As Datacom Australia/Asia CEO Peter Wilson said in a 2012 blog post, the IT department no longer controls all technical knowledge in organisations. Employees are more tech-savvy than ever, thanks to cloud computing services, mobile solutions and access to collaboration software that enable them to do their jobs just as well —if not better — than solutions the IT department can provide.
In Datacom’s experience, organisations that align certain employee requests for new software and services with business goals make more informed IT decisions. Here are some of the technology requests you might hear from your employees in 2013. The right IT outsourcer can help you determine which ones will drive the most business value for your specific organisation.
1. BYOD for all. Employees are tired of carrying two smartphones, not being able to work on a home laptop and — most importantly — not having the flexibility to complete their work because IT presents a roadblock. At the end of the day, your department must continue to uphold policies that protect the security of your organisation’s data and content. Those policies, however, should at least consider BYOD.
For instance, could allowing specific employees or departments to bring in home laptops that run faster and have more memory cut down the time it takes to do certain tasks, such as running reports? If there is a need that could be filled or a productivity gap that could be corrected through BYOD, it’s worth a thought. You can quell security fears by enlisting the help of an IT provider with an end-to-end mobility service that covers device management, app management and app development.
2. Cloud computing services. As employees search for new ways to alleviate their workloads and improve operations, they’ll naturally turn to cloud computing. This doesn’t mean they should circumvent the IT department by signing up for public cloud computing services. Rather than determining the technology necessary for on-premises implementation, prepare to spend time vetting private cloud computing providers and cross-referencing other departments’ cloud business needs. Signing up for managed cloud computing services can enable you to leverage productivity-boosting software whilst your infrastructure is protected in a local data centre.
3. Online help that works — and can be easily located. Between flexible schedules, improved user interfaces and a tech-savvier workforce, employees are more interested in fixing minor problems themselves than having the help desk spend hours to fix a simple problem. Staying abreast of common technology issues and offering relevant help documentation and videos will be imperative to helping your employees perform their jobs and freeing your staff from the phone lines.
You can work with an IT provider to develop, implement and support self-service tools that enable your end users to solve problems themselves. Or consider leveraging online remote desktop services from a managed IT services provider so you can utilise a “shift-left” strategy that also empowers your end-users to solve their own problems in less time.
As more and more employees bring technical and process knowledge to the game, IT must strike a balance between security, reducing risk and enabling success. Make 2013 the year to strike that balance.