Is Your IT User-Centered Enough?

Ah, users. Can’t deliver secure, modern IT with ’em, can’t deliver secure, modern IT without ’em.

Chris Goettl is Ivanti’s lead product manager for our security solutions. During a session on those solutions as this week’s Sales Kickoff, he cited some interesting and disturbing figures.

Cybersecurity

  • According to Ernst & Young’s 2016-2017 Global Information Security Survey, phishing emails accounted for 51 percent of cybersecurity threats in 2016, up seven percent over 2015.
  • According to the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, 30 percent of those who receive phishing emails open them, and 12 percent of those recipients click on attachments included in those emails.
  • More than half of those recipients click on those attachments within one hour of receiving a phishing email. This means that if a malefactor stands a good chance of infecting your environment after sending emails to as few as 10 of your colleagues.

This situation is not helped by the profligate, indiscriminate bestowal of administrative rights to users. In many enterprises, too many users are given admin rights which are never revoked, even when those users no longer need them. This means that if malware enters your environment through one of those user’s systems, that malware can easily spread to any other systems connected to the infected one.

All of this means that, as Chris Goettl sagaciously observed, security is both a discipline and a significant cultural change—not just in IT, but across entire enterprises.

User experience

Beyond security, user experience is another significant challenge to many IT teams. Simon Townsend is chief technologist for EMEA and joined Ivanti from AppSense. He, too, hosted a session at Sales Kickoff, on desktop transformation and migration. In that session, he cited a Forrester Research report in which 75 percent of IT managers surveyed cited user acceptance testing as a roadblock during their deployments of endpoint devices and software.

Simon also captured and highlighted some pointed observations made by several Ivanti customers during an earlier panel discussion. “User experience is key,” one IT leader said. Another noted that “making the user experience sticky and seamless” is a critical element of IT project success.

Perhaps the most meaningful observation by one of those user panel participants, however, was this. “Before we can innovate, we must be brilliant at the basics.” Among those basics: managing endpoint software environments, and making them more secure.

User-centered IT

All of this points to a significant need for enterprises to take a highly user-centered approach to critical IT tasks. Unfortunately, the odds are good that despite your best intentions, your IT is not sufficiently user-centered. And there are likely two primary reasons for this. You don’t know enough about how your users do work, and your IT infrastructure isn’t modern enough to deliver the resources your users need and want in the ways they need and want those resources.

The good news is that you can fix both of these.

A first step is to realize that IT can no longer, as an Ivanti customer put it to me so poetically in conversation, “spread peanut butter across all of its users anymore.” Instead, as the users on the panel mentioned above, IT must understand what user need to do and how they need and want to do it. IT teams must then use this information to create and maintain profiles of its user types, and to determine and prioritize the changes they need to make to IT. Such an approach will help you and your team to frame and communicate your projects in ways that users see as enabling and beneficial. This approach will also help to ensure that the IT projects you pursue maximize user productivity, satisfaction, and contributions to better enterprise cybersecurity.

Modernize your IT with Ivanti

As far as modernizing your IT, Ivanti can help. All of our solutions focus on enabling your IT to be more modern, more secure, and more user-centered. Whether you want to empower users with self-service abilities for functions such as password reset, or help them to understand how best to avoid ransomware and other threats, we have ways to help you. Check out our solutions online at www.ivanti.com, or contact your Ivanti representative today. Let’s work together to make your IT environment more modern, more secure, and more user-centered.