infrastructure and yet another managing the apps.
However, EUC requires one person to take ownership. It also calls for the following expertise:
- An enterprise architect and service manager to oversee the migration of applications into a remote, virtual environment and identify user groups.
- An engineering lead to plan the build out and optimization of the application-hosting environment. This role also measures your existing demands and projects future demands.
- An application installation and packaging lead to perform functionality testing with end users and business groups.
- A support specialist to capture and resolve user issues, as well as isolate those from other deployment and engagement roles.
3. Find out what cars your users drive
VDI apps are like cars. Everyone needs a car, but their lifestyle determines whether they buy an SUV, a hybrid or a racing car. While all of these vehicles have four wheels, they might not have much else in common. If you give a new BMW to someone who is used to driving an old Ford, they likely won’t know how to use all of the BMW’s features. So, a BMW employee needs to show them how to use the car.
VDI is similar, as you start by providing basic apps. Then, you customize these apps to meet your users’ needs. You also offer training, so employees learn how to use these apps to boost their productivity.
However, many IT organizations don’t know which apps their users need. Gain insight into your apps by dividing employees into use cases. Here are some questions you might ask:
What apps are they using?
How are they using these apps?
How many people are using the same app?
Can we virtualize these apps and deliver them effectively?
For example, if only a few people are using an app, you can likely replace it with something that’s more popular and easier to support. If the app is popular, you can look into virtualizing it.
4. Run a test pilot
Testing on a subset of users allows you to see how metrics will affect your end-user experience, server performance, storage capacity, monitoring mechanisms and security systems.
Analyzing data from the test pilot will help you determine which EUC platform configuration is appropriate. During this stage, you can create a migration factory for desktops and applications. You can also personalize management tools and operational policies.
Once you clarify the test pilot recommendations, you can design a detailed plan for an enterprise-scale virtualization. At this level, you’ll establish success milestones from both your end user and operational perspectives. These are crucial, as they determine your return on investment (ROI).
With milestones and a detailed execution path in place, the last step is to implement a full rollout in phases and track it against your success metrics. Integrate a feedback loop to consistently improve and manage the deployment.
5. Take a holistic approach to end-user computing
Integrating end-user computing into your enterprise management strategy can help you support the business both now and in the future. EUC helps you build a more secure, agile and user-friendly virtual infrastructure. This infrastructure helps you enhance employee and customer loyalty, as well as increase end-user productivity.
With the right architecture and framework, you likely won’t need to re-integrate down the line. If you execute end-user computing with the right staff and priorities, your ROI and total cost of ownership can only yield positive results.
End-user computing is a long-term resource solution
End-user computing is a long-term, forward-thinking resource management solution. Once EUC is in place, it can help your enterprise roll with the tide in an ever-changing technological landscape.