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Technology Challenges Lead to Lost Productivity, Study Suggests

May 1, 2020

By Kevin Marrs, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Employers continue to face many technical challenges as they seek to ensure business continuity during the pandemic and the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order implemented by Governor Whitmer.  For some organizations, the transition to remote work was seamless. Infrastructure and equipment were in place, and the shift to remote work was simply a matter of making permanent what was once only occasional or reserved for a select few.  For other organizations, it meant procuring equipment and new technology as well as reengineering how work is done all in an effort to keep business moving and employees productive.

Although Michigan’s lockdown is more than a month old, now is not the time to lose sight of these challenges.  Why?  According to a recent study by Nexthink, a global leader in digital employee experience management, information technology challenges and poor digital work experiences are costing businesses tens of millions of dollars in lost work time.  Their research, conducted by independent research firm Vanson Bourne, shows that employees are losing an average of 28 minutes every time they have an IT-related problem.

The study suggests that employees experience at least two IT-related issues per week wasting nearly 50 hours per year.  The study also suggests that many issues go unreported which could double yearly estimates of downtime.

“A significant amount of downtime per employee is a reality for many organizations, but IT teams don’t have visibility of the poor digital experiences that employees have to put up with,” said Jon Cairns, VP of Global Solution Consulting at Nexthink. “Every day, employees settle for small IT glitches – slow boot-up times, patchy internet connectivity, programs crashing, etc., but these problems go unreported, unnoticed, and amount to more wasted time than we’d like to admit. Combined, all of this hurts productivity, morale, organizational culture, employee retention, and ultimately the top and bottom line for millions of businesses. Add in the fact that so many of us are all working remotely during the current crisis, and the problem may be much bigger than the research shows.”

Other survey findings:

  • Nearly 80% of those responding (79%) agree that when IT issues are not reported, it often leads to bigger issues

  • 61% of respondents agree that IT downtime is an accepted norm in their organizations

  • The survey also finds that it is difficult to measure the impact of new technology. Data from Nextthink suggests that IT departments only have approximately 56% visibility into the success of new technology roll outs, 58% visibility into adoption of the roll out, and 45% visibility into the issues impacting employees’ experiences.

Why is this important now?  The data from Nexthink serves as an important reminder that even during normal periods, IT-related issues often go unreported or accepted within an organization.  Employees either accept issues as the norm and do nothing or try to implement fixes themselves or design work arounds leading to greater complexity within the organization.  Organizations may want to take the time now to audit employees regarding their experiences with technology to identify challenges.

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