July 18, 2018

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Employees underwhelmed with their company’s investment in technology

by Tech reporter, Tuesday 10 July 2018

New research has uncovered an opportunity for channel partners to be a voice of reason and advise IT teams that are increasingly overwhelmed with the demands of the modern workplace.

In collaboration with Microsoft, Ingram Micro Cloud UK commissioned market research firm YouGov to survey 1,000 workers employed by small and mid-size businesses with 50 to 250 employees in the UK, to understand what they want from the modern workplace and how well-placed businesses are to satisfying their requirements.

According to the research, IT teams no longer have the control and the command they once had when facing the modern workplace. This is due to 85 per cent of Millennials who admit to procuring their own workplace technologies such as instant messaging, Skype, file hosting and sharing tools that aren’t supported or provided by their employer, raising major security issues. The survey also uncovers that Millennials are falling out of love with email in favour of modern communications tools such as video conferencing, with 66 per cent saying that they use these tools and services due to the high level of ease, value for money and ability to save time.

Additionally, Millennials and Centennials are often thought to be the driving force behind changing workplace practices – and are often derided in popular discourse for having unreasonable and unrealistic expectations – but the calls for change are coming from all segments of the workforce. In the pursuit of a better work-life balance, 76 per cent of employees say that they want flexible working hours and are actively seeking out flexible and remote working practices. Despite the demand, almost half of the UK’s workforce reveals that they don’t have an option to work from home - due to the lack of efficient tools available to employees.

Apay Obang-Oyway, Director of Cloud & Software, UK&I, Ingram Micro, said: “With the responsibility to design, implement and safeguard the infrastructure of the modern workplace falling under IT departments, it’s no surprise IT teams are feeling the pressure like never before. For most companies, managing IT systems in-house with the appropriate level of security policies in place is a time-consuming task that burdens and ties up human resources.

As the survey shows, a quarter of employees are disappointed with the level of technology investment their employer makes to bring in better business outcomes. This is evident when looking at how Millennials who are taking matters into their own hands in a way they see fits, to get their jobs done.

Obang-Oyway adds: “If channel partners are to grow their presence in the cloud marketplace effectively, this presents an opportunity for them to move their roles away from being a simple technology store and to become a strategic business partner.

However, to shift these relationships, partners need to evolve the capacity of their roles within organisations and position themselves as providers and facilitators of ongoing IT services that enable a fast and fluid strategy execution, at the same time delivering a flexible and robust operation in the face of a rapidly evolving technology landscape. As well as develop a deeper understanding of their clients’ industries and the issues that impact them” Obang-Oyway concludes.

Other key findings from the research include:

Over a quarter of employees expect AI and machine learning to make the biggest impact in the workplace in the next five years. 76% of employees want flexible working hours, but almost half of the UK’s workforce don’t have an option to work from home. A quarter of employees think Big Data will transform the way they work in the next five years, which is expected to enhance productivity across teams.

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