End-User Computing Puts IT Focus on Business Consumers

Digital transformation and software-defined data centers are sparking the need for IT pros who learn quickly and have a big-picture view.

By Brian Carlson

By Brian Carlson February 20, 2020

The end-user has become the center of the modern digital workplace. As the business consumer has become empowered by the consumerization of IT and advent of modern digital workflows, processes and tools, it becomes incumbent on IT departments to build user-centric technology services that are easy for business users to access, manage and operate at scale.

According to Ruben Spruijt, Sr. Technologist for Nutanix, in order to stay close to the needs of the business consumer of IT services, companies should focus on delivering those services anytime, anyplace and on any device the business consumer needs to access them.

“End-user computing is an umbrella term for technology people use to get stuff done,” said Spruijt.

Spruijt was CTO of Frame before it was purchased by Nutanix in 2018. Since then, he’s been responsible for driving vision, technology evangelism and thought leadership for Xi Nutanix. He said end-user computing (EUC) refers to systems that allow non-tech business users to create working applications so they can get their job done. It can be thought of as a group of approaches to computing with the goal of empowering users to create self-service solutions that allow them to move at the speed of a modern digital consumer.

“End-user computing is a broad term that consists of unified communication, a secure login, access to applications, mobile apps, desktop apps, web apps and the management of devices,” he said.

Focus on Business Consumer Needs

Spruijt stresses the importance of paying attention to the needs of the business user of IT services and delivering to them a trustworthy experience that allows them to solve problems and create solutions on their own. With that close relationship and understanding of the business consumer, IT can get a better understanding of the framework needed for delivering valuable end-user services, he said.

“It is super important to stay very close to the business consumer of IT services, it gives great insights in current and new Application and Desktop delivery use-cases.”

Spruijt said that if IT gets too buried in reacting to business needs, and doesn’t pay enough attention to the need of the user of their services, the end-user can lose faith in ITs ability to work with them and deliver workable solutions.

He believes that IT should focus on balancing user needs with business needs. If business users get better productivity from these tools, it will serve the business goals as well. At the end of the day, it is about employee experience, making it easy and fun to get work done, attracting new end-users and retaining existing ones.

“If there is a huge gap between what the business consumer expects and what they get, they will not feel comfortable working with you,” he said.

Right Balance

Spruijt said focusing on customers first and foremost is easy when that means helping customers stay innovative.

"If you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life,” he said. “It’s important to know that your personal identity is so much more than who you are and what you do in your daily job. It is part of a bigger plan and the bigger picture.”

Spruijt and his wife are raising three kids, which he describes as young adults.

“My biggest challenge is finding the right balance of passion for end-user IT computing and my family. To achieve balance, consider work-life integration as a viable option.”

With a healthy alignment to the core principles of his company, Spruijt said he has been able to maintain the life-work integration that he wants and Nutanix supports.

“The Nutanix family has four core principles,” he said. “Hungry, humble, honest and with a heart! These principles are what I love about Nutanix, but they also align with my desire for family-work integration that is very important to me.”

For people who have passionate pursuits, like Ruben, having a company and culture that fits with your worldview is critical to following your passion while still allowing for a rich family life.

“If you are really passionate about something, it’s important to have the right integration of these four cultural principals and a personal life.”

And something he tells himself every day: “The people who go furthest in life are the ones who are nicest to others.”

Brian Carlson is a contributing writer. He is Founder of RoC Consulting and was Editor-in-Chief of CIO.com and EE Times. Follow him on Twitter @bcarlsonDM.

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