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New research from Scalable – nearly 10% of the working week is being wasted as IT departments struggle to improve digital experience

  • Posted by: Lindsey Tyner

Traditionally, IT has been seen as the department that provides technology to the business and fixes that technology when it breaks. But in today’s modern hybrid workplaces, there is a great reliance on digital channels for frictionless communication, innovation and collaboration. That means how IT leaders are judged is changing. IT no longer just fixes broken tech, it is responsible for delivering excellent digital experiences and keeping employees productive wherever they are.  

Today’s workplace is digital, but what are IT leaders doing to improve digital experiences for employees?  

To find out, we asked 400 IT decision makers (ITDMs) in the US and UK for their views. The results are launched this week in our new research report, The evolution of the IT department: From break/fix to the backbone of the modern enterprise.

The report explores to what extent ITDMs are aware of the impact poor digital experiences are having on workers, how productivity is assessed, and what strategies are being used to measure, identify and fix these issues. Here are some of our key findings: 

  • Technology is significantly impacting productivity

The results found employees lose on average nearly four hours (3.78) of working time a week to non-performant technology and digital employee experience shortcomings. This lost time is stark against the backdrop of ‘productivity paranoia’ around hybrid work, with 90% of ITDMs reporting productivity paranoia as an issue in their organization. 

  • Productivity measurements are outdated and limited  

Despite concerns about productivity, the survey exposes real gaps in the tools IT departments have access to, which impacts their ability to gather data and evidence that would allow an accurate productivity assessment. Many businesses continue to rely on insufficient and subjective metrics such as work volume or ‘output’ (67%), line manager assessments (56%) and time-tracking software (51%) – running the risk of conflating being online with being productive.

  • ITDMs know digital friction exists, but are unable to measure it

Comparing these results with our previous survey, we found that knowledge workers and ITDMs identify the same top three causes of digital friction. Yet, when analyzing digital experience, IT teams are still using reactive and irrelevant metrics, such as volume of IT support tickets/requests (67%), service desk performance (60%) and employee self-assessment (48%). IT teams have little to no insight into how tasks are completed, what digital friction the employee is dealing with, or where workflows could be optimized to improve efficiency.

Evolving beyond the “break/fix” mindset 

The findings show that despite their best intentions, ITDMs are struggling to gain the full picture of how digital experience is impacting employees’ productivity and performance. Knowledge-based jobs don’t lend themselves to easy quantification of outputs, making output a poor measure of productivity. What’s more, businesses lack visibility into where digital friction occurs and what can be done to optimize workflows. 

As Mark Cresswell, Scalable Co-Founder comments, “With the workplace now being a primarily digital experience, IT departments must move beyond a break/fix view of supporting employees. The focus must include the elimination of digital friction, and the objective measurement of productivity to support a hybrid working environment.”

As the demands on ITDMs change, they must take a new approach that centers on digital employee experience (DEX). IT leaders need access to data that helps them identify and tackle the productivity barriers that exist in the digital workplace. By adopting sophisticated DEX analytics, businesses benefit from optimized employee productivity and reduced digital friction, leading to a happier workforce and a healthier bottom line. 

The full report, The evolution of the IT department: From break/fix to the backbone of the modern enterprise is available here: [https://www.scalable.com/2024-digital-employee-experience-new-research]

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