Guest Post by Steve Pruden, SVP Human Resources, Appirio
In a recent research report from Appirio, we found that, “Regardless of where your organization currently falls on the employee engagement spectrum, making more of an effort to create an engaging Worker Experience (WX) can have a big impact on your business. Organizations that commit to building a collaborative and engaged culture tend to see increases in agility, productivity, and profits, and more efficiency across teams and business functions.”
Technology Impacts the WX and it’s Harder than Ever to Manage
As a former IT leader and current HR leader, I know how important technology is to the WX. In my work partnering with current IT leaders from around the globe, I know first-hand that SaaS applications are changing the way software is consumed and purchased. IT’s job is harder than ever to ensure a consistent, safe and secure technology WX. Almost every line of business owner has technology purchases that don’t always go through IT or Procurement, so just knowing what SaaS applications are in use is almost impossible, let alone trying to optimize the investments across the enterprise. Current CIOs are charged with keeping company data safe and secure, ensuring employees have the technology they need to do their jobs well and keeping technology costs in line with always-shrinking budgets. This is not an easy feat.
The Right Technology is Worth the Investment
Cloud and SaaS applications are a way to lead an enterprise-wide initiative that not only impacts the bottom line, but the WX as well. Cloud and SaaS applications offer an opportunity for today’s IT leaders to be more strategic than ever by leading digital transformation.
Leading digital companies generate better gross margins, better earnings and better net income than organizations in the bottom quarter of digital adopters, according to Harvard Business School. Leaders post a three-year average gross margin of 55 percent, compared to just 37 percent for the digital laggards. Our research at Appirio shows that worker engagement is directly impacted by the technologies in use at an organization as well:
Investing in modern technologies is essential to worker engagement. Nothing burns out an employee more than logging into system after disparate system, encountering bottlenecks at every turn. Imagine for a moment, that instead of a stove, you have six tiny hot plates, scattered around different areas of your kitchen. You have to cook all your meals in small batches of ingredients, all on separate plates, and flip or stir each one as they cook. Pretty inefficient, right? (It gives new meaning to having “a lot of irons in the fire.”) This is akin to what your employees go through when they’re using outdated technologies.
Workers are much more productive (and engaged) when they have modern, seamless, integrated tools to do their jobs. Automate routine tasks and let workers focus on more strategic work. Use technologies that eliminate silos and encourage cross-functional collaboration. (In other words, give your workers a stove and one good cast-iron skillet, so they stop burning their damned eggs.)
Once You Get the Technology Right, Make Sure You’re Set to Manage it Effectively
Having a real-time, comprehensive view of all SaaS applications used in the organization, getting deep utilization metrics on the most strategic SaaS applications and ultimately determining what SaaS applications are providing the most value puts IT in a strategic position. For cost savings initiatives, IT can now develop a strategy for SaaS license optimization based on active usage.
At Appirio, we believe that organizations that invest equally in CX and WX see increased productivity and profits, happier workers, and happier customers.
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