There are certain words that seem to fit together. Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and jelly. Fish and chips. IT and power user . . . ? Not usually.

Power users are not new. They have existed for a long time and they can be found in any organization—regardless of size and industry. However, with the rise of consumerization in the workplace power users are becoming increasingly common. These users are knowledgeable and savvy when it comes to technology, and they can select and acquire their own devices and applications for work.

For the most part, there is little collaboration between IT and power users. They are viewed as a threat to IT because they are tech-savvy and have the skills needed to access network data with or without permission. However, there is more to them than this adroit use of technology. They have a thorough understanding of both business and technology practices. If IT leverages this knowledge, it can help facilitate IT/business alignment.

IT initiatives are generally viewed as IT-owned. These projects are conceived and executed by IT, with little involvement from end users. By tapping into power users, IT can gain insights into what business users actually want and use in terms of devices and applications. If IT takes this information into consideration and tailors new initiatives to their end users, it will increase adoption rates throughout the organization.

If used properly, power users have many ways of adding value to an organization. However, if they are ignored or, even worse, restricted, IT not only loses an opportunity to add value to the organization, but they will also run into compliance and security issues.

For more information about utilizing your power users, see Info-Tech’s solution set, Turn Power Users into Technology Champions.

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