IT Survey

Remote and hybrid work models continue to reshape the IT landscape in 2024, bringing opportunities and significant challenges.

According to a recent report from Ivanti on digital employee experiences (DEX), the shift towards remote work is placing a substantial burden on IT professionals, ultimately impacting the digital employee experience.

One of the most pressing issues is the lack of necessary tools for IT workers to perform their jobs effectively. Alarmingly, one in five IT professionals report not having full visibility into the workplace applications employees use. Despite the critical need for comprehensive IT asset management, only 43% of IT teams use an endpoint management solution, and a mere 39% employ an IT Asset Management (ITAM) solution.

The data highlights a significant gap in the effectiveness of tech tools when working remotely.

While 85% of IT workers spend at least part of their week working from home, 27% feel that their tools are less effective in a remote setting.

This inefficiency is compounded by the fact that nearly half of IT professionals (47%) believe they need to be in the office to be productive, a sentiment that is notably 16 points higher than that of their non-IT office counterparts.

Bob Grazioli, CIO at Ivanti, said DEX functions as a framework for creating a holistic view of what the organization looks like.

“It allows companies to develop the baseline of realistic KPIs that capture device performance and user satisfaction,” he said. “DEX brings together a complete and comprehensive view of IT assets and their performance.”

From there, investing in robust self-service resources and self-healing automation can help empower end users to resolve issues without relying on traditional remediation methods.

The Ivanti report found more than half (56%) of IT workers report an increase in helpdesk ticket volume, a trend consistent with previous years.

The rise in tickets is largely attributed to challenges with software deployments, network reliability, and security incidents.

This surge in workload is straining IT resources and contributing to burnout, with nearly one in four IT professionals (23%) reporting a colleague’s resignation due to burnout in the past year.

Juniper Networks CIO Sharon Mandell said global IT teams have been hybrid since long before the pandemic, and will continue to be so, and be effective regardless of obstacles – because, economically, they must be.

“I look to continuously improve the tools available to improve the digital experience – not just for my team, but the entire organization,” she said.

She added knowing that lack of tools to make the hybrid experience an “equal” one would remain a challenge for some time.

“However, I try to think about which roles require physical proximity at times for success and work to engineer both how and where I hire to facilitate that where possible, and where not, invest in key times where the team needs to be together through periodic face to face meetings,” she said.

Mandell said one also must be cognizant of what one’s employees are doing with their time and schedules.

“Is someone who’s coming to the office eight hours a day also going home and spending another four or five on Zoom calls to another time zone and continent?” she asked. “If yes, one needs to think about adapting organizational and work structure to relieve that burden, as those types of things become unsustainable.”

Struggles with Remote Collaboration and Support

Despite the desire to enjoy the benefits of remote work, many IT professionals find their current tools inadequate for offsite tasks: Just 46% said it’s easy to access tech tools when working remotely.

Moreover, IT teams face significant challenges in collaborating with colleagues, being visible to managers, and receiving tech support when they are not in the office.

To ensure that IT tools and technologies are effective no matter the location, companies should track DEX to pinpoint areas that need attention/investment while investing in technology that handles repetitive tasks automatically.

They can also apply workflow automation to both employee-facing activities as well as back-office workflows.

Patrick Albert, vice president of product at Auvik, said leveraging modern endpoint management and SaaS management tools can provide IT managers with key visibility into applications being used across the workforce, regardless of whether employees are working on-site or remotely, and utilizing installed applications or SaaS apps.

“It’s critical to leverage tools and technologies that don’t require either VPNs or in-office visits to effectively manage their endpoints,” he said. “Companies can start by designing and optimizing for a fully remote working environment.”

Albert recommended prioritizing the ability to maintain consistent visibility into anything that can affect the employee experience, no matter where or when they work.

“Visibility is the key to providing a consistent IT experience,” he said.

Grazioli said it is vital to develop an overarching strategy around access to enterprise applications.

“Your tooling cannot be unique to a geographical location or what capabilities are required when you’re working remotely,” he said. “Your tooling must be agnostic – whether someone is remote or in office.”

The Introduction of AI

AI can continue to free up IT talent for more valuable projects, handle repetitive tasks automatically and apply workflow automation to both employee-facing activities as well as back-office workflows.

“By freeing them up, it creates time for them to evolve their skills and training for more demanding tasks,” Grazioli said.

He explained before the introduction and capabilities of AI, remote workers had the challenge of always having to create a ticket and being more interactive with the support desk when they needed to resolve issues.

“This made it difficult to have certain problems resolved quickly,” he said.

However, with AI today, we can look at tickets, categorize them more efficiently and decide where they need to be routed. If necessary, they can be routed to bots to automate and resolve issues faster.

“This allows us to scale and support remote workers in the same way as someone working in the office,” Grazioli said.

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