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Understanding Your People

Understanding Your People

End User Computing & Mobility

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Ebow Barnes

Digital Workspace Solutions Lead

A recent Glassdoor study claimed that 2020 to 2030 is going to be a culture-first decade for employers, meaning that culture and employee experience is key for organisations wishing to attract the best people from the latest talent pool.

The question is, what are we doing to make sure we are part of this trend?

At Softcat we believe that the digital workspace is the experience created by securely connecting people, apps, data and devices. The critical part of this is: people first, technology second. So how can you create the best experience for your people

Listen to the voice of the user

News travels fast. And bad news even faster. Furthermore, people are more likely to share bad experiences than good ones. We have seen an increase in organisations asking Softcat, “Which areas do most organisations focus on to stay ahead of the game?” We think the answer is relatively simple… just ask your people what they want!

We have found that simple interview-based sessions with Line of Business (LOB) managers, heads of departments and people on the frontline can provide incredibly valuable feedback on pain points, challenges, experiences or “a day in the life of” insights. The feedback may be wide and varied, and some responses will be well worn complaints; “I keep getting locked out and password reset is complicated” or “I would like to be able to share content easily in our meeting rooms”. However, you’ll be able to begin to build a broader picture of what people think they need to make them more productive and you may even come across some suggestions that lead to new, innovative ideas to improve your overall workspace.

The value of this exercise can be realised further down the line too. The success of all projects in digital workspace relies on successful adoption. Focusing on the voice of the user and engaging with people early creates an awareness and an appetite for change, which increases adoption rates. This in itself is an important element which I will cover in more depth in another blog – keep an eye out for it.

What other approaches are there to help improve experience?

Use End User Analytics effectively

End user analytics (EUA) can be a great way to find out more about user experience, patterns of behaviour, application usage, device usage or even measuring productivity. But while monitoring infrastructure and networking is a well-trodden path for most organisations, why do so many of us ignore EUA which allow us to closely monitor someone’s experience?

People aren’t contained inside the network any more, we expect to work from almost anywhere. Our traditional tools are perfect for monitoring something centrally, but once we leave the corporate network there are several links in the chain that could lead to a poor experience, from patchy connectivity to overly sensitive security measures.

We should also take into consideration that we are not used to measuring “an experience”. Metrics like IO or latency on your storage array are based on quantitative empirical data, whereas an experience is qualitative, which is much more opinion based and feels harder to quantify. There is definitely an art to getting meaningful results which really hone in on what to focus on to improve productivity, happiness or overall experience, but we know that a little perseverance can go a long way.

What can you expect in return? I believe there are two specific use cases that are the most powerful;

1.       The ability to exploit what you have – EUA allow you to measure countless metrics, enabling you to take steps to improve the weak links in the chain. Even small tweaks can have a huge impact on the overall experience.

2.       The ability to make data driven decisions – Signing off on a project or strategic direction is based on informed decisions, where the risk of heading off in the wrong direction is reduced by taking the guesswork out of the equation.

There are several other applications for EUA, from improving operations to first tier support to migration projects and it can be tempting to rely on analytics alone as the source of truth for all experience related matters. But remember, it’s people first, technology second. Supporting a culture-first workplace means that we need to create people-centric analytics, coupling IT and people to encourage learning loops so innovation is always relevant and fit for purpose.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out what method works for your people, please contact us and speak to someone in our Digital Workspace team.