Automation and outsourcing have lessened the focus on the classical 'nuts and bolts' of IT in areas such as hardware evaluation, installation of operating systems and managing images. Instead the focus is more on brokering services - while ensuring robust governance, risk management and compliance framework is in place - as well as on self-service delivery through end-to-end automation. It is an area in which there is a wide range of sourcing options largely decided by service, SLA requirements and data protection guidelines.
Brokering services is a change that is already happening and it is fundamental to building and sustaining a competitive advantage because it accelerates the delivery of new products and features to the marketplace. It also promotes increased agility, allowing organizations to respond quickly to market changes while preserving capital and facilitating compliance to instituted risk and security frameworks.
Tips on getting it right
Keeping the big picture in mind is essential when designing a workplace of the future. Any solution must be capable of addressing users' needs and expectations for flexibility. Following are some tips that can help ensure the journey is a successful one:
- Map out the critical success factors, benefits and challenges so that informed decisions can be made to ensure the right path for an end-user centric journey.
- Consider developing a plan that begins by implementing a full lifecycle desktop management solution based on segmentation involving standardized user profiles. This will help deliver a cost-efficient delivery structure by reducing the number of individual profiles that must be supported.
- Choose optimal device standards or hardware with the appropriate compute power, display, memory, and other features that end users require to do their jobs effectively. Virtual desktops are a way of achieving cost savings and increased security.
- Create an automated, standardized self-service environment with minimal customization for the distribution of applications and instant updates.
- Identify an area that can be used as a pilot or proof of concept to evaluate the proposed model. Try a solution that provides a 'unified user experience', including touch devices and the latest enabling technology to provide a work anywhere, anytime business experience.
- Finally, once a solution has been tested, revisit and refine the strategy and determine what needs to be adjusted.
Watch the benefits flow
The advent of mobile computing via smartphones and tablets is increasingly rendering enterprise applications archaic. If employees can't access it on their mobile devices, then most likely they won't.
Transitioning to a more user-centric workplace of the future that is architected for the cloud is fundamental to building and sustaining a competitive advantage - and that's regardless of the size of the organization.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.