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Getting The Digital Workplace Right

by   in IT Operations Cloud

From the great resignation to the great layoff and all the quiet quitting in between, workforces and workplaces are undergoing rapid, sometimes sudden, change.

But two things remain steadfast—the shortage of talented workers and the importance of the employee experience (EX).

According to Gartner, “Organizations are struggling to keep and acquire in-demand talent, especially as the economic downturn reduces staff budgets.” Forrester says the digital employee experience is still important in 2023 and “improving EX is a top IT priority” for sixty percent of technology and business leaders. Add to that Gen Z who are more likely to job hop than older generations, and you’ve got yourself a volatile market.

Where does all this leave organizations striving to thrive in today’s fast, dynamic, digital world? They can start by getting the digital workplace right. IT Service Management (ITSM) has a role to play here by empowering IT to empower employee productivity.

We asked Andrew Roser, enterprise account director at OpenText, to share his insights about the digital workplace and how ITSM can help to shape it. With more than 25 years of experience in ITSM, Andrew knows what he’s talking about. He’s helped a broad range of organizations bring their strategic visions to life.

Employee experiences matter.

Coming out of the pandemic, employees are reassessing their lifestyles and looking for areas to improve. “Despite the great layoff that’s been happening, the shortage of workers is very real,” Roser said. “Companies still need to attract the right talent and provide the right environment to retain them.”

A few years ago, Forrester explored what really drives EX. “Our findings confirm that most of what makes up employee experience is what they experience every day and that having the resources they need to succeed in the work their organizations expect of them is paramount,” wrote Forrester about the Employee Experience Index.

Indeed, employees want to get their jobs done without losing time navigating through organizational complexity. But that’s not reality. Most of the time they’re left sorting through spaghetti-like access and support channels. A research study conducted by HappySignals found that 34% of all tickets get bounced at least once. When that happens, happiness falls (close to 10 points a bounce) and employees lose hours of time.

The perfect digital workplace: “I log in just once at the start of the day.”

The digital workplace allows employees to collaborate, communicate, and make work happen from anywhere.

In the perfect digital workplace, “I navigate easily between systems, I trust that my data is secure, I have everything I need at my fingertips—and oh, I’m not being forced to use a PC,” Roser said. “I log in just once at the start of the day. I work at home, in the office, or someplace else.”

Ask your co-workers how they envision the digital workplace, and you’ll hear about total self-service, well-defined workflows, and work-life balance. “Ideally, IT support is me solving the problem myself, so I can be self-sufficient in my perfect space,” one of our colleagues told us. “Seamless collaboration, hassle-free processes, and flexible work-at-home options,” said another.

To that end, organizations are stepping up their ITSM to meet employee expectations. Modern ITSM gives them a way to deliver experiences that are smart, connected, and increasingly driven by self-service.

Focus first on culture, then tools.

Your journey to the digital workplace starts with a cultural shift.

First, drive user adoption through executive buy-in. According to Roser, executive sponsorship and user adoption go hand in hand. “The if we build it, they’ll come approach doesn’t work for automation,” he said. “Users won’t even know the automation is there.”

Second, rally a team of enthusiastic automation and process experts. “Motivated team members will drive your automation forward. Process owners know how to modernize their processes, IT knows how to automate them,” Roser said.

Third, empower the team with the right automation tools. “A low-code/no-code IT Service Management (ITSM) platform allows for rapid application development, so you can deliver solutions quickly without relying on developer skills,” Roser said.

The right ITSM tool will elevate employee experiences—giving users a choice of communication channels (service portals, mobile apps, or messaging apps like Microsoft Teams) and a balance of human-assisted support and AI-enabled self-service (e.g., AI-generated knowledge articles and well-trained chatbots).

To complement your ITSM tool, bring on an orchestrator to completely automate use cases such as service fulfillment (e.g., reset a password, order a PC), change management (e.g., apply a hotfix to an application), incident management (e.g., remediate a slow PC, restore VPN connectivity), and ESM (e.g., update employee information in multiple HR systems).

Keep your automation agile and attainable.

“Organizations often set grandiose expectations for hyperautomation that are usually unattainable.” Roser said. He suggests taking a practical, more iterative approach. “Keep your automation alive with agility. Change and improve processes when they no longer serve users.”

ESM vs. ITSM: “We’re creating a problem that doesn’t exist.”

We’ve heard a lot lately about Enterprise Service Management (ESM), described as the expansion of ITSM into non-IT functions that include HR, customer service and support, facilities, and finance.

So, is the future of service management ESM or ITSM? On this topic, Roser said, “We’re creating a problem that doesn’t exist. You don’t need to boil the ocean to have a platform that can deliver ESM value. A service is a service, whether it’s for IT or not. To move forward, you need two things—the right team and the right tools.

“Then you’re ready to ask, ‘What’s the next challenge?’”

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Operations Orchestration
Service Management Automation