My thoughts on enterprise office computing

Microsoft Cloud Computing SlideI was recently asked by someone to give my thoughts on enterprise office computing.  The general context was around what my perspective was on an “any device, anywhere” type capability inside the enterprise. She was looking to understand what would make organizations more effective and productive?

Below are my inputs on specific questions in the context above:

Q: What are today’s pain points to being productive and effective with today’s office computing hardware and software in the enterprise?

  1. Hardware is lacking in power and performance for our developers and analysts because the enterprise hardware refresh rate is not keeping pace with the big data needs. Enabling these folks to have a yearly stipend towards purchasing their own hardware and self-supporting it would bolster their productivity. Give them an easy way to partition off their work login from their personal login and easy way of migrating their data between machines (see point 2 below) and you’ll have happier employees with a much faster refresh rate.
  2. Keeping the content, settings, and application virtualization in the cloud and prevalent on any device they log into w/int the 4 walls of the enterprise or via virtual walls created by VPN would be critical.
  3. Having a common ‘cloud based’ content enterprise storage across all devices (like Dropbox, evernote, or Google Docs) would increase productivity.
  4. For ease of collaboration it’s painful today having multiple different ‘standard’ laptops in the environment. If a development team has a collaboration lab / bullpen where they do the pair programming development from and they need a different dock for each machine… the docking stations aren’t even standardized across the business class HP and Lenovo machines deployed at many enterprises today. This is painful. —> doesn’t get any better with a BYO model, but probably a tradeoff the developers and analysts would be willing to make and no worse than what we have today.
  5. Software (sorry, this one probably went way off track and out of the scope of the general context, but I’ll leave the rant here)–> I think large enterprises often times spend too much money and time trying to build a better (or equivalent) mousetrap themselves. When in fact they are so far behind the technology curve it seems like it would make a lot more sense to just outsource the software as a service and jump back on the technology curve.

Question: As a customer of IT, what do you care about in perspective to hardware, form factor, operating systems and all?

  1. Hardware –> User experience, thin and light are going to be the new norm in the consumer space, folks are going to expect the same at work or be dissatisfied. I think once users experience touch screen ultra books things will feel slow not using touch at work, this is a hunch… I know when I used my iMac or Macbook at home after getting an iPad on more than one occasion I tried to move or open things on the screen using my finger (which made me feel silly) but it just comes across as natural after you’ve done it for a little while.
  2. Hardware –> I don’t want a laptop that feels like it’s built with cheap materials. The first enterprise class HP machines that I saw deployed in the environment felt cheap and broke more often than the Lenovo machines…. Which makes people picky about which machine they get when they show up at their IT service center for refresh. Employees want to feel good about the devices they are carrying around.
  3. Support –> For the analysts, developers, power users there should be an easy process for upgrading components like memory and disk space.
  4. OS –> It needs to be stable and secure.
  5. OS –> I care about it integrating to the “cloud” –> I’m okay with that being an internal cloud but give me a Dropbox like capability w/in the enterprise and I’d be so much happier and maybe just a little more productive.
  6. OS –> I want to be able to do things efficiently and I want to have software that just works on it. This is small and picky… but when I click on shut down I don’t want to be notified that the OS is installing a patch and that I shouldn’t disconnect it from power or shut it down until it’s done, that’s stupid.
  7. OS –> I like my workspaces in Mac OSX, I also like using my trackpad to swipe through workspaces and full screen applications.
  8. OS –> I like the app store in MacOSX and 99cent apps that make my life just a bit easier. I’m now loving an app called “Day One” for keeping track of my daily progress and wins. I could do the same thing in Word, or OneNote but it’s just always there, always on, always organized, and super easy to use. I like Apps like this.
  9. OS –> I care about my browser experience. I use Chrome exclusively, the only reason I open IE is because there are poorly coded web apps here in the enterprise that don’t work based on standards.
So that’s my little list for what I want from hardware and software inside the enterprise.
image courtesy of image courtesy of @rafaeldesigner

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