Open Focus – End User Computing

The Challenges

Organisations need to meet both the current and evolving needs of their employees and the provision and use of client computing services can be an emotive subject.

Within the organisation the objective of client computing is primarily to provide employees with the right level of access to corporate applications and data from a variety of access devices for a increasingly distributed and mobile workforce.

However, organisations are now asking how they define the “workplace”. The traditional on-site desktop environment now needs to evolve to include support for remote and mobile working, better collaboration and communication services; extending from traditional email and standard files shares to include presence, conferencing and social collaboration.

The challenges include meeting the expectations of the work force, who often have access to better technologies and services on personal devices than they have access to from work.

This isn’t just providing new devices to address expiring technology that has reached the end of lifecycle. Users expect communication+collaboration services that are comparable to what they have at home, allowing them to extend the working day seamlessly outside of the office.

Organisations have several drivers and challenges when looking at end-user computing:

  • Emergent collaboration and social tools are increasingly important to support an interconnected cross-organisational collaborative model.
    • Users are able to work across geographic or organisational boundaries with project based units, functions or teams.
      • Access to Instant Messaging, Collaboration and Presence Technologies.
  • Reduction of carbon footprint through technology – whether via device profiles or communication+collaboration tools.
  • Organisations are seeking to reduce time from the requirement to delivery (or self-delivery), with responsive agile IT service platforms.
  • Maintain support for required legacy applications.
  • Use of appropriate User profiles to support the correct level of provisioning.
  • Reduce Capital and Operational Spend where possible. “Get more for less”.

Gary Hammel (Business Thinker, Author) anticipated in 2006 that new collaborative and increasingly heterarchical organisations will mean:

“People are drawn to a community by a sense of shared purpose, not by economic need. In a community, the opportunity to contribute isn’t bounded by narrow job descriptions. Control is more peer based than boss based. Emotional satisfaction, rather than financial gain, drives commitment. For all those reasons, communities are amplifiers of human capability.” (Hamel 2006: 81)

Technology has become part of the essential fabric of the business, and competitive advantage. Organisation change programmes, whether Supply Chain or Operational often include an integral IT component.

The decision isn’t just an IT function, but is becoming part of a wider integrated technology investment that increasingly needs board oversight.

Software Procurement Considerations

Virtualization has decoupled this relationship of OS and Applications to the physical hardware and provides a more flexible and diverse opportunities for delivering end user computing.


Licensing for the modern end user computing is complex and entirely dependent on the context of the organisation and final technology choices. In the current economic climate, it has never been so important to minimise unnecessary spend.

Accordingly it is recommended to work pro-actively with a global licensing expert to get a holistic view, including but not limited to:

  • Balance of benefits and total cost of ownership against  Vendor “lock-in”.
    • Awareness of “lock-in” when reviewing procurement models.
      • Awareness of associated Software Use Rights
      • Awareness of associated Product Licensing Dependencies
      • Awareness of requirements for Extended Functionality
      • Awareness of requirements for Rights of Purchase
  • Comparative analysis of available Software Procurement “Packages”
  • Availability of Price Protection for committed spend  versus transactional procurement models.
  • Vendor Procurement Contract Management and consolidation
  • Full Software Asset Management capabilities.
  • Vendor Negotiation Support

Working with a trusted advisor has never been so important when evaluating strategic technology decisions and software license procurement.

Tony Mackelworth works at SoftwareONE and will now be providing licensing expertise through their licensing  services portfolio.

– Tony Mackelworth

Ref: Hamel, G. (2006) ‘The Why, What, And How of Management Innovation’ Harvard Business Review – February


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