Choice and Efficiency: The 2 Things Your Users Want in the New Desktop

Much ado has been made about the “new desktop” – the desktop that is something sleeker and lighter on power usage, or used at home or on the road, or accessed via VDI. The new desktop isn’t one-size-fits-all – it’s a customised animal that serves the many different users in your organisation, not the masses.

If there’s one commonality amongst these new desktops, it’s that they’ve moved away from what IT is willing to support and provide and towards what end users want. Smart organisations have realised that force-feeding a working style and device type can actually do terrible things for employee satisfaction and, as a result, productivity and creativity. Here are the two things your workers want in this new desktop.

1. Choice in their desktop

While Bring Your Own Device has been a bit slower to catch on in the Asia-Pacific region than in places like the United States, Gartner predicts that by 2013, 80 per cent of organisations will let workers use tablets. By the following year, 90 per cent of organisations will allow corporate applications on personal devices. The catalyst for this change is employees, who are initiating the discussions about incorporating their tablets and smartphones into their work life before their managers have even figured out what BYOD means. Rather than the prescribed desktop, users want a seamless computing experience between work lives and personal lives, which are increasingly becoming blurred.

Whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or laptop, Gartner believes most organisations are still in the initial phase of the consumerisation trend, where the focus is on devices and applications. Post-2014, they expect employees to concentrate more on data and peer-to-peer interaction.

2. Efficiency in their desktop

“Wait, I let them bring in their iPhones and now they want me to make sure they work OK?”

You might think it’s too demanding, but here’s a news flash: if employees can’t access the desktop applications and tools they need to do their jobs on their corporate desktop, whether it’s a corporate PC or a smartphone, they will find ways around it. Left unchecked, employees at organisations around the world are signing up for cloud services so they have a more efficient way to get things done. A third of employees are using their own cloud-based services for file-sharing, according to a survey sponsored by EMC. That’s your data being used in a most likely public cloud service over which you have no control.

Cloud isn’t the only answer, but it does lend the agility, speed and on-demand provisioning workers want to tap into. And doing cloud on your terms means you won’t have to worry about security and compliance issues. The overall point is to listen to what your employees want in their applications and services. If you don’t, you will have an organisation being run by the technology whims of your workforce and not your IT-business strategy.

What employee needs or wants will you be considering as you further implement your desktop strategy?

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