Employees Expect Technology at Work to Keep Pace with Technology at Home

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Employees Expect Technology
Employees Expect Technology

Almost 61% of South African internet users prefer using apps and other digital methods for their daily activities. Market research (and personal experience) shows that ordinary, every-day tasks are more enjoyable, more streamlined, and can be accomplished much faster when completed with the help of your smart device.

“According to the latest findings of the AppDynamics App Attention Index, the use of digital services has evolved to become an unconscious human behaviour – a ‘Digital Reflex.’ In the past, consumers used to make a conscious decision to use a digital service to carry out a task or activity. Nowadays, most digital consumers admit that digital services are intrinsic to their daily lives.”

Walk 10,000 steps a day? No problem – I can also catch up on the latest podcast. Have a digital shopping list shared with my family so whoever is out can stock up on what we all need? Sounds good to me.

I recently became one of the growing number of South Africans to own a smart watch, and, even as someone in the IT industry, it made me realise just how much new technology influences my personal life and how broadly it is being adopted across generations as it gets easier to use and we can do more things with it. Now, instead of merely tracking my exercise, my watch pro-actively reminds me to stretch every hour.

Tech companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in user experience. All businesses have customer experience strategies. As users and customers, we have increasingly high expectations. A natural (and growing) realisation for companies then is how our employees expect the technology they use at work to behave just like the technologies they use in their everyday life. Employees want user-friendliness and convenience from their workplace applications, which is pushing many companies to adopt new technologies very quickly.

Could this be a reason why Employee Experience is one of the top trends in enterprise service management?

A recent Forrester study “Service Desk 2020: It’s All About Employee Experience” found that reliable, accessible services fuel innovation and satisfaction.

“Although new technologies emerge every day, employees can’t do their best work because they can’t find the services they need, and when they do, bureaucracy causes unacceptable delays… organisations must look beyond IT service management (ITSM) and provide workers with pain-free, productive, personalized, pervasive, and predictive service.”

Employee Experience is no longer merely an HR problem — it is an organisational challenge. Businesses must critically evaluate whether or not their current products are keeping pace with everyday technology — which the employees they support access on a daily basis in their personal life and are frustrated not to at work. The reality is that there are enterprise service management (ESM) tools that leverage technologies in order to improve employee experience.

Flexible, Adaptable, and Customised. The tools and processes an employee needs to perform their jobs are more localised and vary by workgroup, location, and business unit. Just as we arrange our home screens to readily access the most frequently used apps, ESM should and can provide users with fast, personalised, and consumer-like experience.

Automation. There are now smart home devices that link to your phone and do things such as turn on the lights as you arrive home. Applying advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics, to increasingly automate processes and to eliminate routine manual tasks is the way of the future.

Access to Information and Tools in Real-Time and Anywhere. Empower employees to resolve their own queries or issues with 24/7 access to self-service and mobile applications. Between Google, Alexa, Cortana, and Siri, we can find the answer to nearly any random question immediately. Why should work be any different?

Reduce Silos and Increase Collaboration. Similar to my shared shopping list at home, when you can share more relevant information with the most relevant people, not only do you reduce redundancies but you free up time for more productive tasks.

Security. This is an area we likely all have room to improve upon in our personal life — knowing when it is okay to click on a link from an unknown person, recognizing a scam, or how to help a friend with their Mac if you have a PC. Security risks are increasingly a challenge to organisations and better technology can help manage patching, endpoint security, and application control in a pro-active, compliant manner across all devices and operating systems.

The bottom line is employees expect technology at work to keep pace with the technology they have at home, but the good news is your organisation’s investment in the right ESM solution can exceed those expectations as well as make your business work better.

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