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Blog Post|9 minutes

Personalized IT: What Every Tech Dept. Needs To Know

January 26, 2021

The top priority of a typical IT team has remained relatively unchanged for decades: provide support for employees and make their user experiences as smooth as possible. With that being said, the actual workflow of an IT team looks nothing like it did years ago — because the way employees work on a day-to-day basis has drastically changed.

Despite these changes, many IT teams continue to utilize a one-size-fits-all approach to servicing employees. This may have worked a decade ago, when businesses were using a smaller quantity of technologies across the board, and the technologies themselves were much simpler than we have today. But this sort of uniform IT strategy is woefully outdated. A one-size-fits-all strategy simply cannot meet the needs of modern employees.

Picture the following three employees, all working at the same company. First, we have an entry-level content writer who goes into the office every day. Outside of answering emails and checking a content calendar, they spend 90% of their work day writing article drafts in Google Docs. Then we have a web developer who builds landing pages and manages the backend of the company’s content publishing. Lastly, we have an upper-level sales manager who works remotely, and who interacts with confidential customer data while performing their day-to-day responsibilities.

These three employees could not be more different in terms of the technologies they use, how they use them, and the potential security risks they might pose if they mishandle those tools. If IT treats them all as indistinguishable end users, they’re setting themselves up for failure.

So, what’s the solution? How do IT teams get a better handle on their increasingly diverse array of end users? The answer is one that will be familiar to anyone with some marketing experience: they must embrace the power of personas.

What is persona-based IT?

When it comes to personalized IT, tech support would do well to take a page out of marketing’s book.

Marketers create buyer personas in order to gain a more holistic understanding of their audience. Buyer personas are data-driven profiles that represents different versions of their ideal buyers. These profiles may include data points related to industry, job title, buying habits, content preferences, and much more.

Marketers then use these profiles to segment their audience, enabling them to offer personalized content and campaigns to each of the individual segments of their larger audience. Buyer personas are hugely effective: research suggests that 90% of companies who use personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of their buyers.

IT can succeed with the exact same strategy. While marketers create personas for potential buyers, IT can segment their end users by creating personas within their employee base.

The benefits of personas for IT

Most IT teams already utilize some form of segmentation, but only on a surface level. They segment end users based on department or job title and leave it at that. This form of superficial segmentation ignores so many crucial data points related to employee experience: resource consumption, app usage, technical experience — just to name a few.

Personas enable IT to immediately make the following improvements to their strategy:

  • Gain a more complete understanding of the employee experience.

On a macro level, persona-based segmentation allows IT to study and understand the key differences of how their end users behave in their given roles. For example, they’ll be able to see how sales reps in the field interact with certain technologies compared to a director of sales in the office. These insights enable IT to make more informed long-term decisions regarding spending and technology deployment.

  • Deliver tailored messaging.

It’s inevitable that a one-size-fits-all approach to IT will lead to employee frustration. Employees are busy trying to stay as productive as possible — so when they receive messages containing a recommendation they don’t understand, related to a technology they don’t use, it only further fractures the tenuous relationship between employees and IT.

Using personas, IT can tailor their messaging and the resources they provide to each segment of their end users. With proper segmentation, employees no longer have to wade through irrelevant messages that don’t apply to their role and responsibilities. This will not only help in boosting employee productivity, but also foster a healthier relationship between IT and employees.

  • Remedy issues more effectively with personalized support.

Last but not least, persona-based segmentation enables IT to provide personalized support when a problem occurs. For example, let’s say Salesforce suffers an outage. This issue would have a major effect on many different roles within a company — but because these roles are unique to one another, the impact of the outage will be unique as well.

In this scenario, IT would be able to understand how a Salesforce outage effects a sales rep compared to a customer marketing manager or a BDR. They can then deploy personalized support so that every impacted employee gets the help they need to continue performing their specific roles while the problem is being fixed.

Create specialized personas with Nexthink

Nexthink has recently taken a huge step in employee-centric IT, with the Persona Insight library pack. This pack provides IT teams with the ability to access specialized personas that provide deep insights into daily employee behavior. 

These personas are based on a variety of key Persona Traits related to technology usage and other experience-driven data points. Persona Traits are not binary, but rather are measured according to an employee’s behavior. For example, an employee might be a “8.5 MS Word user” but a “4.2 Salesforce user”. In other words, Persona Insight doesn’t just tell IT what behaviors an employee is exhibiting, but how much they’re exhibiting those behaviors.

personalized IT

With these insights, IT is able to measure and quantify the requirements of each individual role within the company. They can then adjust and streamline the deployment of applications and platforms, optimizing costs while ensuring that all end users achieve maximum productivity.

In today’s world, IT needs to know a lot more than what tools employees are using. They need to understand how they’re using them to accomplish the specific requirements of their roles. Nexthink’s Persona Insight helps IT gain the most comprehensive understanding of how every kind of employee behaves — and what they each need to be successful.

If you already have Nexthink installed, head on over to our library page to download the Persona Insight pack.  If you are new to Nexthink or simply want to learn more, check out this on-demand webinar for a guided tour.