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Understanding end-user behaviour critical for cost-cutting and sustainability goals

With a recession looming, CIOs are under pressure to cut costs, reduce tech waste, and to increase productivity, all against the backdrop of a weakened economy expected to last until Q4 2023. However, this also represents an opportunity to meet longstanding efficiency and sustainability goals. CIOs have an opportunity to take a comprehensive look into the health of their IT infrastructure, and in particular, end-user experience, and gain the intelligence that they need to support a more productive, profitable, and sustainable organisation. 

Previous economic slowdowns have shown us that organisations that continue to invest in the face of economic uncertainty can gain critical market leadership. That's why this is the time to analyse system performance to find critical cost reductions and greater efficiency.

How to make better technology decisions for your organisation

An organisation's productivity directly correlates to employees' ability to use workplace technology efficiently. Research from CBI suggests that productivity levels remain 2% below already weak pre-pandemic trends. And while many think about productivity in terms of work ethic, the reality is that you can have the most committed workers in the world, but if they don't have adequate tools to support their work, productivity will suffer.  

As we continue adapting to multi-environment workplaces, end-user experience management (EUEM) must be a top priority for businesses that want to improve and maintain productivity.

EUEM includes managing end-user services and ensuring they are fully functional across all working environments. It can help identify downward trends in some metrics as predictors of future problems and solve issues due to underutilised kits. A lack of adequate EUEM presents a myriad of organisational challenges, such as reduced visibility, data collection via disparate tools, and help desks lacking real-time data on devices. 

With limited knowledge about the performance of software installed and end-user devices' usage patterns (and their overall performance), organisations cannot make informed decisions. And while there might be a desire to improve productivity through an enhanced end-user experience, overall support will inevitably be sub-par without a comprehensive understanding of how installed technologies and devices are used on a day-to-day basis and how they all work together to aid the user. 

Without clear visibility into the end-user experience, how do you work out things like the optimal equipment refresh schedule? Do you base it on how old the previous kit is, or can you look into kit utilisation and performance to understand how its age affects users (if, indeed, it does affect them)? Without enhanced visibility, investments in new technology may be made based on a calendar rather than an actual need. In contrast, those that need new equipment may have to wait unnecessarily, causing their work to suffer and costing the company more money in the long run. 

Time to move on from cobbled-together solutions to end-user tracking 

Today, end-user device performance goes largely untracked, and organisations have little to no visibility into the performance of their end-user tech stack. And disparate tracking tools make it more difficult to answer when your CEO calls up and asks why your network and applications are moving so slowly. But with a holistic, EUEM-based view, you'll have your finger on the pulse of your entire tech stack.

Organisations are looking for solutions that comprehensively address end-user device health, collect relevant data on endpoints, reduce service desk time-to-issue resolution, lower ticket volume around routine device patches and upgrades, potentially extend hardware lifecycle, and improve overall end-user satisfaction. 

End-user experience management software is pivotal for enterprises looking to reduce spending while continuing to meet business objectives. Gathering and analysing end-user device data (collected from CPU, disk, memory, connectivity, and other data points) is critical to accurately pinpointing and resolving issues before they become detrimental to employee productivity. When implemented strategically, EUEM  builds a holistic, accurate picture of an organisation's technological health from the end-user perspective. This enables IT professionals to better assist and empower employees to do their jobs at the highest possible productivity levels. 

Reduce tech waste and make a positive environmental impact 

A study by Forrester found that end-user experience management helps organisations track performance degradation over time to calculate health scores, collect user feedback to determine what is performing well, and compare different types of equipment/hardware against one another to identify which lasts longest. In some cases, this study showed the average lifecycle of devices increasing by 15 to 25%, which significantly reduced annual replacement costs and ultimately led to less tech waste through a lengthened equipment lifecycle on tech, such as desktops, laptops, and more.

Organisations also found that they could identify and resolve issues remotely, ultimately reducing the shipment of devices for repair by 75% and cutting device inventory in half. Reducing the amount of hardware shipped for repairs also helped decrease the organisation's environmental footprint through lowered carbon emissions leading to better sustainability outcomes. 

Reducing administrative and overhead costs 

By understanding employees' experience with technologies, an IT department is afforded time to focus on big-picture projects and issues. The constant analysis of software and hardware performance and health—along with proactive patching and remediation before issues detract from employee productivity—enables CIOs to better understand the performance and functionality of their organisation's tech stack as a whole. 

From an administrative perspective, end-user experience management supports full IT visibility across an enterprise. Leveraging end-user data and device performance metrics helps organisations achieve better business outcomes by optimising IT environments for better performance. Robust performance data and analysis help administrators keep a finger on the pulse of organisational health. Ideally, data should be collected from all endpoints, leading to a more accurate IT budget and, ultimately, to better financial performance and management.

Investing in the right IT solutions will ensure business leaders have the insights (not assumptions) needed to make decisions that will impact their organisations. Before cutting back IT spending due to the impending recession, consider where an organisation can strategically invest to benefit the long-term health of an IT department and the financial health of the company. CIOs need to conduct a deep dive into their IT infrastructure to determine whether it is healthy enough to drive streamlined operations while improving productivity, profitability, and sustainability.

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