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IT's fiercest enemy: User expectations of consumer-facing technologies

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As more Gen Z digital natives enter the workplace, employees expect user-friendly experiences that they have learned to embrace in their personal work lives.

Even more experienced employees have adapted to the ever-changing technological environment around them, from the ease of installing apps on personal devices to personalized suggestions on what to watch next on streaming platforms .

“We’re competing against people’s former employers, against their expectations, against things like Amazon’s one-click ordering and it’ll be there tomorrow afternoon,” said Greg Sanker, director of IT support at Taylor. Morrison. “That’s what we’re competing against, not what we were doing before.”

The user experience of consumer-facing platforms makes it easy for end users to navigate new technologies and updates, leading employees to wonder why their workplace technology isn’t as easy to navigate. utilize.

It’s the difference between intuitive applications and large spreadsheets.

More than a third of U.S. employees have reported workplace frustration caused by technology, according to data from Eagle Hill Consulting which surveyed 1,000 employees from various industries.

Frustrated employees may even look for other job opportunities. Workers in ‘tech laggards’ organizations were 450% more likely to want to leave to find work elsewhere than employees in ‘tech leaders’, according to a Unisys report.

While organizations may struggle to release their technological baggage, there are many tools on the market that can improve the user experience. An example is the choice of channels that employees use to communicate with each other.

Email remains the primary mode of external communication, but many companies have adopted collaboration tools with real-time messaging capabilities for internal use through their preferred SaaS provider.

Despite context switch challenges, there has been a 7% increase in employee use of real-time mobile messaging tools over the past three years, according to a Gartner Survey released in 2021.

“I think the first thing IT leaders need to understand is that Gen Z doesn’t use email to communicate,” said Ian Tien, CEO and co-founder of Mattermost. “Gen Z has their own culture and their own standards for efficiency, and they’re going to go to a workplace that’s compatible with the way they work.”

For organizations that want to hire a tech-savvy workforce, they need to send clear signals that they’re ready to do so, according to Tien.

Impacts on IT support

The maturity of consumer-facing technology also impacts the type of issues that IT departments receive calls for.

While digital natives may have grown with technology, there was certainly a need for employees as a whole to become more tech savvy during the pandemic. Hybrid working has required enterprise employees to become familiar with the technology they use every day, leading many to learn basic troubleshooting skills.

George Moussa said that as an IT help desk employee, he found there were fewer calls that could be solved with a simple solution after the pandemic.

“After the pandemic, I saw a lot of people getting better using computers,” Moussa said. “For example, before we had to say, ‘Have you tried restarting it?’ But now when they call they say, “Hey George, I’ve already restarted it, I’ve done this step and step.”