2021: Assessing IT’s readiness for the year of flexible working

Based on employee and IT experiences of remote working during 2020

When all knowledge workers were told to stay home, IT organizations across the world rose to the challenge of keeping businesses running. This extraordinary feat spurred us to commission Vanson Bourne to survey 150 IT workers and 150 IT managers in large U.S. organizations to benchmark their experiences and perceptions in 2020 against those of employees.

Explore the highlights here or read the full report that includes a checklist to self-assess your readiness for flexible working in 2021.

IT organizations:The driving force of change

A single year transformed our perceptions about the feasibility of large-scale remote working. Now, more organizations than not are on the path to embracing anywhere work.

In 2021, IT organizations will drive the biggest change in the digital workplace—and it will be their key priority. But to enact meaningful long-term change, IT must reconnect with the employees they support.

The IT-employeedisconnect in 2020

When employees left their offices at the start of 2020, IT lost sight of their customers. They became less visible and more difficult to connect with (both literally and technically), and their experiences became more difficult to monitor, measure, and manage. The end result was a stifling of meaningful interactions between employees and IT, culminating in employee apathy to IT support.

The IT-employee disconnect in 2020
The IT-employee disconnect in 2020
The IT-employee disconnect in 2020

The lack of mutual understanding likely stems from inefficient means to solicit feedback from employees and tune into sentiment. Surprisingly, two-thirds (64%) of IT organizations don’t routinely ask end users about their IT experience. Even when a major deployment takes place, less than half (42%) ask how satisfied end users are with the change.

The service deskexperience in 2020

IT workers admit that they were not well-equipped to cope with service desk demand in 2020, with 69% stating they found IT issues more difficult to fix. IT was in a constant battle against the odds in 2020 as IT issues surged and resolution times escalated. Although they tried their best to diffuse this situation, their efforts were limited.

The service desk experience
The service desk experience in 2020

The end result was a significant rise in digital disruption both when experiencing the IT issue and when it was being resolved. This undoubtedly impacted employees’ ability to work, stay engaged, and be productive outside the office walls.

Diagnosing and remediatingdigital experience issues

An area where employees and IT are greatly aligned is the importance of endpoints to employees. Arguably, the biggest realization of 2020 was just how reliant organizations are on endpoints for business continuity.

Diagnosing and remediating digital experience issues
Diagnosing and remediating digital experience issues

Yet, endpoint performance issues were a pervasive problem in 2020. The problem boils down to inefficient means to diagnose and remediate endpoint issues. In fact, IT resolution was likely to be as disruptive as experiencing the problem itself.

Diagnosing and remediating digital experience issues
69%

Operationalized and automated remediation

Most IT issues required manual intervention in 2020, impacting resolution speed and the cost per ticket. It’s no wonder IT respondents rated automation as a top strategic priority post-covid to tackle the surging demand on IT.
Self-service portals have become a popular way to democratize access to automated IT support, but employee adoption remains low.

Operationalized and automated remediation
Operationalized and automated remediation
Operationalized and automated remediation

What’s surprising is that three-quarters of IT respondents (76%) see chatbots as “living up to the promise of automated IT resolution”. Yet, there’s clearly been little education around their advantages to employees.

Security

Worryingly, IT organizations felt their security posture was significantly compromised by the increase in remote workers. There was good reason for IT to worry about cybersecurity last year—and there still is today. Remote workers expressed a concerning lack of interest in security in 2020 and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Security
Security
Security
Security

Realignment of IT roadmaps to user needs

All the key findings in the report point to an urgent need to realign IT roadmaps to user needs. Surprisingly, IT is more likely to be driven by tech trends than internal department needs.

The latest tech trends can present real opportunities to close the gaps in IT infrastructure, but only if enterprises can separate those opportunities from investments that pose the risk of being relegated to shelfware.

Realignment of IT roadmaps to user needs
Realignment of IT roadmaps to user needs

Download the full report and readiness assessment

Right now, significant obstacles stand in IT’s way of embracing flexible working that derive from inefficient IT practices and technology. Fill in the form to:

  • Download the full report to get all the insights you need to make critical decisions about your IT infrastructure in 2021.
  • Access the readiness assessment of factors to consider when moving to flexible working based on the report’s key findings.
2021: Assessing IT’s readiness for the year of flexible working