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Building Blocks of a Better IT End User Experience

Val King
Posted by Val King on Jun 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM
Five years ago very few people were talking about the End User Experience we in IT were delivering to our end users.  Today there are a number of companies (Aternity, eG Innovations, ControlUp, Lakeside, Goliath, etc. to name a few) continuing to refine their products that give us more and more visibility into what our end users go through each day to do their work, but many of us remain blind.

If you are only paying attention to the boxes, wires and blinky lights aspect of IT you are only paying attention to half of the story and missing the bigger picture.  The other half of the story is sitting at a desk somewhere trying to get their work done and wondering why the technology they engage is making it more difficult than it needs to be.

We had to go through this transformation as a company, and even as one focused on building and delivering a great end user experience, it did not seem intuitive to our staff.

The first step is getting out of the IT department and physically going to where your end users are and getting an understanding of what they do and how they use the technology we provide to get their jobs done.

From personal experience, I can almost guarantee the productivity in your organization will go up immediately as it has every time I have personally gone through this exercise.

You are going to see some users that just get it and you are going to find end users that have awful workflows because it was the only way they know how to do a task that flat out don't know it can be any better. The only way to fix these issues is to see them first hand.

Many technologies only extrapolate, emulate, or estimate what the end user sees. Without accurate, real-time information about how end users are actually experiencing and interacting with their applications, devices, and network, you are subject to suffering from an IT Monitoring Visibility Gap.

Once you know how your end users work and the most common places technology fails them you can add tools to bring that level of visibility back to the IT department where you can introduce process and automation to see, manage, and drive down the cost of supporting our end users and truly keep them productive as possible.

Aternity put together the great little image below which should give you a fairly good idea of where you are on the path of understanding what your end users are doing and providing an optimal environment for them to get their jobs done.

If more than three of these boxes ring true for your organization, you have some work to do, but at least you have an idea where to start.  If all eight ring true, don't feel too bad, as you have a lot of company.

The first step is recognizing the problem. 

The second step is getting out of your office and understanding what your end users are actually doing all day, but don't just stop there.  I have found it helpful to break the entire user population down into personas.  End users that have common roles or use applications the same way toward the same end goal get grouped together as a single persona.  This allows me to think about every IT change from the perspective of each of these different groups of people in the organization we are working with.

If you want to dig into this topic a little deeper, be glad to assist. If you are ready to transform the way IT impacts your business and the productivity of your end users in a positive way we absolutely want to be part of that journey with you. 

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Topics: Tools and Technology, Performance Improvement, Research and Strategy, End User Experience