Survey Data: IT and End Users Disagree on What Makes a Good Desktop Experience

An intensive study of end users’ satisfaction with their desktop experience, contrasted with IT’s perception of what constitutes a good user experience, reveals a disconnect between IT professionals and end users in the areas of security, performance, and productivity. The survey conducted by Dimensional Research for AppSense, the global leader in User Environment Management (UEM) solutions for the secure endpoint, shows that end users have high expectations for their desktops and often feel that desktop security limits their productivity.

End users and IT professionals diverge on how important non-intrusive security is to the user experience. More than three in five (63%) end users ranked unobtrusive security as important to a great desktop experience compared to just 46% of IT professionals. Even while nearly half of IT professionals valued unobtrusive security, as many as 35% still limit their end users’ ability to personalize their desktops based on corporate security policies. The result is an increasing frustration among end users who continue to believe that security is negatively impacting experience.

Desktop performance is another key area where end users and IT disagree when it comes to a good desktop experience. More than four in five (86%) of end users surveyed ranked good performance, including application request processing times, as the top factor impacting their great user experience. IT professionals rated this 11% lower than end users. Further, even while 63% of both end users and IT professionals ranked fast logon and logoff times as the third most important factor to a great user experience, they diverge on what a “fast” logon time truly is. More than three in five (63%) end users believe an acceptable standard is a logon time of 30 seconds or less. In contrast, more than two in five (42%) IT professionals believe that an acceptable end user logon time can be as much as three minutes.

In the area of productivity, 71% of end users believe a good desktop experience impacts the quality and productivity of their work. In contrast, just more than half (55%) of IT professionals say providing a great desktop experience to employees significantly impacts business outcomes. What’s frustrating end users is the lack of ability to personalize their desktops. In fact, over half (52%) feel their productivity would benefit from being able to personalize their computer. Of those that were permitted to personalize their desktop, nearly all (92%) recognized the value of their ability to personalize. Yet, the vast majority (95%) of IT professionals limit desktop personalization, with only 5% allowing end users to change their desktops in any way they like.

“Our research shows that IT needs to take a much closer look at what end users want from their desktop experience,” said Jed Ayres, Senior Vice President of Marketing, AppSense. “IT professionals enforcing corporate security policies and limiting end user choice are preventing end users from working the way they want and slowing productivity.”

Closing the Desktop Experience Gap between IT and End Users
As IT organizations work to resolve the challenges end users face with their desktop experience, User Environment Management (UEM) technology is a compelling option. UEM enables IT organizations to centralize desktop security, management and personalization policies, allowing users to have greater desktop personalization while improving security, performance, desktop consistency, and reliability.

The top six benefits delivered by UEM solutions directly solve the issues that both end users and IT professionals identified in the survey as essential to a great desktop experience:
·         Faster logon times (63%)
·         Preventing corruption and bloating of user profiles (52%)
·         Tightly controlling application access (45%)
·         Simplified image management (43%)
·         Secure enterprise file sync and share (39%)
·         Least privilege enforcement through granular admin rights (33%)

Both end users and IT want a corporate desktop that works so well that it fades into the background. Collectively end users and IT want secure desktops that deliver fast logons, applications that perform at their peak, and speedy file access, all within a familiar consistent environment. When IT provides users with a desktop that gets out of their way and lets end users ‘just work,’ the business can realize significant benefits in terms of increased employee productivity, efficiency and engagement.

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