IT leaders and decision makers certainly feel the impact of the pandemic, but for these past few months they haven’t been able to form any coherent narrative on what they are experiencing.
Teaming up Pulse, an independent technology research firm, we recently surveyed 142 enterprise technology executives to understand how they have been handling their Digital Employee Experience (DEX) since the pandemic, what problems still persist, and where their focus is for 2021.
The data reveals the growing importance of DEX, but also shows a troubling trend: IT (and the people that lead them) still largely view its services differently from how employees experience them. Many of the challenges plaguing IT teams right now are the same that we recorded during the onset of the pandemic and before. In 2021, these challenges will only escalate as remote work continues.
Here are some of the main findings we discovered:
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½ of IT Executives Admit They Can’t Measure Digital Employee Experience
The concept that one’s overall employee experience is largely predicated by one’s digital experience may seem obvious today, but before the pandemic that wasn’t always the case in the c-suite.
We’ve traced the growing importance around DEX both pre-pandemic, early-pandemic, and in late 2020.
Do you agree that DEX is essential to your IT department?
- Last year (May 2019): 49% of IT leaders agreed w/ that statement
- Early-pandemic (May 2020): 78% agreed
- Late pandemic (Oct. 2020): 96% agreed
- more than 1/3 of the respondents in The Nexthink Pulse Report (34%) admitted that they rely on manual methods to collect experience information; and
- nearly half (46%) don’t measure their employees’ digital experiences at all!
IT Ticket and Call Volume Has Soared Since the Pandemic
Back in May 2020, we discovered that 43% of the IT leaders we polled cited increasing support tickets as their biggest challenge since the start of the pandemic. Since then, 70% of the tech leaders in our survey said their ticket and call volume continue to spike, with a majority of those reporting increases up to 50%.
*But ticket and call volume is just one half of the story. We know from previous research that employees only report roughly half of their IT issues to the help desk. In fact, we’ve estimated that the average number of IT interruptions can cost a company of 10,000 employees up to $25 million per year!
IT Has Confidence Issues That Are Hurting Their Respective Businesses
The top IT challenges reported by employees overwhelmingly point to VPN connection issues (77%), poor video calls (65%), and Wi-Fi connection (51%). And yet, IT Execs report feeling confident they can address certain IT components like VPN performance (40%) and Productivity & Collaboration tools (63%), even though people frequently report problems in those areas!
We also discovered that IT Execs feel less confident in their teams’ ability to innovate. We know from our research back in the beginning of the pandemic (May 2020) that only half (56%) of IT leaders felt confident accurately measuring the impact of new technology rollouts in a remote work or work anywhere setup. Looking at the data from The Nexthink Pulse Report for digital transformation (11%) and application deployment (6%), technology leaders now are less confident in their ability to properly manage those areas.
In 2021, IT Execs Anticipate Challenges Across a Broad Range of Topics
Thinking about the next 12 months and beyond, IT Execs anticipate a broad range of issues that stretch from security teams to HR collaboration. In particular, roughly 1 in 3 IT leaders anticipate challenges with: resources (head count); supporting employee wellbeing; and employee onboarding. And approximately 1 in 4 IT leaders anticipate problems with: application adoption & usage; new tech rollouts (beta-testing); problem identification; and sustaining their WFA model.
The Digital Work Experience Must Be The Top Priority for IT & the C-Suite
The shakeup we all experienced since the pandemic has affected many organizations differently but I think generally speaking, most businesses have realized they can perform their operations just fine remotely. And whether organizations in 2021 and beyond revert back to their previous in-office models, continue 100% remote, or operate in some hybrid version—their digital experience will play a massive role in shaping their employees’ overall productivity and work experience.
From our research, one point has emerged over and over again: Digital Employee Experience is a crucial part of the future of work, and IT leaders are keen to put people at the center of their services.
Jon Cairns, VP Technical Services at Nexthink