IT teams failing to deliver a positive remote employee experience

Conducted during the coronavirus pandemic, 1E unveils the findings of an analysis of the remote employee experience and the digital workplace in 2020.

remote employee experience

Vanson Bourne and 1E surveyed employees across eight industries in the United States and found that enterprise IT teams are failing to deliver a positive remote employee experience. Data shows IT has more to do in order to prepare their organizations—and employees—for a work from anywhere enterprise in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Never before have we had this level of insight about the experience employees have with their devices—and IT generally—in the post-COVID world. In the work from anywhere enterprise, endpoint management tools are the central nervous system because the endpoint is no longer just a device.

“Endpoints have now become much more personal and integral to the lives of all employees, enabling them to stay connected and work. This research helps businesses understand the new digital employee experience and reimagine the traditional definition of the workplace,” says Sumir Karayi, CEO at 1E.

46m Americans are now totally dependent on their laptop

At its heart, the digital work from anywhere enterprise is about putting people first and serving their needs wherever they choose to work, but the data from the research indicates that IT teams, along with over-burdened and ill-equipped service desks, are struggling to meet the needs of newly remote employees.

Since the start of the pandemic, 46m people have moved from working in the office on a full-time basis to working from home full-time. That’s a significant amount of people forced into new ways of working overnight and who are totally reliant on their laptop for work and communication.

“IT must be able to understand and optimize the employee’s world through the endpoint. But what the research shows is that the speed of change has left legacy IT tools ineffective in their management of remote endpoints and the digital employee experience.

“This research proves that legacy tools must be replaced with a new generation of endpoint management solutions designed to cope with the complexities of the work from anywhere enterprise; they need to be real-time, autonomic, and scalable,” Karayi concludes.

US employees take huge productivity hit when working remotely

98% of US knowledge workers said that device performance is critical to their ability to work remotely but 36m (53%) reported that their device performs slower outside the office and 33m (48%) flagged it as a top three issue that hinders their productivity and overall employee experience.

25m employees (37%) are also experiencing more issues working remotely, and those issues are taking much longer to resolve. 49m employees (72%) are reporting that it takes days and weeks to get issues fixed. Yet more worryingly, 50m employees (74%) experience repeat issues.

But when issues are resolved, 46m employees (68%) are disrupted by the service desk, with only 21m (31%) of employees able to continue their work during the process. Shockingly, 18m employees (26%) said they couldn’t work at all when an issue is being fixed. Needless to say, 50m (74% of employees) are feeling less connected than ever to their colleagues.

“Too often we only ask IT about IT issues. What’s refreshing about this research is that employees took part and were asked how they’re coping in this new normal. The data shows how critical endpoint automation is so employees can just get their work done,” says Paul Hardy, Evangelist, Chief Innovation Office, at ServiceNow.

“The fact that 74% of employees are facing repeat issues proves that a lack of automation doesn’t just impact the employee experience, but further burdens the service desk and holds organizations back from creating meaningful value and growth,” comments Hardy.

“The reality is that COVID has ripped up the enterprise IT book, and it’s time to use research such as this to rewrite the norm.”

The work from anywhere enterprise and the remote employee experience beyond 2020

As well as the employee experience, the research has also found other issues for IT to deal with on the journey to a work from anywhere enterprise.

Most damagingly, security (50m or 73% of respondents aren’t concerned about their corporate device being hacked when working remotely) and software provisioning (24m or 35% of respondents don’t have all the software they need to work from home effectively).

How do industry verticals shape IAM priorities?

IAM priorities differ by industry vertical, and a one-size-fits-all approach to IAM doesn’t work when every industry and business within that industry is unique, according to LastPass and Vanson Bourne.

IAM priorities

Each industry vertical has unique business needs, and as a result has different areas of focus when it comes to their IAM program.

Finance focused on reducing risk, while integrating IAM infrastructure

Financial service organizations deal with higher stakes than most verticals, which inevitably impacts how they manage employee access and authentication.

35 percent of IT professionals in this industry say hackers have gained access to their organizations in the past, which is not surprising given financial institutions experience the highest cybercrime costs out of all verticals at an average of $18.3 million per year.

According to the report, 70 percent of IT professionals in the finance industry say that reducing risk is a top priority and 65 percent state that integrating security infrastructure is their biggest area for improvement.

