How self-service can save your IT department

Every enterprise has the same problems; complex business processes, a wide variety of often proprietary data sources and heavy use of IT expertise in integrating systems so that end users have the data where they want it. These problems result in duplication of data and a dependency on IT that destroys the ability of the business to respond to changing demand or supply side scenarios, i.e., it’s agility. How can you respond to incipient situations when you have to wait on an IT release schedule?

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The answer is to shift capability out to end-users – to empower end-users with a genuine self-service solution. By bringing data from disparate systems together into a single application with a simple, useable interface, self-service can be a reality – and significant IT cost savings can be made as users need less support.

Fortunately, data has never been so accessible. The constant evolution of new techniques and standards shows a continuing trend towards openness at all levels; from XML in the late ‘90s, through Web Services to JSON and beyond.

However, this has to be presented to users who are expert in their business processes, but possibly inexpert with IT; if it’s not easy to use, the enterprise can’t leverage the expertise in the wider user base.

Fortunately modern browsers such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 9 make it possible to build a simple user interface that abstracts the end-user from the complexity of accessing the data. The focus should be on providing a configurable user interface which allows the user to decide what makes it onto their screen and how data should be compared and contrasted – effectively this is client-side application integration.

The user experience should be beyond that of a dashboard; more a next generation portal; a gateway for everyone to get to the content or solution they need without concern for it’s location.

Here’s our vision:

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