Elevated to Strategic Partners, CIOs Play Pivotal Role in the Hybrid Workplace

IT teams need scalable, automated solutions to ensure excellent remote-worker experiences.

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IT rose to the challenge of enabling the abrupt shift to remote work last year, and radically transformed our perceptions about the feasibility of large-scale remote working along the way. However, we know that remote workers didn’t always receive the same digital experience as they would in an office. Workplace technology played a critical role in keeping employees engaged and productive, and yet employees wrestled with basic, low-level technical issues.

The State of Work From Anywhere

In a remote setting, performance is directly tied to digital experience and device performance, both of which suffered major setbacks when employees left the office. Research found that three-quarters of devices ran slower when they were located remotely last year, and one-third of employees stated they didn’t have access to all the software they needed to work effectively at home. There’s no question these factors negatively impacted employee productivity and satisfaction levels.

IT organizations also struggled to cope in the midst of this sudden shift because IT infrastructures were never designed to support remote workers. So, when one-third of employees experienced more IT issues away from the office, 69% of IT organizations struggled to keep pace. As a result, one-third of employees had to wait hours, days, or even weeks for IT issue resolution.

CIOs Hold the Key

Though there were obvious growing pains, on the upside, the pandemic elevated IT organizations and CIOs from a support function to strategic partners. While building a robust and powerful digital workplace infrastructure demands innovation and adaptation from leaders across the C-suite, business continuity and success will largely fall at the feet of CIOs.

It’s virtually impossible for any organization to support remote working of any kind if employees are anchored to the office for IT support. That’s precisely why the top strategic priority among CIOs going forward has shifted to aligning people, processes, and technology to remote working.

Now, CIOs must close the gaps in their IT infrastructures to ensure they can support remote workers without exception and deliver first-class digital experiences. As part of these efforts, many CIOs are likely to channel their budgets into upgrading legacy tooling to scalable, automated offerings that provide visibility into the experience of remote workers. Solutions are likely to include:

  • Unified eXperience Management (UXM) tools that can measure employees’ digital experiences
  • Automation-powered self-service channels for issue resolution so employees are supported in their own time and problems are addressed immediately

In short, if employee needs are put first, CIOs can’t go wrong. 

2021 is the year we’ll see Work From Anywhere really take off and be adopted as a strategic initiative. But to make it successful, it’s vital that we ensure the remote worker experience is just as good (if not better) than the office experience.

With CIOs leading the charge, I’m confident and excited that remote working will no longer be a low-grade experience.

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