A recent Forrester Consulting study, which lists the priorities demanded by a workforce adapting to a transforming industry landscape, is helping to shape a new range of commercial devices.
The research, which focuses on workforce transformation, noted that employees in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, said device security and customer experience topped the list of priorities especially for both businesses and IT leaders.
Forrester's study noted: 'Business leaders know that to succeed, they need committed and driven employees who understand the value their work delivers to customers and have the right tools to boost their productivity.'
While providing the workforce with technology is an obvious strategy by organisations to encourage better performance, the study wanted to include the factors behind how customer experience, devices that improve talent retention, and demand for devices driven by better user experience were decisively linked.
'Attracting and retaining the best talent is a growing challenge, forcing many organisations to look to ideal technology partners that can help manage device lifecycles and, more specifically, PC life cycles,' the study continued.
Forrester's study, commissioned by Dell Technologies, looked into the top challenges and drivers that businesses are facing in the adoption of workforce enablement technology.
As mentioned earlier, security in workforce technology and customer experience are top priorities for businesses across the Southeast Asia (SEA) region.
Other highlights are:
- Three in five respondents (63 percent) indicate that improving customer experience is a top business priority
- Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) state that better devices that improve information flow across the organisation will be helpful in retaining talent
- More than half of respondents (53 percent) said that security breaches are a PC lifecycle management challenge
According to the research, 81 percent of respondents are concerned about the legal liability issues arising from Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, while 44 percent said that organisation-wide breaches originate from employee devices.
The report also confirmed that having a range of diverse devices in the IT environment added to the complexity facing IT departments. In addition, the growing sophistication of security threats, outdated security policies and easy information access have made endpoint devices increasingly vulnerable.
Costs and replacing older hardware
Southeast Asia-based firms are at the crossroads between meeting financial goals and creating a niche for themselves in the new age digital economy, said the report. Sixty-three (63) percent of respondents said that their top business priority will be to improve customer experience while 71 percent of the business and IT leaders ranked prioritising cost reduction as their topmost priority.
However, to help their workforce perform more effectively, understanding device diversity was also the key to talent retention, with 48 percent citing better devices as a pull factor.
Despite current economic challenges, 75 percent of survey respondents said that replacing older PC hardware with newer PC hardware will significantly improve the security landscape for organisations, and 75 percent will look at resolving user authentication vulnerabilities.
Another cycle noted by the study was that employees now want to work from multiple locations and use several different devices, including their personal devices, at work. This equates to faster refresh cycles, better user experience and corporate support for all their devices.
However, organisations face challenges managing their overall PC lifecycle with 53 percent of respondents citing complexity from vendor management as an inhibitor for effective management. Meanwhile, the growing sophistication of threats has made old workforce technology vulnerable. 53 percent of respondents cited that the frequency of security PC breaches is a top concern for firms.
To overcome these critical challenges, firms need to partner with technology providers for holistic PC lifecycle management solutions, the report recommended.
Employee experience is critical
Business leaders need to look at changing the way the company functions. To complement this, CIOs need to help with the challenge of employee productivity by providing the tools to better understand and address those diverse needs and requirements.
"The workforce of today is a highly interconnected one with new technologies empowering people to perform at their best. IT and business leaders are embarking on a workforce transformation strategy as they need to equip their workforce with the right devices and software to optimise productivity," said Rakesh Mandal, director & general manager, Client Solutions, South Asia and Korea, Dell.
"Furthermore, employee experience is a critical factor in boosting financial revenue and enhancing customer revenue - a continuing priority for Southeast Asia companies as they move into the new age digital economy," said Mandal.
He added that companies can use the Dell Workforce Transformation Maturity Assessment Tool to get customised results and recommendations, which will provide insights into their organisation's maturity on workforce technology.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.