Smart watches, Fitbits, and sleep trackers—oh my! These are just some of the many ways people are joining the quantified self-movement, where ordinary aspects of everyday life are analyzed and quantified to be improved. But as IT professionals specializing in end-user computing, how are we supporting users in this quantified age? What can we learn from the quantified user?
What is a quantified user?
A quantified user is someone whose digital experience is analyzed and quantified. More and more IT teams are using the concept of the quantified user to facilitate productivity within the workspace as a byproduct of improving endpoint performance and user experience. A bit of a stretch? Not really. At Lakeside Software, we have seen how, through the process of analyzing the end-user experience, IT teams have been able to reach a higher level of understanding of their own ecosystem and user groups resulting in a better ability to support users. Organizations, such as the Queensland Government Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, have taken advantage of end-user computing to truly assess their workspace leading to the ability to measure the success of any changes that may have been implemented.
What can quantifying users do for end-user computing?
Consumer technology has changed employees' expectations of IT at work, shifting from the thought process of learning the technology to expecting the technology should learn from them. This increased interest in usability and work flexibility places EUC teams front and center as critical productivity enablers. One example of a way EUC teams are meeting end user's expectations for IT at work is hot desking. Hot desking is the new process of providing end users the ability to choose where they feel they'll be most productive at work. Instead of having the same desk every day at the same location, should they need it, users can book a different desk from which to work. Beyond the flexibility benefits, hot desking also helps facilitate productivity, decrease travel time, reduce real estate costs, and more.
In addition to hot desking, quantifying users can help support a gamification approach to EUC management and support. The perfect example of this is Swiss bank, UBS. During a recent Gartner conference, one of UBS's technology leaders explained how they have introduced gamification as a way for departments to compete against each other for the best end-user experience score for their virtual environment.
However, as beneficial as hot desking and gamification can be, if executed without the right level of analytics, moving to this model can negatively impact user experience and productivity. Hot desking and many other EUC projects can more easily be rolled out and benchmarked by embracing the quantified user.
At Lakeside, we provide EUC teams with the data they need to properly quantify end users' experiences via our workspace analytics solution, SysTrack. With it they can lead creative projects like hot desking and gamification, but can also use SysTrack to measure the success of desktop transformation projects, continuously monitor their environment, support proactive measures for help desk support, and more.
Linda Tsao is an applied engineer at Lakeside.