What is End-User Computing (EUC)?
The world of information technology and computing has always carried an air of intelligence and mystery for the common computer user. With technology integrated into every facet of our society, hardware technicians, programmers, and software developers seem to have gravitated into some elite category of brainy people. The whole point of information systems and software development is to bring solutions to our daily activities. The widespread use of computers in almost everything today has helped bridge this psychological gap by fostering the development of End-User Computing (EUC).
End-User computing is a system developed in such a way that it allows non-programmers to grasp basic technology concepts enabling them creates functional software applications. It comprises different approaches and methodologies that better integrate users and non-programmers into the world of information technology. With this accessibility, users are better able to create and control their application environments without Information Technology (IT) professionals having to be at their side. EUC is, therefore, a functional application developed by the user to solve organizational issues.
Who are These End-Users?
Unlike trained professional who may design a system from raw concepts right through to finished product, many EUC applications have their starting points from existing database applications or existing software. Even though the users are ‘creating an application’ they are definitely not at the level of trained professionals. In some instances, some of the data is extracted and re-manipulated evolving into easily understandable and customized applications. This can be compared to a professional chef making a cake and a home cook using a cake mix. With the cake mix, a lot of thinking and calculations have been done, while the chef may bake a cake using strategically chosen ingredients in precise quantities, strictly following a series of intricate steps.
So, the end-users are not trained programming professionals. Maybe the question is, who are these end-users, what type of applications do they develop and to what extent are these applications used and integrated into the organization’s overall systems architecture?
End-users are usually support staff, management professionals, data processing staff, and end-user support personnel. They are at levels in which they can realize and articulate system issues and short comings with the potential of using these computing tools to respond to these organizational needs.
Uses of EUC
Queries to Generate Corporate Reports
EUC is commonly used to create queries from corporate databases to generate new on-demand reports for management. The query parameters are defined by the user to generate the reports which can further be managed and administered by the user. Consider a local coach service system, for example, where management staff may try to extract frequent travelers’ information and use this information to grant them special dispensations, improving customer service and gaining a competitive edge.