CIO Plus is frequently engaged by clients to assess the effectiveness of their IT Services. This involves us in benchmarking a range of key parameters, examining the sourcing strategy (and the value for money provided by 3rd party suppliers) and assessing the IT function overall – strategy, structure, leadership, communication, technical capability, morale. But we always ensure that we consider the above aspects in the context of the overall business – does the IT strategy fit the business strategy?; is there excellent 2-way communication between the IT function and its internal customers?; how are the IT Services perceived by their consumers?
Since late 2012, CIO Plus has utilised Nexthink to support our client engagements. Nexthink is rapidly and easily deployed across the customer end points (desktops, laptops, macs) and it provides the first ever objective, factual, real-time view of End Point Quality of Service (EPQoS). Historically (and scarily), a view of the quality of IT Services has often been derived from looking at Helpdesk statistics and user surveys; these do not give the whole or even an accurate picture.
Users will subjectively rate services and will have vastly differing perspectives from each other – one may focus on email outages, another on long PC boot time, yet another may be frustrated by slow application responses. And from the company perspective, the real cost of such issues could be significantly different to the findings of a user survey; human nature is to report on sudden and obvious changes in quality, and ignore the slow degradation of performance to which most IT systems are prone. Lack of consistent quality in the delivery of IT Services is what costs organisations fortunes, not the odd, though visible, hiccup of a single service.
Nexthink changes your perspective; it gives an end to end view of the services consumed across the IT infrastructure of an organisation, a view that is not available with the myriad range of IT tools with which the IT infrastructure has to date been monitored. Conventional tools (often sophisticated and expensive to purchase and support) generally focus on a particular aspect (servers, network, security etc) and, with enough specialist staff, an overall holistic view can be jig-sawed together to represent an expression of overall IT Quality of Service at a particular point in time. But critically, this can give a distorted view as all the tools may be signalling ‘green’, yet they do not provide a view from the perspective of the end user – it is this real-time, all the time, all end points, all users, all applications EPQoS view that CIO Plus has found so compelling and whyNexthink is now a vital tool in our consulting armoury when we assess customer IT landscapes.
Nexthink provides qualitative performance characteristics exactly as they are felt by the user.
The software offers advanced trend-analysis, and sophisticated investigative tools to identify particular problems across an End-Point estate in the matter of seconds. And, having identified the cause of a user-flagged incident, Nexthink allows a rapid investigation into which other users will be affected in the same way and Service Desk tickets can be raised not just for the incident reporting user but also pro-actively for all their similarly affected colleagues.
CIO Plus is now a Gold Partner of Nexthink. The tool enhances our existing consultancy methods and adds significant value to our customer engagements. Customers specifically benefit in some or all of the following:
Hardware sizing/planning – ahead of a Windows 7 roll out (say)
Planning for a virtualisation programme
Security – instant detection and alerting re virus, unauthorised/unusual end user behaviour
S/W licence optimisation
Finally, Service Management and Service Delivery improvements; fewer Service Desk calls, faster resolution – major cost saver and big reputation enhancer
CIO Plus sees the Nexthink collaboration as a pivotal addition to the existing CIO Plus services designed to improve Overall Quality, Reduce Complexity, resulting in significantly reduced operational costs and improved productivity.