Why Connected IT Improves Employee Wellness

Executives and CIOs are currently dealing with a crisis in employee well-being and workplace turnover. New challenges are here – geographical disconnection, a more exhausted workforce, a general mood of languishing, and new employee demands for remote work. All have leadership looking for options across the organization to improve employee wellness.

IT can help the c-suite and the company adapt by contributing to a culture of well-being. It is not just the amount of work, but also the type of work that leads to burnout. In particular, through reliable automation and insights, IT can help enable a culture of meaningful, enjoyable work.

Employees Work in Tools They Prefer

When personnel work in the tools and platforms that they know and love, they are more likely to enjoy their work, to do it efficiently, and to innovate within that software.

Getting developers to leave Jira willingly is like getting the Moon to switch planets. Developers want to continue tracking issues and bugs in Jira, and forcing a cultural change via software reduces workplace morale. Fujitsu realized that rather than pushing developers to do their work in ServiceNow, it would be better to integrate ServiceNow with Jira. “I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get a developer to stop using Jira,” says Carey Blunt of Fujitsu. “It’s almost impossible.”

Similarly, BI teams wish to run their analytics in best-of-breed BI tools such as PowerBI and Tableau, which together make up more than half the market share for BI software. Such tools have unparalleled visualization, advanced analytics, and powerful customization. When IT extracts ServiceNow data for reporting in such tools, they empower employees who work in these tools to demonstrate the value that these employees offer.

IT Reduces Open Incidents

When you have a higher number of open incidents, there’s a greater risk for frustration throughout the workforce. Through integration, IT can reduce open incidents. 

With real-time visibility across tools, those assigned to the incidents have the information they need to bring in the needed resources, to solve the issues, and to satisfy the users. With real-time dashboards, the CIO and other IT leaders can assign resources for the fastest possible resolution, reducing the number of open incidents at any one time.

That’s not all, though. By moving data to the right tools, IT can prevent incidents in the first place. When IT applies machine learning to ITSM service history and other data, IT can make sense of the combined data to anticipate and prevent incidents. AIOps discovers the possible issue, enabling IT to apply a solution before it even impacts the user. The spark never ignites enough to become a fire for the user and for the support center.

Through a reduction of open incidents, employees across the company keep their focus on doing meaningful work with fewer tech problems. The more incidents IT can either prevent from happening or resolve rapidly, the more IT will be contributing to an enjoyable work environment.

IT Focuses on Service Delivery with Less Distraction

When ServiceNow customers build their own integration, it takes an average of 370 hours to do so with another 100 hours for QA and testing. Often, IT postpones implementation (thus delaying time to value), hidden problems and costs surface, and annual maintenance then consumes another 350 hours per year.

Integrations with web services frequently fail for a variety of reasons, frustrating everyone. IT rushes to troubleshoot, disparate departments point fingers and call or email for status updates, and leadership receives incomplete or inaccurate business intelligence.

But when a company opts for a packaged integration, someone else (the vendor) delivers and maintains the service. With this arrangement, IT can focus on service delivery without the distraction of integration building and maintenance. Integration issues can remain inconspicuous to the rest of IT because they are supported behind the scenes by integration as a service. With integration already handled, IT can empower employees to work on new projects instead of tying them down to old solutions.

If ServiceNow data stays locked in ServiceNow, IT ends up spending more time building reports themselves. But if IT uses a packaged integration to extract that ServiceNow data, BI teams and other users can run analytics themselves. Rather than building reports that other people across the company request, IT enables self-service for those reports in the tools that those other teams already know. IT can then shift their time to focus on the skilled work of service delivery.

IT Innovates Faster to Improve Employee Experience

Without being slowed down by integration maintenance, IT can also innovate through building new applications.

When IT is responsible for the integration they build, they are on the hook for its maintenance. Often, the developer who built the integration has left, taking the knowledge with them that they had never documented. Existing or new developers must then reverse-engineer someone else’s coding that they may not even understand. Failed transfers, outages from upgrades, access control lists – these and more can keep developers stuck on an old solution.

By relying on integration as service, the in-house development team can focus instead on innovating through application building. The work itself is more enjoyable for the employees on the development team, and it results in better service delivery across the organization, elevating the employee experience, in general. They can automate the kinds of laborious or dehumanizing tasks that employees do not enjoy doing.

Happier Culture and Elevated Retention

Through integration, connected IT contributes to a culture of wellness at work. Employees continue working in preferred tools. And IT reduces open incidents, focuses on service delivery, and innovates faster. Clearly, IT has an important role to play in supporting organizational culture, contributing to employee retention.

The final post in this series on employee wellness will look more specifically at various integration methods and their effects on employee well-being.

Update: see the next post in the series – Integrate IT Without Impairing Employee Well-Being

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Alfredo Deambrosi