Enterprises are trying hard to gain meaningful insights into the digital experience of employees, which is directly proportional to more engaged employees, better productivity, and well-being. Organizations need to convert those insights into meaningful actions using AIOps and continuous improvement for enhanced consumption of technology services.
- I&O leaders in the enterprise are struggling to adapt to the variety of devices being used by employees along with the networks they connect from remote offices and homes. This situation has escalated because of the pandemic leading to hybrid ways of working
- The vast amount of telemetry data is hard to process and organizations usually get lost in it. Taking out meaningful insights and sifting through the noise is extremely hard and thus doesn't lead to expected outcomes
- Understanding the context of the issues degrading technology experience and then fixing them promptly is a huge challenge. Overloading the already burdened IT teams to fix these issues proactively is hard to accomplish and adds to more costs
Digital workplace I&O leaders must:
- Create central digital experience teams with the sole responsibility to run these programs parallelly across all the infrastructure verticals viz. endpoints, security, networks, cloud, and applications. This team will be the glue to tie-in all the other teams and look at the technology metrics holistically. Thus, they take actions as required to improve workplace productivity and competitive advantage
- Continuously automate recurring issues and invest in tools and APIs which integrate with various enterprise platforms to get a central view of the IT landscape. They must focus on shift-left strategies and let users intuitively remediate problems themselves using chatbots and virtual assistants which remove the burden from IT teams and increase user experience
Digital workplace leaders now understand that it is critical to monitor and improve the user experience of technology services being consumed by employees as well as external customers of the organization. However “Only 30% of employees think IT is fully equipped to support the remote workforce.”
To remove the above gap, organizations need to form a central digital experience monitoring (DEM) team that runs parallel to all other infrastructure verticals such as endpoints, networks, security, applications, and the cloud. This team should have full authority and report directly to the CIO to function efficiently and without hindrance. It is critical to do this to remove friction across teams and own their areas of improvement.
DEM teams should look at key parameters in conjunction with existing incident data which can result in a tangible experience improvement. These parameters should be monitored from existing technology toolsets such as SCCM, Intune, or other device management solutions along with network and application logs. With further maturity, all these parameters should be fed into central business intelligence platforms such as Power BI, Splunk, and ServiceNow etc. With the increasing structured data availability, DEM teams should start developing automation to fix these issues on their own which either could be run centrally by IT teams or users themselves.
Integration with chatbots and virtual assistants is critical as the final step which utilizes natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) to maintain the context of the conversation. Building automation is a key step for IT leaders for the success of these programs and should not be overlooked to reap the full benefits of the DEM tools.
Maintaining the context of the experience metrics is important. For example, a user using an application in the office on his laptop vs another user on the road using the same application via his phone are two different contexts and should be dealt with as such. Furthermore, all this technical data should be correlated with user perception data which is critical to making these programs a success. This can be collected via user surveys and targeted campaigns to get user views on how they are interacting with technology.
Figure 1: The image depicts an organization's digital experience journey as per the increasing maturity and complexity of automation implemented.
These are certain use cases that organizations can implement in increasing order of complexity in automation as they mature in their Digital Experience Management journey:
- Gain device insights such as crashes, blue screens, memory utilization, log-on times, app crashes, and target devices accordingly with proactive fixes
- Instead of following a standard asset refresh cycle, problematic chronic devices should be replaced earlier whereas sweating of healthier assets (utilize devices for a longer period of time which have no issues at all instead of replacing them at a standard interval, for e.g. every 3 years for laptops etc.)
- Automatic device provisioning with self-service for application deployment workflows, including in-built approval workflows
- Monitor network tools to look at response times, and latency across network segments, and optimize applications as per their performance across various device sets and networks.
- Assign user devices and applications as per user persona. For example, virtual desktops for contractors or remote users, high-configuration devices for developers, power users, etc.
- Integrate performance data with incident management tools in a single pane of glass which empowers the service desk to see the health of the device and take meaningful actions
- Monitor SaaS apps and with integrated dashboards quickly identify whether the issue is in the device, networks, or the third-party app provider, and proceed accordingly
- Deploy chatbots and virtual assistants and integrate AIOps to fix user issues on their own. For example, a user asks why my application crashed? Or why is my system slow? The chatbot can understand the context after looking at the device network and other systems and answer accordingly such as: You have an older version of the application; do you wish to upgrade it now? Or your system is running low on resources and I can kill the applications which have not been used for X number of hours etc.
- Chatbots should further be able to log incidents with all the underlying metrics of the issue at hand, along with user sentiment and perception data to live service desk agents
It is imperative for organizations to start on their digital experience journeys and if already started to continuously improve them for better end-user experiences resulting in higher productivity and employee retention. I&O leaders should integrate and manage DEM as a critical service that is integrated across verticals instead of running it in a silo to reap the full benefits. Thus, it becomes a workplace of the future that inspires and empowers employees to do their best work.
HCL Tech’s WorkBlaze and Profile Kaleidoscope offerings, along with proprietary NLP/NLU-based chatbots, are already helping customers in achieving a better digital experience along with higher employee retention and productivity.
Footnotes, references and further reading