IT leaders have an increasing impact on employee experience and business resilience a year into COVID-19, a global study reveals.
A new study announced by Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch and Elastic Stack, shows employee experience has become a new priority for IT leaders as they reinvent their infrastructures to support remote workforces.
Conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Elastic in February 2021, the study titled The Changing Role of the IT Leader was done one year into the global pandemic and published in April.
It is based on a survey of 1,000 CIOs and IT leaders in 10 countries and illustrates that an adaptive business model with employee experience at its core is key to building business resilience, creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and scaling effectively in times of disruption.
The shift to remote and hybrid working models has become a permanent fixture for many global organisations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study shows nearly 60% of IT leaders believe that enabling employees to work flexibly will improve the adaptiveness of their organisations, and they are investing in technology to improve employee experience and their productivity.
The research also found that globally, the partnership between IT and HR is growing stronger. Since the start of the pandemic, 57% of IT leaders collaborate more closely with their HR counterparts.
“A deep partnership between HR and IT leaders is crucial when it comes to enhancing employee experience, and that partnership has never been more important than it was over the past year,” says Leah Sutton, senior vice president of Global Human Resources at Elastic.
“The combined insight and expertise that both leaders bring ensure that employees aren't bouncing around from IT, to HR, to finance, and more. Rather, employees have a holistic corporate experience that ensures they are supported, informed, and empowered with access to the tools and resources they need to successfully do their jobs.
Many IT leaders worldwide still face barriers to establish an environment where IT fosters engagement and productivity, despite having pivoted to an employee-centric approach in their technology decisions.
“One year into the COVID-19 global pandemic, the data shows it's time for IT leaders to put employee experience at the heart of every technology decision they make,” said Kim Huffman, vice president of IT at Elastic.
“They must quickly and dramatically evolve and accelerate their programs as they work to support their employees and adapt to the next normal and a completely different way of working.
According to the report, IT leaders from 92% of organisations worldwide are in survival or maintenance mode.
In Asia-Pacific, China (21%) and Japan (16%) are leading with the highest number of enterprises in growth mode, while Australia (78%) has the highest number of enterprises in maintenance mode.
In Europe, the Netherlands (64%) and Germany (60%) are struggling most, with the highest number of enterprises in survival mode, and 3 in 5 IT leaders in the surveyed countries say their businesses are fighting to survive.
And in North America, only 7% of enterprises are in growth mode, while three times that number are in survival mode.
Other findings in the study include:
- 60% of IT organisations are investing in improving employee experience to support remote workforce productivity and performance, but don't have access to the budget and tools to do so.
- 63% of organisations are prioritising a shift to digital business by focusing on democratising employee access to data by evolving their data architectures to reduce data silos.
- 57% of IT leaders globally have seen their budgets cut over the past 12 months, with 33% experiencing budget cuts of 10% or more.
- 60% of IT leaders do not yet have the right tools, policies, and procedures to support a remote workforce.