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Digital Experience Monitoring’s Role in IT’s New Working Normal

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Customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) are terms you’re most likely very familiar with. But what about Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM)? If you haven’t heard of it, I wouldn’t blame you. It’s a fairly new term that surfaced over the past few years that is not only related to CX and UX but is the next step in their evolution. Ultimately, DEM solutions are designed to help IT managers better understand and thereby improve a user’s performance and quality experience with the digital ecosystem with which he/she interacts. When the world turned to remote work, employees were now living in these digital ecosystems and the importance of having a modern IT infrastructure skyrocketed.

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As a result, many turned to external IT service providers for help and guidance and this is where the benefit of DEM solutions began to be realized. Such tools can incorporate modernized technology like predictive analytics and AI to provide IT leaders a holistic view of their remote teams’ digital experience and help to overcome common PC failures, keeping employees productive and confident in their company-provided technology. To truly understand their benefit, though, you have to be up to speed on the challenges they address.

Top challenges for IT in 2020

2020 was the forcing function that many organizations needed to accelerate their digital transformation journeys, which included trying to maintain a positive employee experience. While the year posed unprecedented hurdles for all IT decision-makers, employee productivity and satisfaction were key areas that required particular attention in order to continue driving the business forward in a remote work environment. Organizations had to take a hard look at their current operations and update their IT infrastructures to seamlessly connect a distributed workforce.

According to Lenovo’s future of work study, about half the employees in medium-sized businesses (50 percent) and small or very small businesses (42 percent) report delays or challenges in getting any kind of IT support when needed. This is exacerbated when employees are no longer located at the same location of their IT helpdesk. In addition to not feeling supported while working from home, additional top concerns heard from employers and employees alike include data security and unstable internet connections at home.

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However, the challenges did not stop at the everyday remote worker. The impact was felt by IT professionals far and wide. Daily, IT professionals were tasked with diagnosing and mitigating common and sometimes systemic PC health and performance issues. Once these common challenges were identified, IT professionals found themselves looking for ways to automate tasks to keep up with the volume of problems diagnosed. In fact, a staggering 77 percent of IT staff’s time is dedicated solely to maintenance and support (Techaisle/Lenovo Sept 2019). IT departments have to maneuver fleet complexity, monumental amounts of data and few efficiencies of scale to troubleshoot and resolve employee issues in a timely fashion. They simply  don’t have enough resources to keep up with the maintenance demand, leaving employees to suffer from productivity killers like computer crashes, hang time and other hardware issues , especially as systems age. This all negatively impacts a users’ experience with their digital systems and it’s where DEM solutions come into play.

The Growing Demand for DEM Solutions

Over the past year, the growing volume of IT support tickets has been a damper on employee productivity, uptime and IT resources. Common failures spanning both hardware and software issues — even if only in a small percentage of devices – cost employers time, money and resources which takes away from an organization’s profitability.

According to a 2017 McKinsey study, predictive maintenance led to an impressive 10-40 percent reduction in IT maintenance costs and 30-50 percent reduction in total device downtime. A data-driven business approach that leverages DEM tools offers many benefits, including:

  • Organizational visibility for IT teams into their device fleets
  • The ability to predict and prevent failures
  • Optimization of the user experience with fewer interruptions
  • The use of proactive insights and recommendations to help keep fleets running at peak performance
  • Maximization of cost savings by highlighting areas to right-size hardware and software investments.

How Organizations Have Tapped Into DEM

Leveraging DEM solutions improves the end-user experience by giving employees confidence in their assigned devices. In fact, DEM solutions are now considered a strategic part of any organization’s digital transformation journey helping to forecast potential hardware or software issues before they arise to boost employee uptime and productivity, while simultaneously cutting down on IT manpower needs.

DEM Solutions Help Remove Traditional IT Blind Spots 

The right DEM tool allows IT departments to answer common questions that are often difficult to quickly pinpoint answers to like, “why are users experiencing slow computers?”, “what is driving systemic or isolated issues?”, or “how has the latest OS patch impacted performance?”.

It can also uncover problematic behaviors across the fleet that oftentimes go unreported by end-users until the situation becomes critical. Insights and recommendations that DEM solutions provide pre-emptively address these issues to keep employees up-and-running, increasing their overall satisfaction while optimizing helpdesk costs.

DEM Tools Give Companies a Way to Quantify Improvements in Their Efforts and User Experience 

DEM tools can help organizations create a baseline of top factors influencing end-user productivity, cite recommendations to address key areas, then provide trend analyses to track improvements. At Lenovo, we conducted research to better understand the benefits of our own DEM tools, Lenovo Device Intelligence and Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus, uncovering that enterprises can experience an estimated $3.2 million in annual ROI through the optimization of hardware and software assets. The use of DEM solutions can also equate to additional savings of up to $186K in annual service desk improvements and end-users can save up to 95 hours of time per year.

The Future of DEM

Although the new remote work environment has presented many new challenges, it has also provided companies with the unique opportunity to explore new ways to drive business efficiencies and highlight areas to increase employee productivity. Leveraging DEM technologies that use AI and advanced predictive analytics combined with other robust fleet insights will drive transformational change, which is why many companies are increasingly tapping into its capabilities to better serve their employee base.

In fact, by 2023, Gartner predicts 30 percent of large enterprises will exclusively be using AI and DEM technologies to monitor the non-legacy segments of their IT fleets, up from 2 percent in 2018 (Gartner, Sept 2019).

By putting their trust into DEM solutions, companies can confidently report mitigated organizational downtime, effective support for end-users, reduced infrastructure costs and maximized employee productivity and satisfaction to completely revolutionize and thus future-proof their business.

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