It’s telling that corporate employees, lauded as “stakeholders,” “clients,” “team members,” or what have you in certain contexts, are simply — one might say disparagingly — labeled “users” by IT folks. But, to paraphrase George Bailey, these rabble that pester the help desks do most of the working and adding and producing and thinking around here: Is it too much to ask that they get a decent upgrade once in a while?
Meta Group analyst Jack Gold doesn’t think so. He cautions companies against the current make-do approach, arguing that recent and forthcoming advances in operating systems, tablets and notebooks, and other technologies will soon boost the productivity of users — er, employees. (British Telecom’s “BT Reel Office” project, an effort to study how employees use technology, has found that workers often feel overwhelmed by it: the volumes of information generated exceed what they can cope with, and the pervasiveness intrudes on work/life balance.) One big change coming to the desktop: workers are less likely to be at one. Gold says companies should prepare for a larger reliance on mobile workers by revamping help desks to provide 24/7 support, modifying software-license agreements to address mobile deployment, and updating security policies and internal systems to accommodate remote workers.