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The End of “One-Device-Fits-All”

Client Computing | Posted on April 3, 2018 by Arun Kirupananthan

Forrester and Dell EMC find only 34% of workers feel they can solve problems with their work technology. Only 1 in 3 feel their organization understands their needs well enough to provide them with the right device.

Choosing one device may yield faster deployment, lower cost and simpler configuration for IT. But a “cookie-cutter” approach to your next hardware refresh may also frustrate your users.

Your organization needs to bridge the gap between the devices you buy and the people who use them. Otherwise, you stand to lose touch with the two-thirds of workers who say available technology impacts their choice of an employer. 

Your users each have a different job to do. Why give them all the same tools? Below, we explore the top 4 advantages of an end-user-based approach to device procurement.

1) Lower the barriers to productivity

Employees often rank productivity as the main source of their happiness at work. But where and when “work” takes place is no longer the same for everyone. Flexibility in work venues and schedules requires flexibility when it comes to tools.

For example, one employee may be more comfortable and focused when they work standing up. Here, a tablet is a much better choice than a conventional desktop with a keyboard, mouse or trackpad.

Another user may find working at a desk with a dual monitor yields improved productivity. In this context, a laptop or micro-PC and docking station may be more appropriate.

To meet everyone’s needs, IT must abandon the traditional approach of “standard-issue” gear. In fact, the opposite approach has proven to yield dividends. A study by Dell and Forrester found 82% of workers saw tailored devices yield improved efficiency and revenue growth in their organizations.

2) Get rid of “rogue” purchases

Today’s workers are more tech-savvy and self-empowered than ever. Many own smartphones, laptops, and tablets that outclass their work computers. This is a huge source of frustration. Over 67% of workers find their organization is unable to provide the devices they need for work. 

Non-IT lines-of-business (LOBs) are playing a larger role in selecting and procuring technology. For these, the desire to drive business outcomes sometimes outweighs traditional IT concerns. Gartner finds 48% of LOB managers believe they can buy the technology they need faster than IT.

In either case, unsatisfied parties take matters into their own hands. Here, IT finds itself supporting devices it never sanctioned. And, paying for credit card purchases it never approved. This creates extra costs and security risks.

Aligning your device procurement strategy with other functions and departments reduces “rogue” purchasing and the associated risks.

3) Better secure your data

No organization wants a newsworthy security breach. IT leaders can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting corporate data.

Nonetheless, “one-size-fits-all” security policies don’t help anyone. Almost 39% of workers consider IT policies in their organization “too restrictive.” Meanwhile, 31% admit to bypassing security controls. Creatives and engineers are the most likely to do this to access applications they need. 

IT departments must address the problem by tailoring policies to specific work personas. Otherwise, users will continue work around measures that interfere with their work habits.

4) Better engage your workforce

Technology is no longer a perk. Modern workers expect their work devices to play a key part in enabling them to do their jobs.

Most information workers need near-instant access to critical data as they work. They need to be comfortable with the equipment they use. When selecting a device, it’s important to ask: How will this product enable employees to reach their full potential?

Employees know best what they need. Millennials are the likeliest cohort to have strong technology preferences. They also have little patience for employers who fail to meet their expectations. Dell EMC finds 42% of millennials are willing to quit a job that offers “sub-standard” technology. 

“One-size-fits-all” solutions will fail to attract top talent from this vital segment. Investing in devices your users prefer beats losing their skills to other employers.

Do your users have technology that matches the way they work?

When users feel the technology isn’t meeting their needs they’re less productive. They’re also likelier to disengage. Take the steps to identify the worker personas in your organization. Then, match them with devices and accessories to suit their specific needs.

Download our Persona guide and our Hardware Refresh toolkit here.

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