Having been in the field of technology since the early 70’s, from my days @ NYU’s Courant School and then followed by 12 years @ Big Blue (IBM), it never fails to amuse me that many of my technology colleagues do not see themselves as end users. And the trend continues!! Now why is that? Could it be that since technology is KEWL, that’s enough? Not if you are like me >> an end user!!!
A few weeks ago I was sitting with a large client of IPM, in a very fancy conference room, talking about a current project. In attendance was the Director of Operations, the CIO and the Chairman of the technology committee. The Chairman made sure that we understood that an end user’s perception of how IT was helping or hindering him or her from doing their job was of primary importance. “Slow application performance, choppy screen refreshes, long boot up times are not good. We may have the most sophisticated technology in the datacenter known to man, however,our end users would just like to be able to do their work; easily and consistently. I turn on my TV or my Blackberry, and my programs and applications appear and function , all the time!!”
IPM has been involved with end user perception for many years. Most of our projects have to do with presenting applications to many end users on various desktop platforms. We call it – APPPPS – applications, perception, profiles, policies, provisioning and scripts.
As an end user, I want great corporate applications that I perceive as working very, very well. I am relying about our IT department to keep my profiles and policies consistent. Provision my desktop seamlessly and use scripts in the background to enhance my perception.
I believe that Datacenter projects should be geared towards my technology colleagues. I also believe that Application Delivery & Desktop projects must be geared towards end user perception.
So how do you measure end user perception? There are lots of sophisticated software & tools to measure latency, response time, etc which in most cases need to utilized. However, I have found that the first and last measure of end user perception is accomplished when we ASK the end user! I suggest that we find out what the aches and pains there are before the project begins and also after we have performed our technical magic.
If end users perceive that they are happy with their application delivery & desktop experience, and of course get their work done, I think we are adding significant value to their organization.
Hoping that my life as an end user, and yours, becomes like living on cloud 9 :-)
It‘s a great time to be in the thick of things and as always “If It’s Virtually Possible, We Do it!!