IT focused on IAM security benefits and prioritizes MFA

As information technology businesses are close to IAM software and managing customer’s data, it’s clear their relationship with technology impacts their IAM strategy. 77 percent in this industry say securing data is their top priority, while improving identity and access management is less of a focus with 61 percent noting that as a priority.

28 percent of IT and security professionals in this industry said they are planning to invest in multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions which will help address their security challenges because MFA helps ensure only the right employees are able to access sensitive data.

IAM priorities

Media needs a secure, automated way to manage user access

Mass communication companies work with an array of external consultants to execute their programs, which leads to a wide array of users, both internally and externally, accessing business resources which complicates IAM.

34 percent of IT professionals in this industry say managing user access is important to their organization, compared to the overall average of all industries (9 percent). 44 percent say end users are demanding an easier to use solution and 49 percent say automating IAM processes is an area for improvement.

“Finance is focused on reducing risk and integrations, IT is prioritizing the security components of IAM, whereas media is focused on improving employee productivity.,” said John Bennett, General Manager, Identity and Access Management Business Unit at LogMeIn.

“It’s clear that flexibility, breadth of functionality and ease of use are critical so businesses can customize their IAM strategy in alignment with their business objectives. Organizations need to evaluate what their business needs are and build their IAM strategy based on those requirements.”

The true costs incurred by businesses for technology downtime

Technology downtime is becoming a huge issue. IT challenges and poor digital work experiences are costing businesses tens of millions of dollars in lost work time and that the problem is much bigger than IT leaders realize, Nexthink finds.

technology downtime

With employees saying that only just over half of workplace technology issues they experience are actually reported to IT, the IT department does not have visibility of the problems that exist in their organizations. For a company with 10,000 employees, this could equate to nearly half a million dollars per week and $25 million per year.

Employees wasting tome on IT-related issues

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, which surveyed 1,000 senior IT decision-makers and 2,000 end users at organizations with at least 1,500 employees across the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany, shows that employees are losing an average of 28 minutes every time they have an IT-related problem. The report also shows that IT decision makers believe employees are experiencing approximately two IT issues per week, wasting nearly 50 hours a year.

However, as only just over half of IT issues are being reported, the numbers are more likely to be nearly double that – close to 100 hours (two work weeks) a year. This has led to a vicious cycle of employees trying to fix IT problems on their own, leading to less engagement with the IT department, which doesn’t have visibility into how the technology is being consumed.

A major disconnect between IT departments and employees

There exists a major disconnect between IT departments and employees, with 84% of employees believing that their organizations should be doing more to improve the digital experience at work. However, a staggering 90% of IT leaders believe that workers are satisfied with technology in the workplace, highlighting the discrepancy between perception and reality of the digital employee experience.

Ironically, innovative IT leaders are exacerbating the problem by introducing new technologies and digital transformation projects without having visibility into the success of these projects. These new technologies negatively impact employees’ digital experiences because IT cannot measure how the change is impacting their day-to-day work.

Technology downtime: Other takeaways and findings

  • When IT issues go unnoticed, things get worse: 79% of respondents agree that when IT issues are not reported, it always leads to bigger issues
  • Digital employee experience is highly important across organizations: 82% view it as ‘very important’ to ‘critical’
  • Inability to measure new IT rollouts: On average, IT departments only have approximately 56% visibility into the success of new technology roll outs, 58% visibility into adoption of the roll out, and 45% visibility into the issues impacting employees’ experiences
  • IT issues at work are commonplace: 61% of respondents agree that IT downtime is an accepted norm in their organizations

“A significant amount of downtime per employee is a reality for many organizations but IT teams don’t have visibility of the poor digital experiences that employees have to put up with,” said Jon Cairns, VP of Global Solution Consulting at Nexthink.

“Every day, employees settle for small IT glitches – slow boot-up times, patchy internet connectivity, programs crashing, etc., but these problems go unreported, unnoticed and amount to more wasted time than we’d like to admit. Combined, all of this hurts productivity, morale, organizational culture, employee retention and ultimately the top and bottom line for millions of businesses. Add in the fact that so many of us are all working remotely during the current crisis and the problem may be much bigger than the research shows.”

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