Create a Digital Ecosystem for the Work From Anywhere Era

BrandPost By Pete Bartolik
Oct 08, 2020
IT Leadership

IT can address remote end user frustrations and help desk shortfalls u2013 but it requires new tools and capabilities.

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Credit: iStock

All organizations scrambled to adjust to the sudden “work from anywhere” shift in early 2020, and some encountered more headaches than others. But regardless of how well prepared any particular organization was, a recent survey by 1E reveals that most workers were adversely impacted by delays in IT support, particularly in the area of endpoint performance.

The survey results reflect an urgent need for enterprises to create a digital ecosystem that empowers employees to work from anywhere with maximum productivity and engagement.

A Gallup poll found that 62% of US workers have worked from home during the Covid-19 crisis, and three out of five who have been doing so “would prefer to continue to work remotely as much as possible, once public health restrictions are lifted.”

However, the survey by 1E, in partnership with independent research agency Vanson Bourne, polled employees across eight industries in the United States and found that enterprise IT teams are failing to deliver a positive remote employee experience.

“IT worked incredibly hard to support a massive shift to remote-first work,” says 1E founder and CEO Sumir Karayi. “But the research shows us in the longer term employees are going to struggle because they have a second-class experience working remotely compared to working in the office.”

Digital transformation – are you ready now?

Although some say Covid-19-related disruptions advanced digital transformational initiatives by years, it’s clear that many organizations have further to go to fully enable productive work from anywhere (WFA).

The 1E survey found that 98% of workers say that device performance is critical to their ability to work remotely, but 53% report that they are experiencing slower performance outside the office. When something goes wrong, 72% of remote workers say they have to wait hours, days, or weeks for their problems to be resolved by IT. Moreover, 74% of remote employees feel disconnected from their colleagues and workplace when working from home and 35% of don’t have all the software or software access they need to work from home effectively.

Remarkably, 86% of survey respondents believe IT cares about their remote work experience. However, less than half (44%) are completely satisfied with their service desk and over a third (36%) are experiencing more IT issues while working at home.

“There is a high degree of empathy that the employees feel toward their IT organization from the initial Covid response,” Karayi says. “But now that we are looking at the Covid experience extending potentially another year, maybe even a year and a half, frustration with their digital experience can erode this empathy on a day-to-day basis.”

Despite advances in IT service management technology, just 17% of users say they would self-serve the software they need. Furthermore, while almost half of organizations employ chatbots, only 20% of users would opt for that approach, with the remainder calling service desks for help. A majority say they will call their service desk to resolve issues. Unless this support gap is reduced, organizations can expect increasingly overburdened and growing dissatisfaction among users.

Foundation for a “work from anywhere” enterprise

IT can address the end user and help desk shortfalls with a strategy that cultivates great experiences in the new WFA enterprise. But it requires new tools and capabilities to gain greater visibility and understanding of what the remote worker is actually experiencing.

For starters, service desks must be refashioned to reflect the new WFA reality. Digital experience is critical to ensuring high productivity and engagement for the anywhere employee. But most IT teams rely on monitoring tools that measure performance at the data center, or server level. They lack insight into the actual end-user performance among hundreds or thousands of employees.

As a result, 73% of those surveyed by 1E say they have experienced the same IT issue more than once, demonstrating the lack of daily automated incident resolution. That not only frustrates users, but ties up service desks in manually fixing the same problems over and over for multiple users. Clearly, organizations need to implement automated resolutions to help relieve the growing stress.

IT needs to achieve full visibility and control of the endpoint estate and invest in real-time remediation capabilities, rather than relying on ad-hoc, manually triggered automation. But, critically, this requires a platform that can monitor at scale, in real-time.

1E’s Tachyon platform and single agent runs synthetic ‘microtransactions’ on every endpoint to check its health based on three criteria: responsiveness, performance, and stability. This data is aggregated across the entire endpoint estate and presented through intuitive analytics. The data can then be acted upon to remediate the root cause of the experience issue within the same platform.

“Uniquely, we can run synthetic transactions at the endpoint itself,” explains Karayi. “It’s lightweight so it doesn’t slow down the user’s device and it can even work over slow networks.”

Automated interactions with employees when required can vastly improve the user experience. Targeted, context-sensitive and immediate digital conversations with employees can gather feedback when a performance issue is detected, prompt an employee to reboot his or her device for a patch, or inform them of remediation activities.

Thriving in the work from anywhere era

End user device management has evolved based on the needs of employees working in office environments, and adapted to respond to mobile workers who need support from time to time. But now IT must accommodate great numbers of employees and their endpoints that have to function productively outside of office walls for most (if not all) of their work.

According to Karayi, IT organizations must work quickly to meet the needs of remote-first workers in real-time. The digital workplace must be rewritten to encompass the reality of a new working order to not only fix today’s gaps in IT infrastructure but to also fulfill the future vision of the workplace moving forward.

Click here for more information or to see the full survey results.