Real-World User Cloud Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Today’s modern organization is in the midst of a digital revolution. Cloud services are becoming much more mature, users are utilizing more digital tools to stay productive, and organizations are constantly tasked with keeping up with demand. Accenture’s research model and analysis shows that digital is now dominating every sector of the economy. In fact, this global digital economy accounted for 22 percent of the world’s economy in 2015. And it’s rapidly growing, as we forecast those numbers to increase to 25 percent by 2020, up from 15 percent in 2005.

Accenture goes on to say that those organizations which embrace these digital trends will come out on top in today’s very competitive market. Winners will create corporate cultures where technology empowers people to evolve, adapt, and drive change.

There’s a key operating word in that previous sentence – people. People are the consumers of these digital tools and are the ones who use them to be productive and impact the modern business. So, with this in mind, what sort of issues are users experiencing when utilizing virtual workloads and cloud services?

Eventually, it all comes down to the end-user and their digital experience. A given project can have the most advanced systems in place, but if the end-user experience is poor the project might be considered a failure. With more devices, applications and data to work with, the inherent challenge has become managing this end-user digital environment.

We’re no longer managing just the end-user; rather, we are attempting to control their entire experience. The biggest challenge facing IT now is the amount of settings that a user carries with them at any given time. As opposed to just a few years ago, users have significantly more settings and personalization to work with than before. When we say settings we mean the entire line of what the user might be working with to stay productive:

  • Physical peripheral settings
  • Folder/content/data redirection
  • Data availability (file sharing)
  • Personalization settings (specific to devices, applications, desktops, and more)
  • Profile settings
  • Application settings (virtual, cloud-based, locally installed)
  • Hardware and device settings (personal vs corporate devices)
  • Desktop settings (virtual, physical, hosted)
  • Performance settings (optimization)
  • And much more

Now, how can the IT department control all of this? How can management create a truly robust user experience? The challenge is not only to manage the above end-user requirements, but also to continuously provide a positive and productive end-user experience.

A great example would be a customer with numerous locations. By having visibility into the end-user, their policy and their settings, administrators can control what they see and how they access the environment. One of the biggest complaints is the constantly varying experience of users coming in from remote locations using various devices. By centralizing the user management process, admins can deliver the same experience regardless of the location, OS or hardware device.

Designing an IT Architecture Which Supports Digital Users

More applications, more data, more end-user devices, and more operations being done on a computing platform all mean more help-desk calls. One of the biggest shifts, however, has been where these calls are coming from. Originally, many calls could be fielded and resolved at the data center level. Now, more users are experiencing issues related to their experience rather than the application or platform that they’re operating on. For example, profile corruption or missing settings are extremely common calls. Similarly, users are requesting cloud services which often times result in fragmented delivery architecture.

We now see users within healthcare, law, and other large verticals using more and more devices. Because of this, we began so see a new issue arise: User Fragmentation. This means broken profiles, improperly aligned settings, and missing application components because of the number of varying devices.

Why is this happening? As mentioned earlier, the availability of more devices on the network creates for greater diversity in how data and information is being handled. Unfortunately, without a good control platform, IT is stuck with fielding more and more help-desk calls. Users are demanding that more of their devices share the same experience as the corporate desktop. Even in that scenario, the corporate desktop has to deal with even more information as data usage increases. The biggest challenge facing IT now is how to control the user layer and still facilitate the growth in the number of devices being utilized.

Overcoming the Digital Dilemma

Instead of just deploying a piece of technology – make sure to design your solutions around your users. Know the devices they’re deploying, know the resources they’re accessing, and always think about their experience. New tools and technologies help control the entire digital experience between physical devices and virtual resources. Most of all these new systems help create a bridge between on-premise resources and those sitting in the cloud.

For example, new types of portals can present services, applications (on premise, cloud, SaaS), virtual desktops, and much more from a single location. These portals act as service stores where users can request everything from printers to headsets. Furthermore, they can request specific cloud and business resources like applications, desktops, and much more. Ultimately, this removes barriers to adoption by reducing complexity. In designing a digital-ready end-user ecosystem; the rule of thumb is actually pretty straightforward: Start your planning with your end-users. You’ll not only learn even more about your own business; but you’ll also learn how users stay productive, the devices they’re using, and how to proactively keep these users happy.

Source: TheWHIR