How to build positive Digital Experiences in a hybrid IT environment By Ryan Purvis, Head of Solutions, Lakeside Software.

An organisation’s future success lies with its ability to deliver a powerful digital employee experience (DEX), and that has never been more true as hybrid working is adopted on a huge scale. That shift has brought reactive management strategies to the fore, and they simply, no longer work.

Indeed, enterprise IT operations are adapting to meet new and urgent challenges with remote and hybrid work, but the job isn’t done. There is a growing recognition that digital employee experience will drive major digital transformations that are reshaping enterprises for the future. For 90% of surveyed C-level executives in Lakeside Software’s Future of Digital Workplaces survey, better digital experience is an important priority post-pandemic.

In the autumn of last year, roughly half of the workers in the UK still worked remotely in some capacity. In this hybrid model, it can be challenging to resolve solutions. Users are less likely to file tickets for common issues, often opting to ignore, restart, or troubleshoot issues themselves. This places an undue burden on an already busy workday. Ultimately, the employer provides a poor digital experience that has a negative impact on productivity and morale.

The weariness already attributed to the post-pandemic workforce needn’t be increased by taking on the responsibility of what would usually be a whole other department within their company. Employees can become disillusioned and even sense that their company does not prioritise them and what they need to complete their jobs efficiently.

To improve digital experience for hybrid workers, IT operations must become both predictive and preventative. Businesses must become proactive in the way they address IT under this “new normal” of hybrid and remote working environments. Proactive leaders constantly scan their environment to prevent issues before they happen. While reactive leaders allow things to happen to them and then scramble to pick up the pieces and methods focus on repair. Both are necessary to succeed in creating a positive work environment. We know from our experience working with the likes of Ford, General Mills, Telefonica and E*trade.

Enhanced digital experience is key to a productive and engaged workforce

According to research, over 70% of IT staff indicate that proactive monitoring and resolution of incidents before they begin is one of the most valuable capabilities to automate IT operations. This is the key to any organisation’s success and its ability to deliver a powerful digital employee experience, which encapsulates every digital touchpoint an employee experiences throughout their workday.

The more dispersed workforces depend on their devices and cloud apps to be productive from anywhere, the more difficult it can be for enterprises to be agile, effectively scale, and deliver reliable IT services while also deepening business value. Focus on DEX makes all of this possible and contributes to a proactive IT management strategy.

Employee productivity is crucial to help organisations meet their business key performance indicators (KPIs). Ensuring that employees have the necessary tools and conditions to perform their jobs at their best is the reason why more companies are investing in digital experience management (DEM).

Comprehensive DEM strategies can help alleviate the technology-related burden of remote work, increase employee productivity, and reduce IT costs. According to the Forrester Employee Experience Index, 30% of an employee’s overall experience is represented by workplace technology.

Indeed, many remote work challenges are deeply associated with technology and IT support. This includes dropped video calls, cloud-service outages, slow internet connection, lack of help desk responsiveness, high CPU consumption, VPN issues, and more. These are just some of the things employees must rely on to do their jobs effectively from home.

Consider an employee who is working from home on an important deadline when suddenly, their project management tool has an outage that lasts several hours, if not the entire day. This is no fault of the employees but directly impacts their work performance and causes considerable stress. Employees shouldn’t be the ones mitigating and working to prevent these issues. It is the responsibility of managers and executives to make sure they are creating an environment where employees can work—whether in an office or remotely.

A good DEX strategy centers around comprehensive DEM tools, which help improve IT service delivery and eliminate productivity roadblocks since they track, analyse, and improve how employees interact with workplace technology. When building a strategy, key considerations include:

•Endpoint monitoring - DEM tools need to capture a high amount of quantitative and qualitative data at the edge for clear visibility across the digital environment

•Sentiment analysis - to understand the impact of DEX on user productivity, surveys should be included to better understand employee sentiment

•Integration - DEM platforms can help enterprises optimise IT resources based on business needs, so businesses need to ensure that the DEM tool works alongside other IT service management (ITSM) tools

•Use of AIOps - artificial intelligence for IT operations correlates events to find patterns, enabling faster identification of the root cause of problems and incident prediction

•Self-healing/mass-healing - automated remediation features can improve upon the traditional support model to save up to 12 hours of productive time for end users in this one-page brief

•Automated root cause analysis - by using data gathered from multiple endpoints and analysis tools, enterprises benefit from a faster mean time to resolve

Technology-related remote work challenges are continuing to plague employers. They are part of our everyday work lives and must be addressed as such. We rely on technology to ensure businesses can continue to operate effectively, and this reliance emphasizes the importance of prioritising the digital employee experience.

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