The way individuals work today is rapidly changing. Where once an individual had a desktop which housed all of the applications and content they needed to do their job, they now use a combination of attributes collectively known as their “workspace.”
In this workspace they have multiple devices running various operating systems, often running variations of similar applications, accessing content from multiple sources. Technological advances, increases in IT literacy and a rise in non-routine roles in a business have all led to an expanding complexity of these workspaces.
For organizations to thrive, they must embrace this change to provide freedom to their employees to work efficiently in this new era. At the same time, they must be able to understand what users really need to do their jobs, matching the ideal technology / technologies to their work styles to achieve competitive advantage. In the same vein, it is the role of IT to stay compliant with industry standards, prevent intellectual property loss, ensure corporate governance requirements are met and reduce the risk of security breaches, all within a strict budget.
IT departments are finding it increasingly difficult to stay on top of this. Because of the rise in non-routine roles, it is unrealistic to deliver a one-size-fits-all solution to all users in a business. It is crucial to understand how users work – what devices they use, what applications they run (locally installed, delivered virtually or via the cloud), what the content is that they create and access and where that content is stored. By doing so IT leaders can effectively plan and prioritize the multitude of tasks they are faced with. They can do this with the aid of a usage analytics solution which automatically combines information about all of these attributes.
Let’s picture a familiar scenario for any IT Professional. Your management and monitoring systems indicate that all routers, switches, servers etc. are up and running without any problems- the lights are green. However, the Service Desk Team continues to generate tickets for issues such as slow system performance, non-accessibility to some core applications and other such concerns. By the time the IT Support Engineer reaches the end-user to sort out the issue on hand, the end user has already rebooted the system and the support team can’t recreate the issue.
Business IT service portfolios are growing in complexity. Phenomena such as BYOD and the Internet of Things mean that devices and applications are constantly being added to ageing infrastructures. Whilst managing these estates, those responsible for making technology-based decisions within the business are also charged with improving the service they deliver to end-users, despite relying on back-end, silo-based monitoring systems that may no longer be fit for purpose.
End-users are experiencing problems with performance as a result, which then lead to a drop in productivity and a lack of confidence in IT support teams.
Fortunately the rise of end user analytics offers some relief. It’s still necessary to monitor different parts of the infrastructure, but end-user analytics offers a fundamental contrast to traditional server monitoring. The distinction is in where data are being captured. By capturing data from individual end-user devices, IT can track any and all activities that occur on a workstation and follow them into the other areas of the infrastructure (and the Internet). This is opposed to tracking activities only from the server outward.
The architectural design for capturing end-user analytics can be surprisingly straightforward. After sending real-time data from end-user devices to a database, you can now use a web-based tool to view the details that were once missing in analyzing end-user problems. The ability to run investigations across the enterprise, view unusual and/or non-compliant activities, and drill down into specific desktops has surfaced to provide the next level of infrastructure monitoring for IT professionals.
A recent report carried out by Forrester profiled IT decision-makers evaluating the impact that the performance of technology services had on end-users and their wider organizations.
According to the report, almost half of these decision-makers saw the complexity of their IT service portfolio as one of the most significant issues preventing them from delivering better service quality. Also cited as a major issue was the lack of visibility into IT service performance from the perspective of the end-user.
It’s perhaps unsurprising then that end-users have lost a certain amount of faith in their IT support teams. It is noticed that most users will attempt to resolve an issue on their own before requesting assistance from the helpdesk. Worryingly perhaps, often, workers claim that they didn’t believe their IT support desk could solve their performance issues or answer their technical questions and they used search engines to find a solution for themselves.
To combat this lack of faith, and to become more proactive in their approach, it’s necessary for IT support teams to employ more sophisticated monitoring and analytics tools that will enable them to detect issues experienced by end-users – before the users themselves do.
Most IT decision makers recognize the importance of products and assets being connected so that IT teams are better able to monitor their identity, location and condition. Indeed, the visibility that end-user analytics provides will allow support staff to understand and proactively address issues at the user’s level.
By investing in end-user analytics, IT organizations can begin improving the quality of the service they deliver. Routinely monitoring the IT infrastructure, automatically generating meaningful reports, and identifying and resolving problems the moment that they occur will offer insight into whether the quality and performance of the service meets the end-users’ needs.
Ultimately, this insight will enable IT teams to become more effective in delivering the projects and allocating the budget required to improve those issues in service quality that most greatly affect worker productivity, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line.
One has heard the saying, “You can’t fix what you can’t measure.” Having real-time data to manage a fundamental part of the infrastructure (the desktop) will provide the data needed to succeed.
Arabian Information Technology Solutions Co, Kuwait has partnered with Nexthink, pioneers in the field of End-user Analytics to provide the benefits of such technology to companies looking to achieve greater visibility into their end-user environments and who look to nip the problem in the bud.
Analysts, such as Gartner, have identified a new emerging segment, ITOA (IT Operations Analytics), that organizations are using to address complexity and are set to have a major impact on IT operations management. Nexthink’s unique approach to real-time end-user IT analytics has resulted in they being named a Gartner Cool Vendor in ITOA for 2014.
The Nexthink End-user IT Analytics platform is supported by a scalable product architecture that fits small, medium and large organizations. For instance, the French Ministry of Defense relies on Nexthink to provide real-time IT analytics across more than 250,000 end-users making it possible to deliver high quality IT governance, risk management, and compliance.