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Photo: Chip Salyards, BMC Software
We live in a highly connected, mobile world where information is always available on demand via social networks and the Internet. A bevy of new generation devices like smartphones and tablets make it extremely easy to not only access this information but to always be plugged into this information stream. Today's generation of employees have all grown up in this environment and they expect to access all this within the enterprise network.
Unfortunately, our interaction with technology does not always translate into a satisfactory experience in the workplace. According to a research report by Forrester, only 35% of business decision-makers feel that IT provides their enterprises with high quality and timely end user support. In my experience, a big factor behind this disconnect between employee expectations and what enterprise IT support is capable of providing is the pace at which new, consumer-centric technologies are entering the corporate space.
New IT trends and tools like cloud computing, social media, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and various collaborative online tools and platforms have become commonplace in the enterprise today. Despite this, IT departments are still playing catch-up when it comes to providing support for these new technologies. As a result, businesses are missing out on the numerous innovative, business opportunities created by these technologies.
Staying ahead of the curve
I believe IT departments need to focus on two areas. First, they need to industrialise their back-end processes. They can do this by tapping into the various business service management solutions that are available on the market, which will allow them to automate and streamline their IT systems and processes, resulting in quicker response time to problems. It will give IT personnel a better overview and control, enabling them to make strategic decisions to serve their enterprises better.
Companies are starting to realise the benefits of industrialising the back end. However, many of them are failing to focus on the second important area in the quest to provide value-added IT service to the enterprise: the need to consumerise the front-end.
IT departments should always see this as a multi-pronged approach that not only seeks to provide IT support to the new generation of tech-savvy employees but also empower and improve their experience with enterprise IT. In other words, consumerising the front-end enables employees to work in ways that are most productive for them.
Some of the ways of doing this include:
1. Make your corporate IT services mobile—One in every seven people today has access to a smartphone or a tablet today, making today's workforce extremely mobile. Given the importance of mobility in the business landscape today, equipping your employees with continuous access to IT support and corporate information on the go can drastically improve productivity levels. For example, BMC Software's new MyIT application allows companies to bring all of their corporate services, from IT help desks to shared business documents, to their employees with a tap of a screen.
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