While no one could have expected the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, experts had warned some global pandemic was coming. Even with the warnings, many companies weren’t prepared. With all we’ve learned since 2020, how can we futureproof our businesses against the unknown?
What the Pandemic Taught Us
A company like mine, which is 100% remote, had an easier time than those with large workforces in the office.
In-person offices had to switch to virtual, sometimes in less than 24 hours. This left some without laptops, and others had to employ a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy, with employees using personal devices for work.
The switch revealed several gaps in the way we do business. There were security holes like Zoom hacking incidents and legal challenges with contracts that secure servers and communication due to sensitive information. Questions arose like “how do you keep devices secure when not in the office or if the company doesn’t own them?”
Internet connectivity and software issues are not something new, but with employees confined to their homes, it had workforces troubleshooting in isolation, leading to frustration and lost work time. IT leaders needed to find a way to empower employees, provide a smooth digital experience, see and fix problems before the user was aware of them–maximizing uptime, productivity, and business performance.
We learned our technology had holes, and without a sustained effort, we would lose touch with our most important asset–employees.
How to Prepare for the Future
Companies need to be agile and adaptable against a backdrop of uncertainty and a shifting workforce. We need to prepare for the future by plugging holes in:
Security: protecting against external agents and dealing with devices the company doesn’t own
Software: allowing collaboration, learning, and optimization
Employee digital experience management: helping cultivate employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction
IT As Partner
Securing end-user devices, keeping them running smoothly, and administering department-specific software has brought IT out of its silo, resulting in IT becoming business partners for each department.
The best way businesses can empower this partnership is to supply systems data allowing IT to see how employees interact with technology – no matter where they work. Having a Digital Experience Management (DEM) platform is important, but not just any DEM will do. Platforms should gather:
A rich depth of data
Data from across the entire estate-whether programs are up or down.
This kind of DEM enables IT to maximize employees’ digital experience, increasing job satisfaction and organically resulting in better performance.
Beyond employee experience, enhanced DEM capabilities reveal vulnerabilities, like the recent Log4j. While major infosecurity software missed the Log4j vulnerability, Lakeside Software caught Log4j, and also helps illustrate a necessity of strong DEM: continuous data gathering. Many platforms only gather data periodically or while a program is running. It’s important to choose DEM that will gather data continuously so that all vulnerabilities are caught and dealt with.
A successful DEM ensures employees have a seamless working experience. In an IDC study, 85% of employees said a better employee experience and higher engagement results in a better customer experience. And the visibility into computer activity that DEM platforms offer can be used to enhance employee experience in other ways as well, like ensuring that they are caring for their own needs. For instance, an alert can be programmed to pop up when the user is active for a few hours, reminding them to take a short break, stretch, or decompress.
The digital experience doesn’t stop at optimizing functionality. It also plays a part in helping employees learn. Supporting employees remotely has proven a challenge for businesses used to building in-person relationships. One way to overcome this is to use tools that help employees upskill and grow in their roles. Using app integration is a key strategy ExpertusOne implements in their learning management system (LMS), enabling employers to reach their employees wherever they work. Centralizing important information and training in a cloud-based LMS allows everyone to share resources, collaborate, and learn, no matter the device capability.
The best way to shore up the future is to learn from today’s shortcomings. Leaders should focus on employee welfare and digital experience to ensure teams do their best work. With creative, outside-of-the-box thinking and innovative tech, we are seeing a new workforce that, with support and time for adaptation, will flourish.