End-user technology is the part of your IT infrastructure that helps your teams integrate with your IT environment. In simpler terms, end-user technology is the hardware and software your people use to get their jobs done. It can be a workstation, desktop, notebook, tablet or smartphone. Applications can include everything from programming languages to cloud applications.
Considering it’s what your staff use to do their work, the importance of end-user tech (EUT) is clear. So, it must be dependable, usable and have the appropriate features and facilities. If not, your employees may endure downtime and/or slower workflows. And you know what that means.
Research done by Sharp Electronics found that out-of-date EUT and devices have a significant impact on productivity. It showed that almost 40 minutes a day of employee time is wasted due to slow or inefficient technology. That’s a total of 167 hours per year, or over one month of working time.
However, as massive as that impact is, it may not be the biggest drawback of poor EUT.
End-User Technology & The Hybrid Workplace
Whether or not our lives ever return to ‘normal’ following COVID may be debatable. But, if anything isn’t debatable about our COVID experience, it is that it has changed where we work. According to Cisco’s Hybrid Work Index, 64% of employees agree that the ability to work from anywhere, versus exclusively in the office, directly affects whether they stay or leave a company.
The terminology ‘work from anywhere’ is important. It means a hybrid workplace isn’t just the ability to work from home or the office. It also means the ability to work from anywhere in between. Or from places that aren’t even close.
End-User Experience & Attracting the Best Talent
By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials (Forbes). They are often described as the first generation of humans to grow up in the internet age. That means they are not only tech-savvy, but highly tech demanding. They expect technology to work for them, all the time, from anywhere.
The implication of the emergence of the hybrid workplace combined with the dominance of millennials in the workforce forces businesses to take certain steps if they want to continue to attract top talent. One of those steps is to ensure their EUT is up to the challenge.
All Apps, Any Device, Everywhere
Meeting that EUT challenge basically means giving end users smooth and reliable access to all the apps they need to do their work, on any device, from wherever they are in the world. To give you an idea of what that implies, let’s use video conferencing as an example.
In the absence of your staff all being in the same place at the same time, video conferencing is a popular means of collaboration. Except it may be one of the biggest drains on hybrid workplace productivity. And we’re not just talking about unnecessary meetings.
Have you ever been in a video meeting and someone can’t get access?
It goes like this: everyone waits until the person tries to login again. If still unsuccessful, they all continue to wait until the person tries to call in. Then, even if that is successful, they lose the ‘face-to-face’ advantages offered by video conferencing in the first place. And that’s just when someone can’t get access. What about when they can’t present their screen? Or their microphone is pre-pandemic?!
It’s Time to Prioritize End-User Technology
There’s no more relying on new apps to keep old technology viable. It also costs a lot of money, not to mention immeasurable cybersecurity risks, to depend on employees’ personal devices. If you want to maintain productivity and competitiveness in hybrid workplaces, it’s never been more important to prioritize EUT.
Want to learn more about preparing your business for the hybrid workplace? Check out our recent article Should You Have In-House IT Support?