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The Secret to Solving the Great Resignation? Tap Into IT Operations

The Secret to Solving the Great Resignation? Tap Into IT Operations

As remote and hybrid work models continue to take shape amid the Great Resignation, there’s one critical mistake businesses are making in their efforts to mitigate burnout: relying solely on HR to solve the problem.

Once the quiet heroes of in-person work, IT operations teams have soared to the forefront of digital transformation in a remote or hybrid workplace. With a staggering 77% of U.S. employees expressing reluctance to work on-site full time, employees face key hurdles that only tech experts can address, including lack of remote security, confusing data sharing processes, and siloed operational systems.

To counteract inefficiencies, organizations need to tap into the right stakeholders and information keepers in IT and security operations to identify and address technology weak points, reinvent software applications and promote virtual collaboration.

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The changing role of IT Operations in a hybrid world

Imagine you have to present a deck to a client, but the company server fails minutes before your remote video meeting. A word of advice: First ask them to reboot the system — then get them working on revamping it. Your IT strategy can’t rely on hard resets to troubleshoot anymore.

While work culture and expectations tend to dominate the conversation around burnout, the changing role of IT cannot be overlooked in a hybrid world. While IT operations’ responsibilities vary across organizations, a strong IT operations team will monitor IT servers and systems, develop department policies, resolve help desk escalations, and oversee upgrades and installations in an in-person landscape.

When working remotely, IT teams are uniquely positioned to make hybrid workplaces more efficient, accessible, and functional for remote employees — all while safeguarding valuable company data.

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Factors including lack of access to proper tools, easily disconnected applications, and the security risks of a remote environment can decrease employee morale. Furthermore, a lack of automation of vital collaboration tools can lead to longer work hours and to burnout.

Other hurdles include:

Weak data backup protocols.

While 90% of companies back up their data, a mere 41% back it up on a daily basis. While organizations continue to rely on their Cloud provider’s required backup structure, remote and hybrid work environments increase the risk of cyber attacks and leave employees vulnerable to security breaches.

Siloed operational systems hinder productivity.

Forty-three percent of supply chain executives believe their operational systems lack optimization and automation planning, which negatively affects decision-making. With most organizations using spreadsheets to manage complex workflows, IT operations professionals are often tasked with unifying operational systems in one place to offer better access for remote workers.

Data fluidity causes security vulnerabilities.

As employees shuttle between a home office and work, data no longer sits strictly within the four walls of the office on a physical server. With an increasing number of employees are bringing their laptops further afield and migrating to the Cloud, weak data backup protocols and process backlogs add to the security strain on IT teams, making it harder than ever for employees to work efficiently.

The key to mitigating employee burnout? Humanize IT operations

Those who prefer to work full-time remotely noted they are more productive and mentally healthier in a remote environment — and a strong IT infrastructure is key to success. It’s on IT operations to develop the solutions that will improve employee retention and contribute to the end of the Great Resignation.

IT is constantly innovating and integrating software, but they may not be experts in implementing relevant software. IT operations should determine what works, what’s cost-effective, and the speed at which it is happening.

Here are three ways your IT operations teams can improve security, spark collaboration, and give employees peace of mind in a new era of virtual collaboration.

Avoid application overload.

The integration of applications increases your organization’s level of vulnerability to hacking and other security threats. Rather than adding new applications to an existing framework, IT teams should build out a strategy that integrates the right applications into an organization’s long-term digital transformation journey.

Ask employees what they want.

In many organizational frameworks, the director of IT determines which applications and software solutions are right for their employees. However, they might not know exactly which budgeting software the chief revenue officer needs or applicant screening platform the HR department could use. As the role of IT continues to evolve, technology leaders should survey their teams regularly on how current technology is serving them, and which pain points need to be addressed moving forward.

Adapt security protocols to employees’ work lives.

Remote and hybrid environments create new security requirements to protect teams from cyber threats and keep essential data secure. However, security issues should not hinder employees’ access to data and relevant information. IT teams can — and should — conduct regular security assessments to determine how security processes can be optimized for both hybrid and remote access. By building a robust strategy driven by IT operational expertise, you can tailor security protocols to individual department needs.

Take control of shadow IT.

Remote and hybrid work has rendered the mix of corporate and non-corporate web services at work a necessity. Staff often use file sharing, messengers, and other SaaS tools to improve efficiency. The incorporation of shadow IT, or independent collaboration tools on employee devices, can help employees do their job better —  but can also leave infrastructures vulnerable to cyber attacks. Rather than blocking all access to all non-corporate services, IT operations teams should survey teams to gain visibility into what unauthorized apps are at play, and then integrate these tools into standard corporate resources.

Combat employee burnout through streamlined hyper automation.

A lack of automation and cumbersome security requirements are major contributors to employee burnout. As IT leaders determine how to optimize remote or hybrid work for long-term success, consider how to build a framework of multiple technologies that unite to address a company’s specific needs. Trade tools that address siloed pain points for automated solutions that work in tandem.

Thanks to hyper automation and reworked security requirements, what was once a help desk on the seventh floor of your office has become a universal resource for employees on the Cloud.-

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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