4 Ways to Improve the End-User Experience — and Benefit Your IT
Today’s workforce is experiencing a cultural revolution. Shifting demographics, new technologies and changing social norms are all transforming the ways people work. Positive and seamless end-user experiences with workplace technology are a competitive advantage for both attracting and retaining top talent.
However, IT is experiencing a revolution of its own. The IT department is being tasked with both supporting and growing the business — a tall order not always accounted for in resource allocation. IT leaders must find a way to effectively manage business today while freeing resources to transform the future.
Why the end-user experience matters
Organizations today have the potential to span five generations of workers. This broad, modern workforce is not only powerful in size, but also in its demands for new ways of working. Digital natives, in particular, expect workplace technology to mirror the ease and familiarity of the technology they use as consumers.
As a whole, 92% of workers say having the right technology to help them work efficiently directly impacts their job satisfaction, according to a 2016 survey by Ultimate Software.1
The “2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Pulse Survey” report reveals IT professionals recognize the need to “deliver high-quality, seamless IT solutions to keep their employees engaged and productive.” Additionally, IT pros believe they can gain a competitive advantage by improving the end-user experience.
Although companies are increasingly aware of the need to create positive user experiences, they often struggle to deliver on those expectations. According to the Insight report, 16% of survey respondents are concerned with the employee experience and other challenges related to accessing competitive technology.
To attract and retain top talent and empower a productive and engaged workforce, you need to close the gap between end-user expectations and experiences — without adding a burden on IT. Even with large in-house IT capabilities, the day-to-day operations of device management can be a drain on resources, leaving little room for innovation.
Let’s explore four ways you can optimize IT resources to improve the end-user experience — and enable a workforce that’s productive, connected and inspired.
1. Outsource IT services.
One solution is to allow your IT team to focus on business growth by entrusting a partner to handle the heavy lifting of device deployment and everday operations. A partner who can provide workplace services or a managed office solution will simplify your IT — from procurement, configuration and testing to deployment and ongoing management. Plus, workplace services are billed on a monthly subscription for a more effective and predictable cost model.
Some benefits of a managed office solution include:
- Reduced support costs and higher return on investment
- Reclaimed IT resources for business-critical projects
- Improved sevice levels and end-user support
- IT governance and scalability
To get the most from your investment, look for a managed office solution that provides customized Device as a Service (DaaS), cloud applications and comprehensive support. A DaaS solution tailored to individual user needs can help you deliver the competitive devices workers need while offseting capital expenses.
A partner who provides hardware, software and cloud applications can also speed deployment with preconfigured and provisioned devices upon delivery to the end user.
2. Modernize support.
To stay productive and reduce downtime, your employees need fast resolutions to their technology challenges. As your organization looks for ways to transform IT to improve the end-user experience and keep workers productive, examine your existing IT support model. Are you relying on a legacy ticketing system with a clunky interface? Are you using a traditional support model with a slow Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
Your workforce demands easy, modernized experiences — and they don’t mind taking matters into their own hands. Traditional user support models are often inefficient and expensive. High-volume help desk calls bog down IT resources and are often costly to resolve. IT leaders have a difficult time controlling costs and balancing IT budget for support and business-critical initatives.
To keep end users productive — and your IT team focused on innovation — transform your end-user support with managed services and a “shift left” approach. This means moving issue resolution to the lowest cost level. For example, support level zero drives the end user to a self-help or self-service resolution.
Self-service is revolutionizing IT support, and the benefits are three-fold: Workers are empowered to find fast resolutions to simple problems, IT teams gain valuable time from the reduction in support tickets, and support costs drop significantly.
On the opposite spectrum, a support level above a three would automatically escalate to field or vendor support.
Operating in-house IT help desk support can be expensive. And with a complex device landscape, having the right levels of expertise is not always feasible. A managed services solution can be a cost-effective way to provide end users with full support — delivered through a consumer-friendly platform.
3. Support a mobile or remote workforce.
It isn’t just the technology that’s changing — the ways people work are, too. Today’s workers prefer constant connectivity and the ability to work remotely. In a study by Softchoice, 85% of respondents said they “feel it’s important for their employer to provide technology that enables them to work remotely.”
Additionally, 74% would quit their current job for another job at the same salary if they had the option to work remotely more often.
With a “work wherever and however” mindset, the modern workforce has ushered in a complex landscape of devices — from desktops to laptops and tablets, and even mobile devices. This proliferation of devices makes lifecycle management and endpoint security a consistent pain point for IT teams. According to the Insight Intelligent Technology Pulse Survey report, 55% of IT decision-makers rate security among their top three challenges.
In order to run your business smarter, you need to run it safely. That means connecting devices, locations and data securely — and proactively warding off threats.
However, the various levels of experience needed to manage a diverse mobile landscape aren’t practical for most organizations, and assigning mobile management to high-salaried IT engineers or other business-critical team members is a misallocation of resources. This is another challenge many organizations are working to resolve.
The Insight report found 81% of chief information and technology officers and 79% of procurement staff agree “balancing resources to maintain infrastructure and grow the business is a pain point for their organization.”
To help your business run with confidence, offload the full lifecycle of mobile management to a trusted partner. Working with a partner is a more efficient, cost-effective solution that can help you:
- Determine the right devices for the needs of your users.
- Create a mobile endpoint strategy.
- Procure, provision and deploy new technology.
- Manage endpoint security and respond to threats.
- Support end users and take the burden off internal IT.
- Manage and refresh devices without disruption.
4. Enable effective collaboration.
Although today’s workers demand more time away from the office, they don’t work in isolation. A report by The Economist reveals workers believe effective collaboration has the greatest impact on their creativity and company loyalty.2
For much of the workforce, teamwork is a requirement of the job. In fact, the Softchoice study shows 94% of North American office workers — whether remote or not — need to collaborate with teammates in order to do their jobs. And 83% use technology to work with remote workers in real time.
Whether your workforice is remote, entirely on-site or a combination, having the right collaboration tools is vital to your organization’s productivity and employee satisfaction.
Solutions such as cloud-based unified communications, high-definition audio/video, IP phones, mobile devices and more help unify your workforce and fuel effective collaboration. However, before you implement new technology, it’s important to engage your teams to understand how they work and assess the barriers or challenges technology can solve.
Equipping your organization with technology alone isn’t enough. To ensure employee satisfaction, your workforce requires adequate training for a seamless end-user experience and readily available support when technology hiccups occur.
According to the Softchoice study, “78% of workers who use collaboration technology frequently experience technical difficulties.” To reduce ticket volume for internal IT, vet your technology solutions critically and choose a partner who can provide reliable, ongoing support.
Transform your IT experience.
Your business is only as good as your people. As the market for talent becomes increasingly competitive, you need to create powerful employee experiences that will attract and retain top talent. Empowering a connected workforce means putting end users at the forefront of your IT strategy. By modernizing your technology management, you can improve the end-user experience and drive productivity.