Employees Unsatisfied with Application Performance at Work
To Attract and Retain Generation Y Talent, Enterprise Networks Need to Step Up
June 17, 2016

Ricardo Belmar
InfoVista

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The arrival of Generation Y – aka "millennials" – into the enterprise workforce has invigorated even the stodgiest business sectors with a fresh new attitude and work culture. Dressing business casual, for instance, is no longer a once-a-week perk but a given in many offices – that is, if workers are even expected to perform their duties on-site.

This is because one of the largest defining characteristics of the modern workforce in the digital age is mobility. Whether companies allow employees to work remotely or business is conducted on one of many different enterprise mobile devices, there are very few "desk jockeys" left in the modern office.

Instead, workers prefer to collaborate with each other using business applications that take meetings out of the physical boardroom and into cyberspace. Rather than emailing massive files between team members, projects in the digital workspace are tackled in the cloud, enabling real-time collaboration to take place without populating local hard drive space in massive, on-site enterprise servers.

While this connectivity and mobility is expected by the new generation of the enterprise workforce, not every office has been able to effectively change with the times. The demand for real-time collaboration has introduced new performance requirements for enterprise networks to deliver a great user experience. A recent study conducted by BT and InfoVista, Meeting the Network Demands of Changing Generations, found that 90 percent of today’s workforce is unsatisfied with the application performance on their employer’s network overall.

The Times Are Changing Faster Than IT Can Keep Up

This is a glaring figure, though not a surprising one, as the generational shift into a network-driven, software-defined, digital office model has taken flight faster than many legacy network architectures can keep up. While virtual private networks (VPNs) have been widely utilized by businesses for well over a decade, the proliferation of business applications and software-as-a-service (SaaS) has been fast and furious, and IT teams can hardly keep up.

A big reason for this is the fact that many networks aren’t engaging in IT governance. For instance, 94 percent of organizations polled in the survey agree that maintaining the corporate network is mission critical.

However, due to a lack of visibility, only 51 percent of those polled have insight into which applications being used by employees could have a negative impact on the performance of the corporate network.

Adding to the problem is the fact that only 57 percent of those polled actually had IT governance in place that allowed them to monitor and control application performance on the corporate network.

Considering that over the last two years 69 percent of organizations have implemented unified communication and video conferencing into their business, adopting such applications without enabling IT to scale, optimize or plan for future network topologies will only lead to continued employee dissatisfaction.

52 percent of organizations have already launched cloud-based productivity apps and collaboration tools, according to the survey, and it is expected that of those who haven’t yet, just under half will seek this tech within the next two years. Of course this must be accomplished in a secure manner that protects the network, as 59 percent of those surveyed considered this a top three concern.

Enterprises of all stripes that rely on business apps and network functionality to keep their operations running need to adopt network governance practices that allow them to prioritize business-critical applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business over personal applications, while also reliably predicting how applications will affect the network. Maximizing the user experience is now a critical service that IT organizations need to deliver optimally. This requires a proactive approach with the right performance management tools in place to be successful. Otherwise, businesses that fall behind the digital times could very well see their organizations go the way of the cubicle, rolodex and other relics of a bygone era.

Ricardo Belmar is Senior Director for Enterprise Product Marketing at InfoVista.

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