A businesswoman working remotely getting technical support over the phone.
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With the majority of office workers working remotely (a trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing), IT departments need new ways to support employees. Gone are the days when IT set up a desktop in the office or walked across the hall to give face-to-face troubleshooting. In the new normal, services have moved remote, which means IT departments must follow suit.

Touch free service delivery is a critical component of today’s IT service management (ITSM). When delivered properly, a robust ITSM program can yield a host of benefits, including lowered costs for IT operations and an established, repeatable set of IT procedures that can be standardized and followed across the enterprise.(1)

Ensuring Employees Have the Right Tools for the Right Job

The challenge for every company right now is ensuring they have the tools and capabilities they need to perform at a high standard. Performance — both that of the individual employee and the greater IT department — is under renewed scrutiny due to the record number of employees working remotely. Employees need the right tools at the right time to help them maintain productivity during this crisis. Also, employee performance is one metric against which IT department performance is measured. IT has a vested interest in contributing to employee performance.

Having an updated digital strategy that includes prioritized investments in IT technology is one way to ensure employees can do their best work. Now more than ever, employees depend on computers and technology to complete the tasks set for them. The device strategy should include both investments in technology and policies in place to deliver equipment. Without having a quick way to deploy new technology to those employees, momentum is lost.

However, if companies haven’t updated their digital strategy recently, it’s most likely out of date, with the pandemic rendering obsolete any policies around equipment delivery. Now is the time to reexamine and revise those policies, especially considering the number of companies that will continue to have their workers be remote, even once the current crisis is passed. Many companies are radically rethinking their work-from-home policies; now is the perfect time to rethink the digital strategy to ensure it aligns with this new normal.

Touch-Free Service Delivery is Essential in This Environment, Both From a Safety Standpoint and a Practical One

Because personally delivering computers to an employees’ home isn’t feasible or practical during the pandemic, companies must turn to other ways to get technology into employees’ hands. Touch-free service delivery then becomes the ideal solution. By setting up machines (perhaps with the help of a VDI) and mailing them to employees’ homes, IT departments ensure everyone has the tools they need for the job. This can be achieved through factory provisioning, which saves time by eliminating the need to manually configure each and every new computer. The last thing employees want to do when they receive a new machine is spend time downloading all their essential applications.

It’s in this environment that touch-free service delivery shines. Keeping employees as far away from each other as possible while delivering exceptional services and processes is ideal in the current situation where COVID-19 is still hampering in-person efforts throughout the United States. Such service delivery is easily scalable, and allows companies to get multiple machines into the hands of multiple employees at the same time.

When the Employee Experience Mimics the Customer Experience

Having application deployment that’s also touch free — whether through a virtual display interface or other solution — is ideal in the current environment. Features like single sign on to all the apps an employee needs also contribute to higher productivity and a smoother employee experience. By allowing employees to use one log in to access all their devices, companies can reduce downtime caused by having to log in to applications and programs separately.

These features also mimic the customer experience. Employees have long expected a consumer-like environment when it comes to their work applications. And just as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sea change in consumer habits, so to have expectations surrounding remote working. Responsible companies are putting policies and procedures in place that limit gatherings and in-person interactions between workers. Consumer channels are already paving the way; it’s time businesses followed suit.(2)

Improving the Remote Onboarding Process

According to recent research, only 47 percent of IT professionals believe their company’s onboarding process is satisfactory. At the same time, 83 percent of IT workers say that delivering an optimal digital employee experience is a top priority for their organization.(3) GIven these opinions, IT departments should examine how touch-free service delivery can enhance both onboarding as well as the overall employee experience. The companies that are still hiring during the pandemic need to do better to onboard their remote workers if they want workers engaged and productive.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic upended businesses, caused widespread digital disruption and changed the way work processes were implemented almost overnight. In this new environment, companies have had to shift their thinking and strategize how to deliver IT services to a workforce that is no longer in one place but rather distributed and dispersed.

This has placed unexpected pressure on IT departments, who now must contend with a patchwork of networks and uneven bandwidth and capabilities across employees’ home networks.

In this environment, touch-free service delivery is an important component of a renewed digital strategy to ensure employees have the right tools for the right job. While IT departments can’t deliver services in person, many of their tasks can be done remotely, from configuring and deploying applications through a virtual display interface to sending equipment to employees’ homes without interacting in person. All these capabilities contribute to higher levels of employee productivity and engagement — essential metrics as the world moves forward in this new normal.

Learn more about VMWare’s touch-free delivery services at vmware.com.

Sources

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