Imagine you didn’t need programmers anymore. Well, we’re not quite there yet, but a buzzword in business in recent years, end-user computing (EUC), may get you a step closer. This allows individuals to create their applications without the need for complex engineering. “Enabling operations staff to develop their applications means that EUC frees up specialists to focus on more complicated tasks,” explains the experts at EASA.
They add that not only does it democratize the process of application-building, but it also accommodates software that is purpose-made for the needs of particular staff — who knows what you need better than you do?
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. While EUC can be an amazing solution for many enterprises, it’s not perfect. So how can you tell whether EUC is right for you? Here are some of the pros and cons of this method to help you make an informed decision.
Advantages of End-User Computing
With EUC, instead of your IT department having to handle tasks like file sharing and data storage, for example, everyone involved in the project can do so for themselves, centralizing these processes. This reduces the need for IT resources, freeing them up to take on more important tasks like supporting your team and fixing bugs. But it also helps with productivity — you can manage the whole fleet a lot more easily.
Cybersecurity is arguably the most important issue for businesses in the 21st century. One of the greatest benefits of EUC programs is that many of them allow you to save and maintain data without storing it on individual devices but rather on the cloud, making it far less prone to security breaches. Combined with authentication and authorization protocols, your data could be safer than ever. That said, the fact that EUCs are written by laypeople means they may be more prone to bugs and security issues.
Let’s face it: sometimes IT is called to the scene for simple actions that don’t require an expert. So much so that ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’ has become a trope. EUC massively cuts down on the need for support, mainly because the platform gives agency to individuals when it comes to software.
Disadvantages of End-User Computing
While EUC is by definition simple and easy to grasp, it still requires some training. You’d have to spend some time learning how to use the platform of your choice, how to make the most of it, and how to create the perfect application for your needs. This means a lot of trial and error, tweaking, and changing, so it could be more time-consuming than software made for you by professionals.
Creating your application is great because it means you can tailor it to your needs exactly. However, it also means it’s usually lacking the normal processes software designers take to ensure their program can be used by everyone. If your whole team — or multiple people on your team — are going to use the application, they might struggle without appropriate documentation and explanation.
An Audit Trail
If the data you’re using a EUC to contain is crucial for the finance, compliance, or legal activities of your business, you’re likely to need an audit trail. Without proper app-building, you may struggle to reproduce your steps and provide this, which can cause a lot of good faith issues in the future.
To sum up, EUC can be a powerful solution for many businesses, as it gives employees agency to create programs that work exactly as they need them to. However, the lack of experience and training in building this software can cause many issues for your enterprise, so it has to be done with caution.