END USER COMPUTING In computing, End User Computing (EUC) refer to systems in which non-programmers can create working applications. EUC is a group of approaches to computing that aim at better integrating end users into the computing environment. These approaches attempt to realize the potential for high-end computing to perform in a trustworthy manner in problem solving of the highest order
END USER COMPUTING The term end-user computing has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. The following statements could all refer to end-user computing: ◦ all tools by which non-data-processing staff handle their own problems without professional programmers; ◦ creative use of data processing by non-data-processing experts; ◦ complex computing by non-data-processing professionals to answer organisational information needs; ◦ non-technical end-users using user-friendly, fourth-generation languages (4GLs) and PCs to generate reports or build decision support systems; ◦ the use of computer hardware and software by people in organisations whose jobs are usually classified as net users of information systems rather than net developers of information systems.
END USER COMPUTING Who are the End Users ? Non programming Command level End-user programmers (including senior management professionals) Functional support personnel End user computing support personnel DP Programmers
END USER COMPUTING End-user computing (EUC): All uses of computers by business people who are not information systems professionals. End-user development (EUD): Systems development and programming undertaken by non-IS staff.
END USER IS - Services End-user IS services: All services required to support end-users in running their PCs and developing and using applications 1. Provide a help-desk service. 2. Achieve standardisation of software. 3. Ensure network efficiency. 4. Provide training. 5. Delivering services to end-users cost-effectively.
END USER COMPUTING Advantages Systems tailored to users Enables creative use of IS Generates competitive advantage Puts users nearer the information Allows for variety Increases user awareness of IS Relieves work load of IT professional
END USER COMPUTING Disadvantages Produces inappropriate systems Causes duplication Takes users away from their real job Ignores long range and technical issues Causes integration problems
END USER COMPUTING •Service Desk – Global Service Desk handling 10mn trouble tickets and 7mn service desk calls per annum in 20 languages. 17 Global delivery centers spread across the world with 7 near shore centers •Client Application Management services – Deliver Application Packaging, Imaging, Software Distribution and Patch Management services in a centralized factory construct. 5000+ Applications packaged and distributed annually. •Messaging & Collaboration Services – Build, operate and provide professional services on email and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes. Monitor and support more than 800,000 mailboxes globally •Asset Management – Provide a complete Asset Management Lifecycle service right from ordering to ongoing management and tracking of client assets. •Client Support Services – Provide onsite support for Desktops, Laptops, Printers, Handheld devices at client locations spread globally. Global Network of Client support specialists supporting approximately 3 million client devices distributed globally. •Infrastructure Application – Build and Manage Infrastructrue Applications in customer environments. These services include Directory Services, File and Print services, Remote Access Managent, Application delivery using Citirix, Microsoft App-V etc.
END USER COMPUTING The three main types of end-user computing can be defined as: ◦ End-user-developed computer-based information systems for personal, departmental or organisation-wide use, where the end- user is a non-IT professional; ◦ End-user control of which hardware and package applications are purchased for use in their department; ◦ End-user use of existing information systems.
END USER - development End-user development of applications represents a major trend in the use of information technology in organisations. McGill et al. (2003) explain that: ‘User-developed applications (UDAs) are computer based applications for which non-information systems professionals assume primary development responsibility. They support decision making and organizational processes in the majority of Organizations’
END USER - Applications Reports from a corporate database using standard enquiries defined by the IS/IT function Simple ad hoc queries to databases defined by the user. For someone in an airline, for example, these might include access to a frequent flier database, customer reservation system or crew rostering system to monitor performance of each What-if? analysis using tools such as spreadsheet models or more specialised tools such as risk or financial management packages or business intelligence software, used for monitoring sales and marketing performance of information stored in a data warehouse Writing company information for a company intranet Development of applications such as a job costing tool or production scheduling system, using easy-to-use, high-level tools such as application generators, PC database management systems such as Microsoft Access or Borland or visual programming environments such as Microsoft Visual Basic.
END USER COMPUTING Applications backlog: The demand for new applications by users exceeds the capacity of the IS department or IS outsourcing company to develop them. Improved toolsets such as Visual Basic for Applications The desire by users to query and analyse data and generate reports from information stored on databases available across the corporate network A trend to decentralisation of computing to user departments for systems to support departmental activities Reduced expense of application development when conducted by end-users (from departmental rather than information systems budget) Better fit between end-user-developed software and their requirements (since no requirements translation is needed between the users and third-party developers). End-users are also less likely to ‘over-engineer’ a solution to a basic problem than an IS professional who will want to treat every problem with rigour.
END USER COMPUTING Figure 16.6 A model of IS success that can be applied to end-user developed applications
END USER COMPUTING Isolation: A few scattered pioneers of EUD develop small-scale business tools within their area. Initially, little support from central IS. Standalone: Larger-scale applications that may be of importance to a department are developed. At this stage, an information centre may be developed to support an increase in demand for user computing services. Manual integration: Here, different end-user applications need to exchange data. This happens through manual intervention, with files being transferred by floppy disk or across the network or even with rekeying of information. Information centre development has continued to support the needs of these larger-scale applications by providing training and skills and specifying standards for hardware, software and the development process. Automated integration: Users start to link into corporate applications to gain seamless access to information. Distributed integration: At this stage of development, there is a good level of integration between different end-user applications and corporate systems. Good standards of metadata (or data describing data in a data dictionary) are required to help achieve this.
END USER COMPUTING Using information that is out of date Information requires export from other information systems before it can be analysed by the end-user application Corruption of centrally held data by uploading erroneous data Development of insecure systems without password control that are vulnerable to accidental and deliberate damage.
END USER COMPUTING Training: Provision of relevant training courses both in how to program and in how to approach systems development in a structured way (the second of these is often omitted). This happened at the Open University, where many of the end-users wanted to omit the analysis course. Suitability review: Authorisation of major end-user new developments by business and IS managers to check that they are necessary (this should not be necessary for smaller-scale developments since otherwise creativity may be stifled). Standards for development: Such standards will recommend that documentation and structured testing of all user-developed software occurs. Detailed standards might include clear data definitions, validation rules, backup and recovery routines and security measures. Guidance from end-user support personnel: IC or help-desk staff can provide training in techniques used to develop software. Software and data audits: Regular audits of software produced by end-users should occur for data and application quality. There is an apocryphal story of a company that had an end-user-developed spreadsheet for making investment decisions which had an error in a formula that lost the company millions of pounds each year! Ensuring corporate data security: Ensure that users are not permitted to enter data directly into central databases except via applications especially written for the purpose by the IS department which has the necessary validation rules to ensure data quality. For analysis of corporate data, data should regularly be downloaded from the central database to the PC for analysis, where they can be analysed without causing performance problems to the corporate system.
Help desk: A central facility in an organisation which provides end-user help- desk services such as phone support for troubleshooting end-user software and hardware problems, training, guidance on end-user development and management of user information.