Mitratech - The Evolution of Text Based End User Computing (EUC) - Blog Banner
Mitratech - The Evolution of Text Based End User Computing (EUC) - Blog Banner

The Evolution of Text Based End User Computing (EUC)

Henry Umney |

As you probably know, End User Computing (EUC) refers to all technologies, policies, and processes that give your team access to enterprise applications and data anywhere.

Modern organizations use End User Computing (EUC) so that their employees can work from anywhere, across multiple devices, in a secure manner. A developed EUC program gives users immediate access to the digital technologies they need for productivity, both on-premises and remotely.

But how did we get here? Just under 20 years ago an IT analyst at Gartner said:

“Come the apocalypse two things will survive, the spreadsheet and the cockroach – they deserve each other”.

The background to this point of view was that all business processes should be delivered to the organization in IT supported systems. This was the view of most analysts back then and, to be fair, there are still some who think that now.  

Their nemesis was Microsoft Excel. This seemingly simple application that sat on all users’ desktops, enabled some innovative users to create very powerful applications to support key processes within organizations.

Replacing EUC Tools

Despite the best efforts of many organizations, it has proved impossible for IT to deliver applications that can cover all of the use cases / new processes that an organization requires to run business operations.

There have been countless Finance Transformation projects that have promised to replace all of these “off system” processes or EUC tools, which at best replace 70-80% of the EUCs that were in scope when the project started. The issue is that, in a best case scenario, 20% of EUCs are not replaced and, as the business evolves, new EUCs are continuously created.

The Impact of SOX in EUCs

The other major shift in mindset was caused by SOX. No matter whether firms sell widgets or credit derivatives, finance teams love a good spreadsheet. This forced US listed firms to start acknowledging and putting processes in place to control these spreadsheet EUCs.

During the 2010’s not just US listed firms started to accept that spreadsheets were a necessary tool to enable an organization. Some on their own volition and others with pressure from external auditors and/or regulators recognized the key role spreadsheets play within an organization.

Businesses started to create specific EUC or spreadsheet policies. Many of these were written with an IT perspective trying to force a standard SDLC (SoftwareDevelopment Life Cycle) onto spreadsheet users or defined IT controls that could not be met.

Transforming Processes for Success

As we enter the 2020’s there has been a paradigm shift in the EUC world. Many more graduates entering the workforce these days are coding literate and, as such, there is an increasing use of coding based technologies by end users to create EUCs (e.g. Python, R Matlab etc) to support their business processes. Historically the majority of EUCs were spreadsheets and access databases.

Where previously all EUCs were spreadsheets of access databases, today up to 10-20% of EUCs are not spreadsheets of access databases.

For most organizations an EUC is an application that supports a business process which ideally would be in an IT application. It does not matter if it is a spreadsheet, access database or python script, whilst it remains an EUC; the business will need to ensure that requisite controls are in place to mitigate any financial, operational, reputational or regulatory risks.

For organizations that have recognized this shift there is the need to change policies. With this change, leveraging the opportunity to educate users as well as ensure these EUCs are captured in a proper EUC inventory is crucial.

Interested in more? Watch this three part webinar series touching EUC governance, inventory, controls and delivering transformation.

Best Practices in EUC Governance

Join expert speakers from Mitratech, EY and Rabobank in part one of this powerful webinar series, as they explore best practices in EUC governance and be sure to check out parts two and three for a full understanding into how to ensure compliance with the OCC. Watch On Demand Webinar

Top Tips on Building an EUC Inventory

Join expert speakers from Mitratech, EY and Rabobank in part two of this powerful webinar series as they provide top tips on how to build an EUC inventory. Watch On Demand Webinar

Implementing EUC Controls & Delivering Transformation

Join expert speakers from Mitratech, EY and Rabobank in part three of this powerful webinar series as they share expert knowledge into implementing EUC controls and delivering transformation across your organization. Watch On Demand Webinar

The RegTech Report

This podcast is the go-to source for all things RegTech including
RegTech news, connecting with industry pioneers, and updates on the the latest tech.