The End User is King
There are a sea of acronyms out there describing all of the various technologies that are being incorporated into the IT stack to establish hard links between business productivity and the underlying technology.
Mobile Device Management (MDM, Mobile App Management (MAM,) Application Performance Management (APM,) just to name a few.
While all of these technologies do bring us closer to closing the gap between where we are in measuring true business productivity and where we want to be, none of these technologies will get us there because they all fail in their own unique way of capturing a 360° view of the single most important metric, the end user.
“Every business that asks the question “Are we as productive as we know how to be?” can have that answer immediately”
We do not really want to know how our servers are performing, how our networks are performing, or how the desktop PCs and applications are performing. The only thing we really-really care about is: “Are our end users able to be productive and get their work done?” Or, in short, “How are our employees performing?”
We only care about all that other stuff when the employee experience is suffering.
If the end users are able to do their jobs at maximum efficiency, and we have a way to measure that accurately, what is happening in the rest of the IT infrastructure is, at that moment, irrelevant.
Yes, I would like predictive analysis telling me when hard drives are filling up or are about to fail, but I want that data why? To prevent any technology issue from negatively impacting the End User Experience.
I submit nothing else matters.
We need to measure the end user experience. We need to be able to quantify what it is like to be any individual end user in our environment and what their end user experience is with actual metrics. That is the ultimate metric worth monitoring, knowing, and acting upon when it goes wiggly.
I do not care what the signal quality is like on the mobile device my end user is using to reach my environment, unless their experience is negatively being impacted or is not what we have defined as normal for them. Flat out don’t care. Conversely, if their experience is being negatively impacted then suddenly this metric may be all I care about.
The may sound like some fantastic technology of the future, but it is not. Everything we need to measure the actual end user experience is real and working today. We just are not hearing about it in all of the acronym noise right now.
End User Experience is not a sub-metric of some other really important measurement; End User Experience is the metric.
Businesses want to deliver maximum revenue and obtain maximum productivity with as few employees as possible. Business owners want to know if they are running as efficiently as possible and if they are as productive as possible, but today have to resort to gut feel for the most part or other anecdotal evidence because they have no clear cut way to measure what they really want to know.
Every business that asks the question “Are we as productive as we know how to be?” can have that answer immediately, across every technology platform they utilize (mobile, laptops, desktops, tablets, Apple, etc.).
End users do not care about uptime, if the servers are working, where the servers are of if you even have servers, unless the servers are impacting their ability to get their work done. While we do need to be able to, with some degree of accuracy, predict IT failure, our focus should be on measuring each employee’s ability to get their job done, or, as we call it, measuring the “Point of Execution.”
Once we are measuring the “Point of Execution” for all end users, patterns start to emerge. You can actually begin to see the workflows employees follow to get their work done. You can see those that are more efficient and faster to develop new best practices for other employees. You can see when performance begins to degrade and flag IT before an end user submits a support ticket. You can see if the new version of your core/ERP/EMR application is enabling your employees to be more productive or if the upgrade actually negatively impacted productivity.
To get an accurate picture on business productivity related to technology you have to measure End User Experience, nothing else will give you as complete a picture. Analysis from this perspective begins to shift the mindset that “IT is a department” to “IT is a service that makes every other department more productive.” This, we find, can change some stinking thinking in the IT department from “We will get to you when we get to you” to more of a race car pit crew working feverishly to get down employees back out on the track and productive again, and that change in thinking helps everyone’s business.