Let’s first talk about what is SOE before we go further into why businesses use SOE. SOE is a Standard Operating Environment. This simply means having a standard set of operating systems and its related software for all the systems that are being used in an organization. The main purpose of SOE is to have consistency among all the systems which makes it very easy to maintain it in future.
Initially many organizations didn’t realize the importance of SOE and had made purchases as needs emerged and no standard were followed. With the company growing, this resulted in having company assets with different features and maintaining them became a huge task and incurred expenses which were unaccounted for in the planning stage. This resulted in companies coming forward to have a standard set of policies or technologies that can be widely used in an organization.
Some organizations use SOE which includes the same hardware tools whereas few others use it only for the software to ensure that all computers have same version of software installed such as Windows or same browser applications. It differs for each organization and the companies decide this based on their usage and how they need to manage this. There could be organizations using SOE for checking the account settings and controlling the access.
Now that we know what SOE is, let’s see what makes businesses implement SOE as a practice in their organizations.
- Easily manageable: When all your computers have same features, it is always easy to manage them or to install any upgrades and can be centrally managed.
- Reduced time and effort: When a new employee comes into the team, we are aware of what needs to be installed for his system. It greatly reduces the time and effort required. Just imagine the case, in huge organizations, if there are separate installations required for different systems, the amount of time required to perform this task would be enormous.
- Usage: Most of the people require only a particular set of features for the system. If this is identified, then it can be set as a standard for everyone and installation and fixing in case of any glitches and issues would become easier.
- Quality: Quality is not compromised as the products are well known and are tested before implemented in the organization.
- Reduce costs: Usually, when large purchases are made, you get a better market price from the service providers.
Making a standardized approach for your business is very helpful and even for small businesses it is beneficial. Let’s consider one example, where we need to buy a new laptop as part of organization needs. It is always better to use a standard version of system that is being widely used in the organization and which is working perfectly fine rather than opting for different devices each time, which makes it difficult to standardize in the organization.
Whenever there is an upgrade that is required, it can be done on one system and design a set of processes to be followed, before upgrading it to all of the devices. This in turn increases the productivity by reducing the downtime taken for an upgrade.
There might be requirements within organization, where a particular set of users need different software and applications access. Depending on the business necessity, this can be done. Having a SOE is to ensure that accessibility and maintainability is done effectively within an organization.
Initial upfront costs might be necessary to implement SOE in an organization as the products need to be tested, installed and maintained. But when we consider the overall reduction of costs that come with maintaining the systems, it is very cost effective.
SOE has been in use for more than a decade and many organizations have implemented them and managed them effectively.
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