1E, leader in endpoint management, today released a new report, 2021: Assessing IT’s readiness for the year of flexible working. The report unveils key perspectives of IT workers and managers, with a focus on how organizations have adjusted to supporting an unprecedented number of remote employees and endpoints during the global pandemic. Comparing the results to 1E’s summer report on the remote employee experience has exposed a glaring disconnect between IT and employees that will hold organizations back from evolving with the market and embracing a long-term digital workplace that is successful.
“To achieve this, IT must strike a better balance between vendor agendas and employee needs. The lack of focus on, or even knowledge of, employee priorities will ultimately prove detrimental to the overall success of the business, especially considering the level of employee dissatisfaction.”
IT Out of Touch
It is clear that the physical separation of employees from IT support has compounded existing communication and perception barriers. The survey found IT overwhelmingly lacks knowledge of the remote employee experience, with respondents severely overestimating employee satisfaction and underestimating IT-induced downtime and disruption. One hundred percent of surveyed IT managers believe end users are satisfied with the service desk experience, yet only 44% of remote employees are completely satisfied. Additionally, more than one third (36%) of employees are experiencing more IT issues than ever since working from home, indicating an increase in digital disruption.
“The onus is on organizations to invest in and provide anywhere-based employees with a first-class digital experience, comparable to an in-office experience,” said Sumir Karayi, CEO and founder of 1E. “Employees will only flourish in a remote-first setting with the proper devices, technology, automation and real-time support that promote minimal disruption.”
Further pointing to discrepancies in perception, 76% of IT reported it is easy to diagnose performance issues without disrupting the employee, yet 69% of employees stated they feel disrupted when IT is resolving their issues, highlighting the need for real-time remediation and self-service capabilities.
Making matters worse, there’s an acute lack of communication between IT and employees, which should concern IT organizations because 75% are planning to move from service-level agreements to experience-level agreements to better measure and report on employee satisfaction. Only 50% of service desks ask employees for feedback after the fact and 64% of IT organizations do not routinely ask employees about their IT experience, leaving frustrations unearthed and unaddressed. That said, IT workers are aware of the disconnect, with 93% stating they believe leadership needs to listen to employees about their challenges when working remotely.
Elevating Employee Needs
It’s no surprise that tech trends and vendor agendas play a pivotal role in how IT aligns their roadmaps, but the survey revealed just how dominant these factors are in comparison to employee needs. Seventy-three percent of IT respondents specified that tech trends are the main driving factor for their roadmaps, while only 53% are driven by internal department needs. Furthermore, 55% of IT managers stated their roadmap is completely defined by Microsoft updates policies and technologies, overlooking employee needs entirely. This is especially problematic because 30% of employees expressed concern that IT organizations lack all the necessary tools to support a remote workforce.
“While 2021 presents a real opportunity for IT organizations to drive change that will positively impact the lives of knowledge workers, actually doing so will require greater transparency and dialogue between IT and employees,” said Karayi. “To achieve this, IT must strike a better balance between vendor agendas and employee needs. The lack of focus on, or even knowledge of, employee priorities will ultimately prove detrimental to the overall success of the business, especially considering the level of employee dissatisfaction.”
Endpoint Visibility Gaps
More endpoints are operating outside the network perimeter than ever before, creating blindspots and further contributing to the IT-employee disconnect. Over half (63%) of IT organizations have less than 90% visibility of remote endpoints, which makes it more challenging for IT to see, manage and remediate endpoint issues. In fact, 75% of IT respondents stated it can take hours or even days to retrieve information from endpoints.
This has been detrimentally disruptive to employees. While IT estimated employees are disrupted for an average of 52 minutes when they encounter a problem, 74% of employees state it takes hours, days or even weeks for resolution, negatively impacting their productivity.
High Security Stakes
The visibility gap also impacts IT’s ability to keep endpoints secure, patched and compliant, especially concerning because the importance of security and cyber resiliency is lost on remote employees. Seventy-three percent of employees said they are unconcerned their devices could be hacked by cybercriminals while working remotely, yet IT believes the stakes are higher than ever -- 74% are concerned about their ability to respond to security threats when employees are remote.
Priorities of employees and IT are staggeringly misaligned, especially as it relates to security. 53% of IT managers claimed they spent most of their time working on securing the remote workforce, but on the other hand, security is not within the top three priorities that employees listed for IT organizations. Rather, top employee concerns included preventing IT issues altogether and the speed with which issues are resolved.
To access the full report, visit: https://www.1e.com/wfa-research-2021/.
About the Survey
In partnership with independent technology market research specialist, Vanson Bourne, 1E commissioned two quantitative research surveys upon which this report is based.
● A total of 300 remote workers from U.S. organizations were interviewed in April and May 2020; a total of 300 IT staff were surveyed in October and November 2020. The IT respondents were an equal split between IT managers (150 responses) and IT workers (150 responses) from a range of public and private sector organizations with at least 10,000 employees globally.
● Industries surveyed: IT technology and telecoms; manufacturing and production; business and professional services; retail, distribution and transport; finance and more.
1E offers the only real-time remote endpoint management solution that helps IT deliver an unparalleled digital employee experience. Built around a revolutionary real-time engine, 1E Tachyon helps IT become more efficient, reduce costs and still deliver great employee experiences anywhere. That’s why more than 1,700 organizations in 42 countries trust 1E to help them manage 14 million endpoints seamlessly. For more information, visit www.1E.com
About Vanson Bourne
Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis is founded upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit www.vansonbourne.com
Barokas Communications for 1E