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Why enterprise IT looks up to e-commerce

Stacy Leidwinge | July 1, 2015
Enterprise IT is looking to a 'just like home' strategy that empowers employees to do everything they can at home in the workplace.

A 'just like home' strategy isn't about ripping out and replacing what you already have. Far from it. An automated self-service style of IT relies on existing investments. In fact, it can extend that investment. Companies have spent a lot of money on their applications and services but, in many cases, aren't getting the most out of them. This is either because business people don't know how to use them or they aren't aware that they exist.

A self-service IT environment modelled on e-commerce helps to drive a higher usage of business critical apps because it can automatically link them to a user's profile where relevant or make a proactive suggestion.

Why now?

Self-service as a model of IT has been discussed at reasonable length before, so what is so different now? There are a couple of key factors. Firstly, what once was a desktop has evolved from physical device into digital workspaces that are totally app-driven - and ultimately controlled by the business. This is because today's desktop must be independent of device and delivery platform, and flexible enough to support an increasingly agile workforce - with mobile workers who move from place to place and use multiple devices.

This means that as business needs change, the new digital workspace must immediately adapt and deliver IT services when and where they're needed, while meeting the highest levels of security and regulatory compliance. And, because not everything can be predicted, people must be able to fulfil special needs through self-service capabilities - and when they do, they will expect them to be served instantly, as they are in the consumer world.

Secondly, the disruption that millennials are causing to the traditional model of IT delivery cannot be underestimated. They're demanding, pushy and have high expectations. They aren't used to being constrained and IT is having to adapt its model in the recognition that these expectations are only going to evolve further as today's graduates become management in just a few short years.

And lastly, whilst self-service has clear benefits for users, it also has a lot of offer the IT team. By making it easier for people to do their job, IT can show how it is maturing, that it is no longer a 'cost centre' but adding value to the bottom line.

Combined, these different elements mean that self-service is moving from a pipe-dream to a must have in a customer-centric economy, where agility and responsiveness are key.


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