What do you do when your company’s IT department is going through a period of major changes? Do you get to the point where you’re asking “Rethink your approach to end user computing?” It’s a question that many people face these days, whether they’re located in the office or out in the field. The reality is that a lot of people don’t know what to do. Some companies make it easy for end-users to access their networks and servers by making everything accessible via a web browser. Others try to do the same thing but go about it in the wrong way, which can have disastrous consequences for both end-users and IT departments.
For example, many companies set up user interfaces that are too complicated for end-users to figure out on their own. Then, when those end-users do get around to trying to figure out how to make use of the services and programs running on their networks, they come up against some pretty fundamental problems. The system isn’t actually making use of all of the tools that people want to use. Often, it’s putting people through a lot of hurdles just to the IT guys can demonstrate that they have a lot of knowledge. Rethink your approach to end-user computing, if you want to improve the quality of your end-user experience.
First, though, ask yourself whether or not you’re really being effective. The problem isn’t that your service or program don’t work. It’s that people don’t always understand how to use it. The truth is, it’s much more complex than it appears on the surface. Complexity makes things less comprehensible for people and this ultimately affects the level of satisfaction they get from using them.
Make your customer’s job easier. Once you’ve made sure your application works well in its environment, give your customers ways to make it easier for themselves. How? Let them use a desktop widget or something like Quickoffice to open documents they need. Maybe they’re going to prefer Word for editing their work, but they might also prefer a calendar or a calculator instead of relying on the built-in calculator in Word. Make use of the built-in widgets and tools by adding them to the end user interface and to provide something that makes it easy for your customers to utilize what they need.
Use the same basic principles everywhere else in your product or service. Rethink your approach to end-user computing by thinking about it inside of your target market. What are the kinds of things that people who use your application will be doing? Even if they’re not working with your software or on your network, there might be things they’d done every day that could make it more convenient for them.
Rethink your approach to end-user computing by thinking about the people who can’t necessarily use the applications or the company’s tools and services but might be important to your company. How would they benefit from having access to those things? What would be the best way for you to reach out to them? Do some market research to find out more about your target market. Think about how you can make those things accessible and appealing to all kinds of end-users.
Rethink your approach to end-user computing by thinking about your company and the kind of people you want to work for. What kinds of tasks can you help them do on a daily basis? Do you have any training or classes specifically designed for helping new users? Do your current employees enjoy using your existing software? Are there ways you can make them more productive without spending a lot of money? When you have an idea about how you want to use technology to help your employees accomplish more, you’ll find that it’s easier to get everyone on board.
If you’re still not convinced that your company needs to think about how you use technology, ask some of your customers. Chances are, many of them are already thinking along the same lines as you, and they’d love to see some changes in their own workplace. Rethink your approach to end-user computing today!