Why digital experience and modern management are key to a productive and profitable workforce
Improve your bottom line while reducing the burden on IT
The paradigm shift to hybrid working, the consumerization of IT, and difficulties in attracting and retaining talent are forcing global organizations to sharpen their focus on end-user technology. According to a recent Gartner study*, “workforce issues loom large while sustainability becomes a mainstream concern” for enterprise CEOs. Current market dynamics are driving end-user technology transformation and affecting how the world’s largest organizations modernize their IT to create and maintain a productive and profitable hybrid workforce.
Power to the people
Global organizations are at a crossroads. The immediate reactionary measures taken to counter the COVID-19 pandemic have passed, and businesses are now determining how to mature their new hybrid working processes for the long term. Adding to this challenge, the expectations of workers have changed. Employees saw their work-life balance and employment opportunities transformed by the proliferation of remote working.
Organizations have been forced to realize that it is their employees who now hold the cards for where and how they want to work. There has been an acceptance in the C-suite that to ensure productivity in a remote workforce, organizations need to move away from an enforcement mindset, instead enabling their workforce to have the best digital experience possible from wherever they choose to work. Employees also want to see that their working environment is improving and modernizing with a welcoming and supportive culture.
For productivity, workers require the best tools to get their work done regardless of where they are, with many realizing that they don’t need a two-hour commute in order to work. To keep employees happy, to attract and retain talent, and continue to maintain profitability, CEOs are forced to have these topics front of mind.
Adapting to the consumerization of IT
Technology innovators, such as Apple and Google, have long identified that the consumer is the same person whether they are at work or at home, and they should be in control of their own technology decisions. The enterprise industry is yet to adopt the same mindset, but this is changing.
Technology policy has traditionally been determined by IT and then delivered down to the workers. Over the past few years, organizations have been forced to consider adopting technology such as over-the-air provisioning and management, which has begun to empower a self-service, employee-first mentality. Employee choice allows workers to choose the technology that enables them to be at their most motivated and productive, wherever they are.
Organizations now face the challenge of enabling employee choice for hybrid workers at scale, as well as maintaining a good digital employee experience (DEX) and remote servicing – no small task!
Ensuring productivity in a modern hybrid workplace
Operating multiple legacy management tools to manage the disparate range of devices now expected by a hybrid workforce is inefficient and harms productivity. Each management tool requires its own skillset and resource within IT to operate. Legacy tools usually require the device to be imaged and in physical contact with a technician. With a single pane of glass to manage different end-user devices via cloud technology, modern management helps to prevent the hemorrhaging of money on tools and resources.
Some key first steps include bringing in capable resources to handle the challenges and working with modern management and automation tools. Many organizations have understandably been reluctant to move away from tried and trusted methods, especially where the IT team has years of experience and built-up certifications in familiar areas of technology.
SHI works with leading global organizations as they adapt this mindset. We see the increased adoption of automation tools helps IT departments provision, manage, and service devices faster and more efficiently. Our experience in streamlining device management and automation allows organizations to get a modern management program up and running as quickly as possible.
As part of this shift, there is also a focus on the reduction in hours it takes to deploy critical technology across a hybrid workforce, enabling device refreshes and ensuring uptime. Employees lose up to a workday each year just waiting for their three-plus-year-old computer to boot up and are up to 12 percent less productive on PCs that are three or more years old, resulting in a potential estimated cost of $7,794 per year, per user.
IT teams can use modern management technology to manage device lifecycles and enable new hire onboarding, ensuring their equipment arrives ahead of their start date and break/fix is in place for remote workers. To maintain productivity, organizations aim to be able to turn around an end-user device within a 24-hour time frame. These workflows, enabled by DEX tools and modern management, enhance productivity.
The technology is available and there is no need to recreate the wheel, which is where IT consultancy can be invaluable in assuring you are on the right track for modern workplace transformation. Whether an organization is working to deploy Apple or Google devices, utilizing VMware Workspace One or Microsoft Endpoint Manager, or developing a VDI solution like Chrome OS Flex or Windows 365, it is a matter of understanding what is applicable and what is the best option for your organization.
Valuing digital employee experience
Service management for the modern workplace is no longer monitoring if a system is up or down; it is understanding how the system performs across the network, devices, and applications to optimize productivity.
DEX tools are adopted alongside modern management to proactively monitor and service a remote workforce, focusing on maintaining productivity and improving worker sentiment.
We work with organizations to provide just-in-time inventory for remote workforces based on DEX. For example, in a traditional scenario, a person working from home may notice their laptop battery is failing. They call into their IT department and are told one will be shipped in two days. In the meantime, the laptop must always stay close to a power cord or suffer a sudden shutdown when the battery dies.
Let’s consider a different scenario. An organization’s DEX tool identifies the battery on that laptop is only getting up to 70% and sends out a warning to the IT department. They can proactively ship that battery out with a note to the user via an IM, on their screen, or in an email.
They are instructed on how to install the battery and how to send the old one back for responsible disposal. Now, before the problem exists, continuity and productivity have been maintained and the employee has not experienced even a minor inconvenience.
In another familiar scenario, you may have a user who feels their laptop is too slow or that the fan is continually working hard. It is difficult to detect and diagnose this issue with traditional IT monitoring tools. If the employee can report this issue easily through the DEX tool agent, IT can assess if other, similar users are experiencing the same issue and discover patterns. Users experiencing similar issues may have all recently had an operating system upgrade, and these users all work heavily on a particular application. Now the IT team can do some real analysis and diagnosis, fixing the issue before significant impact on the users or the organization.
With a modern approach to DEX, the service team can identify who is in that same group and proactively apply one fix that will help hundreds of people at once.
IT organizations can even monitor user sentiment over time, meaning there is now a statistic to understand the user experience. This is a powerful way of keeping employees happy. Productivity has been in danger of becoming a nebulous term, but now organizations have the technology and tools to put a finer point on what productivity and user experience means.
Using modern management to reduce the burden on IT
Organizations require efficient provisioning, guaranteed uptime, and an exemplary digital employee experience for their workforce. By moving away from traditional tools and adopting best practice modern management, your organization can fulfill these needs across a choice of devices – without vastly increasing the resourcing within IT. Modern management allows control of up to ten thousand devices per two people on average. Managing devices through over-the-air provisioning and management is the key to this approach.
Device as a Service (DaaS) also brings efficiency, productivity, and profitability to a workforce. SHI works with global organizations as they move to this model of end-user device procurement, treating devices as an operational investment rather than an upfront capital expenditure. DaaS allows a three-to-five-year refresh cycle to be reliable and cost effective.
Many large organizations are in the early stages of this transformation. There is still a way to go until the industry as a standard can offer employee choice and seamlessly provision and manage devices over the air. This will continue to accelerate as organizations mature their technology processes to make the most of the opportunities provided by modern management and digital employee experience.
To learn more about how SHI modern workplace solutions transform global organizations, download our ebook: Transforming the modern workplace.
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