One of the questions I get asked a lot in “new frontier” companies with a young, tech savvy user base is “How do we convince our users to enroll into device management?” Users in these organizations generally have admin rights to their machines, and they mostly manage themselves. They will likely google their problem before opening a ticket with IT, and the last thing they want is to be locked down or restricted in any way. It’s not a technology or policy issue; it’s a marketing problem.
If you want your users to buy into device management, the first step is not to call it device management. Nobody wants to be managed. People like to feel like they have control, and it’s very hard to get young, tech savvy users to buy into a culture where their machines are managed. It’s even harder to take that feeing of control away once users are used to it.
The other thing you need to consider is that your users do not care about the same things you do. A lot of IT departments are excited about the inventory, reporting and management capabilities of their new software, and are quick to talk about how great these features are to their users. To a user, inventory, reporting and management send a message: we’re tracking you, we’re watching you, and we’re in control. Nobody wants to feel like they’re living in 1984, so if you want buy in from your users, you have to change your approach.
So what do your users actually want? They want the applications they need to do their job, and they want them as quickly and easily as possible. Sell your users on Self Service. Market it internally as a great new application that will make it easier for them to get access to all of the resources they need to stay productive, and will make it easier for IT to provide them with the support they need to keep working. You’re going to see a much higher adoption rate in an opt-in environment with this approach, but you’re likely to have a few stragglers. For these users, make it clear that IT will be limited in support options for users who haven’t enrolled. If a user requests access to the new printer, tell them it’s in Self Service. If the user says they haven’t installed Self Service, tell them you’ll help them install it and show them how to add the printer themselves. Eventually your users will get the message: if they want access to resources and support, they need to have Self Service installed.