One of the most striking things about 2020 is not just the preponderance of political, societal, medical and technical upheavals we have gone through but just how resilient and adaptable people are to all this rapid and unforeseen change. When March 2020 struck and we all had to enter various levels of COVID-19 lockdown, tens of millions of office workers packed up the office and learned how to work entirely remote from any physical bricks and mortar office. Easier said than done – but millions of people and organizations rose to the challenge, and now 80-90% of them want to retain some level of Work from Anywhere flexibility.
To attract, enable and retain the very best digital workforce, organizations are beginning to truly appreciate that the laptop and its associated digital experience is paramount. If a work laptop doesn’t feel responsive, or isn’t enabling a seamless and productive experience, it can be very challenging for the remote worker to remain fully engaged.
The challenge for many businesses has then evolved from simply providing remote connectivity and VPN capability to the remote workforce, to now enabling a top-quality Employee Digital Experience – all while dealing with the inherent challenges of providing remote support to users with heterogenous home networking environments. Compounding these challenges are the heightened expectations around ease of use and self-service by the modern workforce – sometimes even leading to friction between IT departments and the business users they support. Over half of remote workers report that their devices run slower when out of the office, and most workers experience more support issues when working from home than back at the traditional office.
Back in the pre-March 2020, in the ‘good old days’; it was generally straightforward to go to the Service Desk or log a call to have a friendly Support Analyst remediate and fix a troublesome device. Most of us have tapped a support colleague on the shoulder for help at some stage – which is not generally an option for many of us anymore unfortunately.
Quite the opposite – nowadays we don’t have the luxury of a local IT dept to look over our shoulders and ensure everything is patched, secured, fixed and maintained in a timely manner. It is all too easy for ‘Configuration Drift’ to creep in, causing devices to often degrade in terms of performance, security posture and manageability over time.
Which is why ‘preventative maintenance’ has never been more important when managing the complexity of remote IT support and Digital Experience Management. Slow running devices, under-performing applications lead directly to disengaged, frustrated knowledge workers – which directly affects not just productivity and effectiveness but also satisfaction and retention of talent. Organizations which successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the Work from Anywhere world invariably pay close attention to proactive and effective Digital Experience Management. By putting in place the right mix of People, Process and of course Tech, organizations can ensure remote workers devices remain healthy, patched, responsive and secure – without that remote end-user ever needing to do a thing.