For years, many organizations have hesitated to build a monitoring strategy for Workforce Experience, focusing on their consumer counterparts instead. A recent IDC Spotlight, sponsored by Catchpoint, suggests those days are soon to be numbered. In this blog, we will explore the key takeaways from the IDC Spotlight on hybrid work trends, entitled, Moving Toward a Hybrid-First Organization with Seamless Connectivity and Collaboration.
- Hybrid work will be the default structure for organizations, with varying amounts of work completed remotely, onsite, or in transit depending on business needs.
- IT has a pivotal role in supporting technology parity for hybrid employees, ensuring they have secure access to resources regardless of their location.
The adoption of hybrid work models is only going one way
Hybrid work has quickly become the de facto model for companies and according to IDC surveys, that trend is set to continue. When asked which work practices and technology investments are most likely to endure, 37% of respondents believed that remote and hybrid work models would remain an embedded part of accepted work practices. Additionally, 34% of respondents highlighted that employee experience as a driver of business growth would remain a top priority.
Interestingly, 39% of IT and business executives surveyed responded that the shift to reliance on cloud-based connectivity and devices, applications, and services would remain the most important. It’s clear that companies are shifting to rely more heavily on these technologies to support hybrid work. IDC comments on this trend: "It's not that organizations are moving away from hybrid work models so much as they are focusing more intensely on the means to deploy them successfully”.
The new challenge for IT
Not surprisingly, IDC finds that the number one challenge for IT in the remote/hybrid workplace is support for remote workers (38.9%). IT teams now must deal with as many individual networks as there are workers. They are directly responsible for ensuring employees can collaborate and get work done irrespective of where their workspace is located, be it remotely, in-office, or in hybrid work locations.
Note how the overall theme of resilience weaves its way through the challenges IT faces in the hybrid workplace.
“There are major concerns around the technology that allows remote and in-office workers to effectively collaborate, access and share critical information, and stay connected with customers and partners. Shared technology and tools not only must level the playing field in terms of connectivity but also should be reliable, available, and trusted.” IDC Spotlight Moving Toward Resilient Hybrid Work, March 2023.
Addressing the challenges of hybrid work
Faced with these issues, many brands turn to technologies that worked in the past, such as Application Performance Monitoring (APM) or Network Performance Monitoring (NPM). These approaches need to be revised to meet the demands of the hybrid workforce effectively. Approximately 80% of performance and availability issues occur outside the organization’s firewall. Companies therefore need ways to collect data from multiple sources and not just their application endpoints. Additionally, businesses no longer have monolithic applications, but tend to have highly distributed microservices that work in tandem to meet user requirements.
The answer, according to IDC, is to prioritize Internet connectivity resilience. “Connectivity (and reachability) is the lifeblood of any organization — if workers can't connect, they can't work. Addressing the Internet connectivity issue has become a major priority, as employees, businesses, and consumers increasingly look for digital resilience, where digital experiences are supported by ubiquitous, reliable, and robust connectivity.”
Benefits of investing in a strong workforce experience
The IDC Spotlight highlights that investing in observability tools to monitor systems and applications would help detect remote connectivity and network performance issues before they impact the workforce - the holy grail of IT initiatives. This is crucial, as what impacts employees unavoidably affects customers. We've all had the experience of waiting a lifetime for a customer support agent to pull up our order or customer record, only for them to apologize for the system being "down". Or what happens when an online transaction takes several minutes or longer to process? Today's savvy customers are quick to vote with their feet.
The survey responses also suggest that Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) are connected. The majority of respondents noted a suspected or defined causal relationship between EX and CX, in which improved EX leads to improved CX. True, this relationship can be difficult to quantify, but as consumers in our daily lives, we frequently encounter situations where a single interaction with a staff member can significantly shape our experience at a retail outlet, during a phone call, or on the Internet.
A strong workforce experience strategy will also positively impact employee morale and retention. “Employees are drawn to organizations that not only prioritize work-life balance but also invest in improved connectivity, robust IT tools, and automation of daily tasks”, says IDC. While they are more mobile than ever, workers still expect the same experience regardless of location. Their inability to connect to business-critical apps will eventually impact morale, leading to reduced productivity, reduced retention, and inevitably, reduced revenue.
Support an anywhere, anytime, hybrid workforce with Catchpoint
Catchpoint's inclusion in the IDC Spotlight highlights the importance of Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) in hybrid work. Catchpoint's Workforce Experience solution is designed to ensure your workforce has the connectivity and reachability they need to work from anywhere, helping to enhance employee experience and productivity at scale. Our IPM platform provides real-time data to identify and troubleshoot connectivity issues and turn them into actionable insights before they impact the workforce.
Download the full paper for more insights into hybrid work trends and how IT can overcome the challenges.
To find out how to support an anywhere, anytime, hybrid workforce, check out our Workforce Experience Solution Brief.
To learn more about Catchpoint IPM and how our five solutions can help you enable Internet Resilience, download the Catchpoint Overview.