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Down To Business: Don't Forget Your End Users

The Other Masters

Sometimes overlooked amid this management scrutiny, however, is whether IT organizations are serving their other masters: the internal people who use the computers, networks, applications, services and other tools that IT specifies, administers and manages. It's generally accepted that IT organizations lost credibility with their corporate muckety-mucks during the recession, but how's their cred with ordinary end users?

Good but not great, according to a recent Forrester Research survey of 2,183 non-IT users in a variety of industries. Apparently, most users are happy with their basic technical tools but have mixed feelings about their dealings with the technical support and service people at their enterprises.

Some 75 percent of survey respondents said they were satisfied with their desktop technologies (PCs, e-mail, office productivity software), and 64 percent said they were satisfied with their employee intranets. Only 23 percent and 33 percent, respectively, said they were "on the fence" about those technologies, and hardly any respondents expressed dissatisfaction with them.

A larger percentage of survey respondents were on the fence or dissatisfied with areas that involve IT pros more regularly: enterprise applications, remote access systems, helpdesk support, remote worker support--and, overall, with IT's ability to help them do their jobs "with minimal downtime or service disruption." But even in those areas, a clear majority of respondents expressed satisfaction and less than 10 percent expressed outright dissatisfaction.

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