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Blog Post|5 minutes

How to Optimize IT Costs with Tailored End User Personas

How to Optimize IT Costs with Tailored End User Personas
published
July 6th

Standardization (treating everyone the same) may work for IT, but it does not work for employees. If IT gave each employee the same device and tech stack, what would be the result? Some employees wouldn’t have the tools they need, others would have too many. Every employee would be confused and unsatisfied with their work setup. Not exactly the recipe for a productive enterprise with cost effective IT, is it? 

To equip employees with the right technology without ballooning the IT budget, IT is caught between two difficult extremes:  

1) deliver the best service and support to everyone so they happy  

2) optimize efficiency to avoid massive cost over-runs 

That’s where tailored IT personas enter the conversation. 

What Are Tailored IT End User Personas 

Tailored IT personas take the traditional static approach to IT personas and update that to a more dynamic approach. With tailored IT personas, IT groups employees by common requirements (workstyle) and deliver suitably tailored services that map to those distinct workstyles. 

Good enough to delight, but cheap enough not to break the bank. 

Many organizations have tried persona management to bridge the gap between standardization and the personal needs of employees. Persona is the only real way to deliver onboarding, the right support and the best services without massively over-spending. 

This issue is that personas traditionally have failed as they have been based on shallow criteria such as job title, department, location and are compiled once in a static fashion, never to be updated.

Personas should not be for the start of projects. Personas must continuously evolve to be useful 

Personas should be more than just demographics and application usage. The full spectrum of an employee’s digital experience must be analysed, from the operating system and applications, to the services and network usage, through to, and let’s not forget this, how the user feels; what they are lacking and how are they impacted today..  

At Nexthink, we get it.   We help customers drive cost-efficient personalization across many use-cases. Let’s cover a  few.  

How End User Personas Can Help Optimize IT Costs  

Device Provisioning   

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” (Rolling Stones) 

How can IT best decide what device to provision for each employee? Do you give employees exactly what they want? Maybe, if budget isn’t an issue. But when is that ever the case? 

I must admit that in the past, I have been guilty of going for expensive choice when it came to my work device. As a MAC user, the last 20 years have seen me receive a new MacBook Pro every 3 to 5 years. In my case though,  I need the resources and tools that a MAC offers. However, most people with basic computing needs do not need all the extra bells and whistles, and yet they are given the top of the line, highest cost MAC anyway.  

Asking users what they want, often from three options, typically results in people asking for more than they need. IT needs to find a better solution, one that still delights employees, but doesn’t give them a more expensive and higher-powered machine than they really need. 

{Read More: Personalized IT: What Every Tech Department Needs to Know}

Understanding the reality of what users do and how they use tech allows IT to make informed decisions when provisioning devices. Matching the device to the workstyle can toe the magical line of keeping employees happy without breaking the bank.   

This allows customers to renew with cheaper lower-powered devices or better yet, repurpose existing devices that are good enough. All while not putting poorly performing devices in front of users. 

So, they may not always get what they want, but they just might find they get what they need. 


Onboarding Employees When They Have Evolving Needs

The most important aspect of personas is that they must be dynamic.  The way people work changes across many factors including location, offline vs online, involvement in new projects requiring new tools, and many more.  

Their workplace IT persona therefore must also change along with their workstyle. In order for employees to have the equipment they need to be productive and drive business outcomes, their IT personas must be dynamic. 

This is particularly useful in understanding when someone’s workstyle has changed. Wouldn’t it be great if IT could proactively offer new devices or workspace configurations to employees based on observed behaviour rather than waiting for their device warrantee to expire or for them to raise a ticket? Waiting for employees to tell you that they need new equipment actually ends up costing IT even more time and money in the long run. 

But tailored IT personas, the kind that are dynamic and adaptable, can actually help optimize IT costs over time. 

Here’s an example of how a European Retail company used Nexthink to do just that when they optimized onboarding for their developer team: 


Conclusion  

Traditional IT personas fall short of achieving IT’s goals in the modern, dispersed, digital workplace. Adopting tailored IT personas that are dynamic and multi-dimensional increase employee happiness and productivity, promote business success, and optimize IT costs. It’s a win, win. 

Learn more about how to develop and implement tailored IT personas to reduce IT costs and provide a better digital employee experience here.