IT leaders recognize the value of desktop transformation, but justifying the cost of such projects can be difficult. Read on to learn how to quantify transformation success in terms your CIO will appreciate.
What is Desktop Transformation?
Desktop transformation refers to the myriad ways in which fundamental characteristics of a user’s desktop can be altered to provide a better end-user experience. Typically, desktop transformation is conceived in terms of projects, including hardware or software refreshes, OS upgrades, or virtualization. Potential benefits include improved performance, increased flexibility, and reduced operational costs.
The end-user environment is constantly changing. As technology matures and evolves, companies can be more dynamic and creative when it comes to transforming the workplace. However, organisations have struggled to obtain a forensic-level understanding of how end users operate in terms of their workstyles, patterns, and required resources. Without this knowledge, there is no good way to objectively judge the success of desktop transformation. As these projects usually require a large amount of resources, an inability to quantify their success is a problem when it comes time to set the IT budget.
In short: IT admins know that desktop transformation can benefit end users, but they’ve struggled to prove it.
There’s one major reason for this:
End Users are Subjective
The success of any major desktop transformation program relies on positive feedback from the user. But end users are subjective and have raised expectations for any new platform that’s delivered to them. Therefore, one of the major stumbling blocks for all organisations across most industries is that there is no real evidence that a Quality of Service (QoS) baseline has been captured prior to the start of any major transformation. This makes it almost impossible to truly quantify the success of any transformation, often leaving the user population dissatisfied and unproductive.
On the flip side, when the project team hand the reins over to the Service Management & Operations teams, they are left fighting fires while tasked with continuously working to improve the end-user QoS. The challenge in supporting a subjectively unhappy audience is that user frustrations are vented by regularly logging service desk tickets. This adds significant cost, time, and pressure on the service desk and resolver teams, with an ever-increasing back log of incidents. An influx of tickets delays any necessary resolutions and further prevents IT from meaningfully improving the level of service.
So How Can You Deliver Excellent End-User Experience?
Quantify and measure what “excellent” end-user experience looks like. It’s important for organisations to accurately track end-user experience and productivity loss through analytics. End-user experience can be quantified based on pre-defined metrics, typically using a mixture of automated algorithms and vendor-specific data. This combination provides an accurate indicator of the experience and productivity of the users. This is underwritten by a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which allow organisations to pinpoint exactly what is impacting the users using root cause analysis at scale. This method provides organisations with an ability to see the trajectory of the service quality, ensuring that they execute the necessary changes to guarantee consistently high QoS.
Workspace analytics tooling brings increased visibility into end-user infrastructure, enabling IT to deliver a robust and highly available workspace. Such tools help create opportunities to become more dynamic and innovative in support of what is now becoming a multiple-faceted workplace that end users operate in (e.g. desktop, tablets, VDI, business applications, platforms, and cloud). Without forensically accurate data about your end users’ workstyles, patterns, applications, and devices, it becomes almost impossible to be truly innovative in your approach to improving QoS, reducing costs, and driving efficiencies across what is slowly becoming a hyper-converged end-user infrastructure.
Workspace Analytics: The Key to Quantifying End-User Experience
Lakeside was asked by a leading global investment bank using our SysTrack workspace analytics suite to support their desktop transformation effort. To do so, it was necessary to capture the initial QoS baseline by understanding the current health of the end-user estate. From there, the data was used to help them understand what resources were required to support moving their users to a VDI platform to enable greater work flexibility.
In addition to this, Lakeside worked closely with the client and VDI vendor to form a plan that ensured that the VDI environment was provisioned correctly based on each user’s specific resource requirements. The client stated that they would never have got as far as they did and as quickly as they did without the SysTrack platform. They specifically mentioned that the end-user experience baseline data made it possible to quantify the success of the transformation, which was critical to their business aims.
From talking with clients, we know that Windows 10 migration remains a popular desktop transformation use case. Lakeside offers a free Windows 10 assessment for taking stock of your environment and determining users’ readiness to upgrade. The assessment also gives you access to several SysTrack tools that allow you to capture that initial QoS baseline. Post assessment, the SysTrack workspace analytics suite provides the functionality you need to capture detailed system data as well as monitor end-user experience trends. That way you can continue to track the impact of Windows 10 migration or other transformation projects and guarantee a consistently high QoS for end users.
End-user data and knowledge is essential to the success of any desktop transformation program. By investing in workspace analytics platforms, organisations can capture every element of the end-user experience and ensure continued and measurable success.
Glen Tonkyn is a senior corporate account manager for Lakeside in EMEA.