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End-User Computing: Best Practice In A Hostile Environment

Friday 24 April, 2020

2020 has seen a turbulent beginning. The resilience of global markets has been tested to an extent not known in recent history, challenging all sectors of the economy in a variety of different ways. Most of us have needed to work from home whilst under lockdown, challenging us to find alternate ways of working - but also allowing us to contemplate our traditional way of doing things. With all that’s going on, who can we see has been one of the least affected, and lessons can be learnt when it comes to End User Computing? 

The answer might not be what you expect – the Aerospace and Defence sector. An emphasis on design focusing on security, scalability and stability has largely left business and corporate systems unimpacted. An EUC (End User Computing) policy created to make devices useable in hostile environments, away from central technology infrastructure, ensures services typically run unimpeded 24/7.

Whilst Aerospace and Defence aim to work under tough conditions, every organisation’s EUC requirements are different. As the majority of us work from home, we have the ability to observe, identify and learn from our own experience to optimise our organisation’s EUC position. During the pandemic, organisations have a unique opportunity to improve business continuity by assessing the way we work and the devices we use.


Examining your EUC Policy


The last decade has seen the general evolution of organisations' EUC policies as part of their digital transformation journey. EUC represents a key component, as it covers the relationship the end-user has with the technology they interact with, be it a mobile or laptop.

An organisation’s EUC position can vary in terms of scale and sophistication. Maturity can be measured by many factors, with some of the most common including: architectural and device security, sufficient device / system value-for-money and the ability for the end user to use systems independent of device and location restrictions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to work remotely, testing organisations' EUC maturity. When examining your own organisation’s maturity, we suggest performing a Maturity Assessment to identify opportunities, assess their impact and develop strategies for EUC optimisation. 


EUC Maturity Assessment

Assessing your organisation’s EUC maturity can start as easily as interviewing your end-users; understanding the frontline of business process can identify chokepoints stifling execution. An example of this may be a payroll officer being unable to complete bulk remittance whilst working from their own device.

Some other steps you may take are shown below:

EUC diagram


EUC Optimisation Opportunities


A mature EUC system allows end-users to securely perform most key business activities free from restrictions created by their device or location. Without this device and location independence, these limitations can result in:

  • Loss of business productivity due to users not being able to complete all activities;
  • Integration problems caused by incompatibility issues from diverse devices; 
  • Increased downtime of key corporate and business systems.


Assessing the Impact of EUC


Our devices are the primary input tools for completing business processes. An inability to fully utilise these tools prohibits the full execution of business capability. To assess EUC’s effect on productivity it is important to examine the relationship between business architecture and EUC.

A few questions to start with may be:

  • How many processes can be completed outside of the office?
  • Does it matter what device end-users use?
  • What systems and applications can’t be used remotely?


Developing Strategies for EUC Optimisation

Quantifying the impact of EUC starts with determining the impact on productivity – this could be the hard impact on your organisation’s ability to generate revenue through business systems, or the soft impact of not being able to support a revenue generating function through corporate systems. Ensuring your organisation’s EUC doesn’t affect your bottom-line starts with design.

To exploit EUC optimisation opportunities we recommend:

  • Performing an EUC Maturity Assessment to identify any risks or process chokepoints;
  • Interview end users to understand their experience of how remote working impacts their ability to complete their daily routine, as well as its subsequent impact on business workflow;  
  • Ensuring your business and enterprise architecture can sufficiently analyse, prioritise and implement the lessons learned from the COVID-19 lockdown to fully optimise your organisation’s EUC position.

Reviewing the way that employees are adjusting to working remotely means that organisations can ensure they are able to sustain efficiency improvements, to improve the employee experience and to ensure they are better prepared for future challenges.

Blog by Glenn Bevan, Senior Consultant at Coeus Consulting

Find out more about Coeus Consulting's Technology & Architecture offering here.