How IT leaders can flip the script and go from zero to hero

April 09, 2024

Sarah Morrison

How IT leaders can flip the script and go from zero to hero image

The working world is in flux. Employees’ IT expectations are sky high, and the emergence of an increasingly transient hybrid workforce makes meeting those expectations even more difficult.

IT decision makers (ITDMs) are charged with equipping workers with the latest technology, while keeping the organization secure and keeping a tight lid on costs. Yet today’s knowledge workers are increasingly able to self-source IT solutions much faster than the IT department can. The resulting gap between expectation and delivery creates a significant issue around knowledge and skill retention as dissatisfied workers jump ship.

At the same time, there is a huge impact on productivity associated with the digital friction and application overload of today’s workplaces. And we’ve not even mentioned the inflated costs of managing infrastructures plagued by badly integrated solutions deployed rapidly during the pandemic.

IT leaders: Look away now

So, what does this complicated backdrop mean for the perception of ITDMs today? In our recent research, we asked 2,000 UK knowledge workers for their thoughts. It doesn’t make great reading for IT leaders (but stay with us, there is an answer). Here are three takeaways.

  • The majority of workers (62%) say IT departments don’t understand how they work, and don’t provide them with a personalized service. This is an increase on the 49% of respondents who felt this way when we asked them in 2021.
  • 40% of respondents regarded digital user experiences as not good enough – higher than the 23% who felt this way in 2021.
  • 39% of workers say they haven’t received enough training for the technology they use to do their jobs – more than double the 17% who said this in 2021.

The fault for the fall in how IT departments are perceived cannot solely be laid at the door of ITDMs. Employees’ expectations of corporate IT are higher today, so they often feel experiences are getting worse or stagnating despite investments in new technology and efforts from IT leaders.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there’s a simple way for ITDMs to change the story.

Embrace DEX for success

Digital employee experience (DEX) analytics offer ITDMs a new approach to understanding user experiences in the context of their organization. DEX analytics are particularly important in managing hybrid working models where digital efficiency is critical. ITDMs need deep visibility into areas of digital friction that hamper the productivity of workers wherever they are based, and DEX analytics deliver that visibility.

Digital friction (read more here) is a particular scourge for the modern knowledge worker, and is often masked by complex technology stacks. Moreover, remote working is by nature impersonal and creates a communication barrier between employees and IT. That means employees often feel the need to “suck up” the impact of hidden digital friction and find their own workarounds. Sometimes they do this out of dedication, other times because of poor feedback channels, and even out of the fear of highlighting problems with hybrid working at a time when “return to the office” mandates are becoming more common.

DEX analytics take the subjectivity out of it and deliver an objective way to assess experiences and quantify employee productivity. Using KPIs that blend data points on low-level technical metrics with configurable analyses, IT leaders can set benchmarks for a consistently “good” user experience and ensure a productive digital workforce.

Scalable Software’s Acumen platform provides insights into work patterns and user journeys that can be used to improve user experiences, streamline disconnected tactical solutions, and drive better ways of working. Find out more here