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The Politics and Practicalities of End User Computing

1. Influences

1.1 How much influence do the following currently have on the way in which your end user computing environment is evolving? By 'end user computing environment' we mean the devices, software and services that are directly touched by end users

 
Very high influence
5
4
3
2
Little or no influence
1
Unsure
User preference and the 'feel good' factor
e.g. freedom of choice in devices, apps and services, use of personal equipment for work, use of work equipment for personal stuff, etc
Hard-core business needs
e.g. cost control, optimised personal productivity, frictionless team-working and collaboration, management of risks, security etc.
IT delivery and operational needs
e.g. efficiency and effectiveness of systems development, deployment, maintenance and support, ability to secure and protect data, etc

1.2 Would you regard any of these influences as too high or too low as things stand?

 
Too high
About right
Too low
Unsure
User preference and the 'feel good' factor
Hard-core business needs
IT delivery and operational needs

1.3 Regardless of what they 'should be', how are these influences actually changing in reality?

 
Getting stronger
Not changing
Getting weaker
Unsure
User preference and the 'feel good' factor
Hard-core business needs
IT delivery and operational needs

1.4 Do you have any specific examples of how these influences are changing?

 

2. Ownership and responsibility

2.1 Regardless of where the buck stops legally or in theory, where does the practical day-to-day responsibility fall for the assurance of security and compliance in relation to core business systems?

2.2 Turning to the end user computing environment, has there been significant adoption of any of the following within your workforce?

 
Yes
No, but demand is building
No, little demand
Unsure
Alternatives to Windows (e.g. Mac OSX, Linux) on desktops/notebooks
Mobile technology, e.g. smartphones, tablets and related apps/services
Use of multiple devices by individual users
Cloud / network-based storage accessible across all devices
Facilities to synchronise information across all devices

2.3 Do you see a significant amount of user or business driven adoption of the following independently of the IT department?

 
Yes
No, but demand is building
No, little demand
Unsure
Desktop PCs / Macs
Laptops / notebooks
Tablets / hybrids
Smartphones
PC/Mac software
Mobile apps
Cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox)
Other types of cloud service
Third party development services

2.4 Looking closer at who might be driving this activity, do you anticipate a significant amount of the following taking place independently of the IT department in the future?

 
Yes
Possibly
No
Already happening
Unsure
Unilateral procurement of IT solutions and services by business units
Use of personal equipment for work purposes
Commissioning of third party development work by the business, e.g. the marketing department engaging an agency to build a campaign website

2.5 If you have any of the activity we have been discussing taking place independently of IT, where does responsibility fall for things like security, compliance and data protection?

2.6 Do you have any general comments on ownership and responsibility with regard to end user computing?

 

3. Vision and objectives

3.1 Think for a minute of your ideal end user computing environment. With this in mind, how important would you regard the following to be?

 
Mandatory
Desirable
Not relevant
Not desirable
Not realistic
Unsure
Users should be able to use pretty much any type of device to access business applications, services and data, across any type of network from any location
Users should be able to use the same device(s) to support both business and personal activity, regardless of who owns that device (i.e. the user or the business)
Security and compliance policy should be defined once, then be automatically applied everywhere, taking the device, app, data, network and user's location into account
The Wintel upgrade cycle should be a thing of the past as the environment would naturally accommodate multiple types and generations of hardware and operating systems

3.2 Any specific comments on this list of requirements? Are there any requirements missing at a high level?

 

3.3 Whatever your ideal end user computing environment looks like, how important are the following drivers for creating or maintaining it from a business perspective? (Think here about the kind of stuff the board of directors would care about)

 
Highest importance
5
4
3
2
Not at all important
1
Unsure
Better workforce productivity, e.g. increased efficiency and effectiveness
More innovation, e.g. through better collaboration and information access
Increased responsiveness, i.e. faster reaction to problems/opportunities
Increased agility, e.g. better able to change/optimise working practices
Reduction of costs; e.g. by reducing admin overhead, cutting, travel, etc
General increased business competitiveness
Other (Please specify)

3.4 On a specific point, some argue that offering the latest desirable devices and/or a BYOD programme is becoming necessary to recruit and retain good staff. What's your own view on this?

3.5 Do you have any more thoughts on that last question based on experience in your organisation?

 

4. Delivering on the vision from where you are now

4.1 How would you sum up your PC and/or Mac estate, i.e. the desktop and notebook machines in use within the business?

4.2 Has finding the budget to fund desktop/notebook refresh activity been a problem over the last few years?

4.3 Have any of the following been particular issues in relation to desktop/notebook refresh activity?
Please tick all that apply

4.4 How would you sum up the diversity of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in use within the business at the moment?

4.5 If things were allowed to take their natural course, how fast would this diversity increase?

4.6 As you look forward, how much emphasis do you anticipate putting on the following tactics to help manage the evolution of your end user computing environment, regardless of your current capability to implement them?

 
Very high emphasis
5
4
3
2
Little/no emphasis
1
Unsure
Reduce or constrain device, software and service diversity to make things easier and cheaper to secure, maintain and support
Run applications centrally (i.e. on the server or in the cloud) wherever possible through appropriate web and virtualisation technologies
Centralise the management and control of devices and applications, even if applications are running locally
Store and secure data centrally (i.e. keep it server-side) wherever possible and minimise local storage on end point devices
Use centrally managed 'sand-box' technology so information is properly protected even if locally held on user devices
Use blacklisting and/or whitelisting technology to protect users and the business from unsafe applications, web sites and services
Apply policy and control in a consistent and joined up manner across all devices regardless of form-factor, operating system and ownership

4.7 How well are you geared up to implement the range of tactics you have highlighted?

4.8 Regardless of your level of capability, how coherent and joined up is your current end user computing environment from an infrastructure perspective (virtualisation, management, security, data protection, etc)?

 
Completely coherent
5
4
3
2
Totally disjointed
1
Unsure
In relation to desktops and notebooks
In relation to tablets and smartphones
Across all classes of device

4.9 Would you regard what you have in place as a good foundation for building on as you look to meet your end user computing needs of the future?

4.10 How much would you agree or disagree with the following statements?

 
Strongly agree
Agree
Neutral
Disagree
Strongly disagree
Unsure
We need to invest significantly in our end user computing environment to meet evolving business needs
Simply continuing with the traditional Windows upgrade cycle is not the way the forward; we need to take a different approach
Finding the time to explore alternative approaches, considering our options then designing the right environment is hard
Even though we know we should be doing something different, finding the time and budget to act on this is hard

4.11 Picking up on this last point, what are the compelling arguments for investing in a more suitable approach and infrastructure for the future when making the business case to senior executives?

 

4.12 And finally, what are the one or two obvious ways in which the end user computing environment over the next 10 years will differ from the last ten years?

 

5. Before you go

5.1 How much would you agree or disagree with the following statements?

 
Strongly agree
Agree
Neutral
Disagree
Strongly disagree
Unsure
We get the most from our employees in terms of productivity
Our employees are happy with the technology they use for work
We manage end user computing related risks very effectively
We manage end user computing related costs very effectively
We are confident we can deal with future end user needs
Our organisation is generally more successful than its peers
A smart(er) approach to end user computing is essential for us to meet our overall business objectives

5.2 Which of the following best describes your role?

5.3 What is the size of your organisation?

5.4 In which industry sector does your organisation operate?

5.5 Which country are you located in?