Only one in three UK businesses are employee engagement 'Superusers'
New Telstra research of 200 IT decision-makers in the United Kingdom has identified a superior category of top performing organisations – termed Superusers – who are working most closely with employees to exceed and adapt to their expectations of the modern workplace.
Martin Bishop, Head of Network, Applications & Services, Telstra Global Enterprise & Services, said one third of UK organisations have achieved Superuser status, with the manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors having a higher proportion of Superusers than others.
"According to Telstra's research, employees from organisations classified as Superusers are not just demanding physical hardware for collaboration; they are expecting the software and services to enable them to do this, too," he said.
"More than a third of organisations classified as Superusers globally are experiencing very significant demand from their employees for collaboration tools. This same group has also witnessed the appetite for collaboration tools, such as Telstra's global cloud-based unified communications service, increase over the last two years – much more so than ordinary users."
Today over half of UK workers (57 per cent) expect their IT department to provide remote access, while 60 per cent demand mobility and 48 per cent desktop virtualisation, Telstra's research revealed. These user expectations have emerged as employees become savvier about the growth of cloud services, with demand for BYOD (47 per cent) and content collaboration (38 per cent) expected to also increase in the future.
"Clearly, the implementation of IT products and services is no longer just about finding the most appropriate solution for the organisation. End-users now play a critical role in IT deployment and adoption, which means organisations cannot afford to ignore their demands, especially in the current environment where employees are more aware than ever about the technology available to them," said Martin.
"By engaging with employees to fully understand their expectations, organisations can stay ahead of the curve and in-turn benefit from the potential rewards of greater communication and collaboration, including better decision-making, faster identification of new business opportunities and greater job satisfaction."
The research also revealed that despite a third of organisations achieving Superuser status, two thirds have not, with nine out of ten IT leaders stating they find it a challenge to effectively implement all the technology tools employees expect to use to communicate in the workplace, from telepresence to desktop virtualisation and enterprise social networks.
Despite UK IT leaders considering end-user expectations more than ever before, half claim their organisation has higher priority IT projects than delivering technology that meets employee's needs. Telstra's research warns that this could cause problems for the company, including shadow IT and additional costs.
"Traditionally, hardware and software issues were the key challenges of introducing and implementing new technologies. However this appears to be shifting, with more than three quarters of IT decision makers claiming resistance from people is now either equally or more difficult to overcome," continued Martin.
"Today, employees are putting significant pressure on IT departments to provide them with the collaboration tools that enable remote working and mobility. Despite this, our research shows that improving user experience, promoting innovation and enhancing internal collaboration all ranked behind security, efficiency and cost reduction IT initiatives, demonstrating that many end users aren't getting the attention they deserve."
"As a result, some businesses run the risk of employees bypassing the IT department and sourcing their own alternatives – in a trend known as shadow IT – potentially leaving the company exposed to security risks and hidden cost implications. Our research shows almost one third of UK organisations already find shadow IT challenging, with one in two larger enterprises citing this as a concern globally."