Monday, 19 April 2021 00:07

New Elastic study: a year into the post-COVID flexible work reality and how business is and isn’t coping


A new global study has revealed IT leaders have increasing impact on employee experience and business resilience, because by empowering, inspiring, and enabling employees to work flexibly and remotely, they will improve resilience, competitive sdvantage, and scale in times of disruption. 

Elastic. It’s the search company with three solutions for enterprise search, observability, and security, built on one technology stack that can be deployed anywhere with its Elasticsearch and Elastic Stack. The company has announced a new study that shows employee experience has become a new priority for IT leaders as they reinvent their infrastructures to support remote workforces. 

The study is called “The Changing Role of the IT Leader”, and was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Elastic in February 2021, one year into the global pandemic, and published in April. A detailed, 16-page PDF report, it is available to download in full, free of charge after free registration here.

More information is below, but the key points are as follows:

  • 60% of IT organisations are investing in improving employee experience to support remote workforce productivity and performance. 
  • But, 57% of IT leaders globally have seen their budgets cut over the past 12 months, with 35% experiencing budget cuts of 10% or more. 
  • Only 40% of IT leaders report they have the right tools, policies, and procedures to support a remote workforce. 
  • To amplify impact on employee experience, 57% of IT leaders are collaborating more closely with their HR counterparts. 

Based on a survey of 1,000 CIOs and IT leaders in the 10 countries of Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, North America, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, we’re told the report “illustrates that an adaptive business model with employee experience at its core is the key to building business resilience, creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and scaling effectively in times of disruption.”

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Elastic says “the shift to remote and hybrid working models has become a permanent fixture for many global organisations. Nearly 60% of IT leaders believe that enabling employees to work flexibly will improve the adaptiveness of their organisations and they are investing in technology to improve employee experience and productivity.

“Globally, the partnership between IT and HR is growing stronger, with 57% of IT leaders collaborating more closely with their HR counterparts since the start of the pandemic. 

“While many IT leaders worldwide have pivoted to an employee-centric approach in their technology decisions, they still face barriers to establish an environment where IT fosters engagement and productivity. “

So, what are more of the report’s key findings?

IT leaders report that 92% of organisations worldwide are in survival or maintenance mode.  

  • In Asia-Pacific, China (21%) and Japan (16%) are leading with the highest number of enterprises in growth mode, while Australia (78%) has the highest number of enterprises in maintenance mode. 
  • In Europe, the Netherlands (64%) and Germany (60%) are struggling most, with the highest number of enterprises in survival mode, and 3 in 5 IT leaders in the surveyed countries said their businesses are fighting to survive. 
  • In North America only 7% of enterprises are in growth mode, while three times that number are in survival mode. 

60% of IT organisations are investing in improving employee experience to support remote workforce productivity and performance, but don’t have access to the budget and tools to do so. 

  • 63% of organisations are prioritising a shift to digital business by focusing on democratising employee access to data by evolving their data architectures to reduce data silos.  
  • 57% of IT leaders globally have seen their budgets cut over the past 12 months, with 35% experiencing budget cuts of 10% or more. 
  • 60% of IT leaders do not yet have the right tools, policies, and procedures to support a remote workforce. 

Kim Huffman, VP, IT, Elastic said: “One year into the COVID-19 global pandemic, the data shows it’s time for IT leaders to put employee experience at the heart of every technology decision they make.

“They must quickly and dramatically evolve and accelerate their programs as they work to support their employees and adapt to the next normal and a completely different way of working.”

Leah Sutton, SVP, Global Human Resources, Elastic said: “A deep partnership between HR and IT leaders is crucial when it comes to enhancing employee experience, and that partnership has never been more important than it was over the past year.

“The combined insight and expertise that both leaders bring ensure that employees aren’t bouncing around from IT, to HR, to finance, and more. Rather, employees have a holistic corporate experience that ensures they are supported, informed, and empowered with access to the tools and resources they need to successfully do their jobs.” 

Here's the Elastic report infographic:

Find more information and view the full findings from the Changing Role of the IT Leader report here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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