Singapore IT depts struggling to meet employee expectations: Telstra research

  • Has led to shadow IT phenomenon, which 40% find challenging
  • ‘Superusers’ working closely with employees to exceed and adapt to their expectations
Singapore IT depts struggling to meet employee expectations: Telstra research

NEW Telstra research of 100 IT decision-makers in Singapore reveals that 98% find it a challenge to effectively implement all the technology tools employees expect to use to communicate in the workplace, from telepresence to desktop virtualisation and enterprise social networks.
Despite Singapore-based IT leaders considering end-user expectations more than ever before, more than a third (35%) claim their organisation has higher priority IT projects than delivering technology that meets employee’s needs, Telstra said in a statement.

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“Traditionally, hardware and software issues were the key challenges of introducing and implementing new technologies,” said Martin Bishop, head of Network, Applications & Services at Telstra Global Enterprise & Services.
“However this appears to be shifting, with more than three-quarters of IT decision-makers claiming resistance from people is now either equally or more difficult to overcome.
“Today, employees are putting significant pressure on IT departments to provide them with the collaboration tools that enable remote working and mobility.
“Despite this, our research shows that improving user experience, promoting innovation and enhancing internal collaboration all ranked behind security, efficiency and cost-reduction IT initiatives, demonstrating that many end-users aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
“As a result, some businesses run the risk of employees bypassing the IT department and sourcing their own alternatives – in a trend known as shadow IT – potentially leaving the company exposed to security risks and hidden cost implications.
“Our research shows approximately 40% of Singaporean organisations already find shadow IT challenging, with one in two larger enterprises citing this as a concern globally,” Bishop added.
Telstra commissioned Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research, to undertake the research. In total, 675 IT decision-makers were interviewed from multinational organisations in five countries/ regions: Singapore (100 interviews), Hong Kong (95), the United Kingdom (200), the United States (200) and Australia (80).
Respondents work for organisations in the private sector with 250 or more employees. Due to the range of sectors involved in this research, the results are based on the global or regional average to be representative of the target population, Telstra said.
Fieldwork took place in September 2014 using a mixture of online and telephone interviewing. A robust multi-level screening process was used to ensure only appropriate respondents participated in the research.
Superusers rule
Despite the challenges above, Telstra said its research identifies a superior category of top performing organisations – termed Superusers – who are working most closely with employees to exceed and adapt to their expectations of the modern workplace.
“Forty percent of organisations have achieved Superuser status in Singapore, with the manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors having a higher proportion of Superusers than others,” Bishop said.
According to Telstra’s research, employees from organisations classified as Superusers are not just demanding physical hardware for collaboration; they are expecting the software and services to enable them to do this too.
“More than a third of organisations classified as Superusers are experiencing very significant demand from their employees for collaboration tools,” said Bishop.
“This same group has also witnessed the appetite for collaboration tools … increase over the last two years – much more so than ordinary users.
“For example, today almost two-thirds of Singapore workers (65%) expect their IT department to provide remote access, while 59% demand mobility and 47% desktop virtualisation. These user expectations have emerged as employees become savvier about the growth of cloud services, with demand for BYOD or bring your own device (40%) and content collaboration (37%) expected to also increase in the future.
“Clearly, the implementation of IT products and services is no longer just about finding the most appropriate solution for the organisation. End-users now play a critical role in IT deployment and adoption, which means organisations cannot afford to ignore their demands, especially in the current environment where employees are more aware than ever about the technology available to them.
“By engaging with employees to fully understand their expectations, organisations can stay ahead of the curve and in-turn benefit from the potential rewards of greater communication and collaboration, including better decision-making, faster identification of new business opportunities and greater job satisfaction,” Bishop added.
Related Stories:
‘Shadow IT’ a pall on Malaysian IT landscape: VMware survey
Beware ‘street BYOD,’ say Gartner analysts
Enterprises still facing ‘rogue IT’ challenges: Red Hat
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