IT-powered employee experience

Technology is transforming employee experience for the modern workplace. Sridhar Iyengar, managing director at Zoho and ManageEngine Europe, explains
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How will employee experience drive the future of work?

The way we work is undergoing fundamental changes as digitalisation and technology create new opportunities for businesses. Digital transformation is impacting every area of activity in the workplace and is driven by a workforce that’s mostly distributed. Hybrid working is transforming the approach to office work and bringing new challenges and opportunities.

Businesses must strike the right balance between focusing on employees and customers. Organisations are realising that happy employees are crucial to driving a good customer experience. This is transforming the way organisations treat their workforce. Technology is an essential component of creating a positive experience for the distributed workforce, so investments, policy and workflows are all orchestrated to make life easier for the employees.

How are organisations using IT to deliver a consistent employee experience across every digital medium?

Modern workplaces are mobile and digital, so IT is influencing businesses like never before as workplace experience is increasingly driven by tools or solutions that are implemented across the organisation. Our recent study shows that 82% of decision-makers believe the collaboration between IT teams and other departments has increased over the last two years.

Certain objectives can only be achieved by the efforts of IT teams as they collaborate with departments to transform the employee experience. Together, they are making some impressive achievements, such as improved service delivery and workflow automation. They’re finding ways to enhance productivity by removing barriers to work, and they’re enabling mobility without compromising on security.

A truly digital enterprise is one where technology is democratised

What steps can organisations take to ensure collaboration and co-working fuel innovation in the modern environment?

This is an era where innovation has become vital to market success. A truly digital enterprise is one where technology is democratised, collaboration happens in real-time, and teams are self-organising.

To create an environment where innovation occurs successfully and at speed, organisations are implementing automation and integration of enterprise-wide IT-to-business workflows and orchestrations. They are applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an adaptive user experience. Organisations are also allowing employees a self-service approach across different locations, devices and channels.

How can IT departments optimise the employee experience while protecting the network from cyberattacks?

While digital security is essentially the responsibility of the cybersecurity team, businesses in the UK and Ireland are realising that everyone must play their part in securing networks. Our study found that 23% of decision-makers in the UK and Ireland believe that employees are responsible for cybersecurity too, which is much higher than the global average of 7%.

The big question becomes how IT teams can reduce the attack surface without compromising the end user’s comfort. Security teams must monitor anomalies in the behaviour of users to reduce insider attacks. Securing endpoints means ensuring that when employees enter the organisation’s network, they have the relevant access privileges and that their devices are not compromised. Using multi factor authentication is vital to minimising risks. At the same time, staff should only be permitted access to areas of the network that are relevant to their work.

How can organisations future-proof themselves against the challenges of decentralised working, digitalisation and automation?

Organisations need to upgrade their policies, processes and technologies to ensure high levels of employee motivation in a frictionless and secure environment and staff need to be trained. The workplace should be driven by a single-touch workflow, which automates work processes. Workloads should be powered by a full-stack monitoring and correlation platform to help detect anomalous user behaviour and intrusions, prevent data loss, control network access and improve service delivery.

To respond to cyber threats without affecting the speed of business, organisations can adopt best practices such as the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Essentials framework. This helps mitigate cyberattacks and maintain a strong security posture without affecting productivity.

In a nutshell, employee experience will drive the future of work in the coming years.

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