Balancing Power, Responsibility, and Control

As we push down functionality to the end user portal, consumers will have more and more flexibility, while we give IT more control around that experience. Our goal, we hope, is a comfort and balance between chaos and freedom for both IT and the end user.

At LANDesk we’ve been doing a lot of research and analysis on defining what a proper end user portal should look like.  We’ve been in contact with a number of IT administrators asking them what their thoughts are on balancing the power, responsibility, and control with their end users.  The dichotomy of feedback has been expected, yet was still quite astonishing.

As with any shift in mindset, the consumerization of IT has taken a strong hold in some IT organizations, while others seem to be minimally affected.  Some customers stated it would be a good idea to have a portal that suggested potentially new apps to its users that would assist them in their jobs. After all, if the employee has a better set of tools to get their job done, the employee satisfaction rises and the company itself becomes more efficient and effective.

However, managing apps that can have a behavioral “flavor of the month” from the end user perspective can be very problematic.  The reality is, IT gains its scalability through control and limitation of options.  Creating licensing agreements, purchase orders, software asset tracking processes, deployment packages, gold images with the appropriate business applications, as well as and many of the other requisite tasks, are all simplified when limited in scope.  Complete end user flexibility can generate complete chaos in the IT department.

Thus we see the dichotomy and the need for a balance between IT and the end user.  The next few years will prove quite interesting to watch.  Currently we’re in the middle of IT consumerization with devices being used at work.  Data and applications are ramping up – just look at the proliferation of DropBox in corporate America.

At LANDesk, we are seeing the trends.  We’ve offered user based pricing to help IT being to bridge the balance of controls.  As we push down functionality to the end user portal, consumers will have more and more flexibility, while we give IT more control around that experience.  Our goal, we hope, is a comfort and balance between chaos and freedom for both IT and the end user.