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Know Your Company’s Mix of Knowledge and Production Workers

These classifications of users are important considerations when planning for security, disaster recovery, or help desk support. Think about the following facts:

  • Even if knowledge workers comprise only 25% of the workforce, they could in fact end up using up to 75% of the resources of a help desk, due to the diversity of their jobs and complexity of their applications. This situation costs your company money.
  • Even if production workers make up 75% of the workforce, these users may ultimately use only 25% of a help desk resource due to rigorous standardization of their applications. This setup saves your company money.
  • The standards committee of the organization is faced with some interesting decisions with regard to who pays for support. For example, if the user does nothing but sell online tickets, there are fewer opportunities to mess things up. That equates to less help desk support required, lower cost, and easier recovery of equipment and software in a disaster.

These factors lead to many policy-level issues:

  • Should knowledge workers pay a "surcharge" on their nonstandard applications to help cover the additional overhead costs (both help desk and disaster recovery) associated with those applications?
  • Should production workers—by virtue of the fact that they’re the "cash registers" for the organization—have their own help line?
  • Should production workers be restored first in a disaster? In other words, should the firm’s highest priority be getting revenue-producing agents back into service as soon as possible?

All of these factors must be considered before meaningful workstation disaster planning can occur and before workable operating/security standards can be developed.

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