E-Handbook: Effective end-user management helps fuel productivity Article 1 of 2

Master the end-user management dance

When I was a kid, my mother dragged our family to The Nutcracker at Christmastime. My sister, a dancer herself, loved it. My brother and me, not so much. Why didn't anyone speak? Where'd that rat come from? What's with all the tights?

I still might not flock to the ballet, but today I can respect the grace, talent and athletic ability that goes into the routines. End-user management is a similarly delicate dance of collaboration tools, devices, security, ease of use and more. Modern users demand that they can get work done as easily with their smartphones on a train as they can in front of their desktops in the office. It forces IT professionals to walk a fine line between empowering users to get their work done as efficiently and effectively as possible and making sure everything is secure and works well.

It's also up to IT to make sure the tools users work with are the best possible option. Yes, Microsoft Office is the standard-bearer for productivity apps in the enterprise, but there are other workable options that could be cheaper or more effective in certain circumstances.

 At the heart of the entire end-user management ballet is security vs. productivity. IT has to protect corporate data at all costs, but it cannot interfere with user productivity too much. That means creating restrictions, but not so many that users are bogged down, and training users to make sure they understand what's acceptable and what isn't.

 Dance your way through this three-part handbook on end-user management. It looks at the double-edged nature of many technologies aimed to improve productivity, the potential of companion apps and more.