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Device Upgrades for Work-From-Everywhere Employees Can Save an Hour a Day

Mike Marks November 19, 2020
As the global pandemic drags on, companies have moved from serially extending temporary work-from-home (WFH) arrangements to establishing permanent policies. In the next normal, WFH is being replaced by WFE – work-from-everywhere. Volume Six of the Aternity Global Remote Work Productivity Tracker shows that newer generation devices can save WFE employees up to an hour a day in lost productivity waiting for web pages to load.

As the global pandemic drags on, it has become increasingly clear that companies are planning the next normal of the future of work with a much longer-term view. They have moved from serially extending temporary work-from-home (WFH) arrangements to establishing permanent policies. In the next normal, WFH is being replaced by WFE – work-from-everywhere.

During last month’s DXNow customer event, Aternity surveyed over 100 business leaders on their return-to-office plans. 93.4% said they plan to either remain remote or adopt a hybrid model.

This result exceeds the data shown in the 451 Research Voice of the Enterprise, Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash Survey of enterprises conducted in October.  It showed that 64% of companies expect expanded work-from-home policies to remain in place long-term or permanently, up from 38% that expressed this expectation in March.

New device investment in the Work-From-Everywhere enterprise

work-from-everywhere enterprise, global tracker, remote workAternity recently published Volume 6 of the Global Remote Work Productivity Tracker to explore how the shift to work-from-everywhere is influencing technology investments and impacting productivity. Volume 6 answers the following questions:

  • How does the current share of remote work point to long-term WFE trends and inform future digital employee experience investments?
  • How are CIOs investing in newer employee devices to support the growing permanent remote workforce?
  • How do different generations of devices impact productivity?
  • How do industries compare on employee device investment and resulting productivity?

The insights in this report are based on data aggregated from millions of employee devices at hundreds of global companies being managed via the SaaS-based Aternity Digital Experience Management platform.

Get a preview of some the surprising insights in the report by viewing the SlideShare here.

Newer generation devices can save an hour per employee per day

As shown in the SlideShare above, as companies shifted to remote work, they provisioned their Work-From-Everywhere employees with newer laptops that would enable them to be productive.

Although Gartner forecast that spending on devices will drop 11% in 2020 due to budget constraints, the data shown in the Aternity Global Tracker Volume 6 shows an acceleration in the deployment of newer generation devices since the shift to remote work began in March. Since that time, use of devices with 8th, 9th, and 10th generation CPUs increased by 13.7% as compared to before the pandemic. This corresponded with a 10.8% decline in use of 6th or earlier generation devices, and a small 2.9% drop in usage of 7th generation CPU-based machines.

The question that CIOs face is “what’s the ROI for investing in newer generation devices?” After all, in this time of business uncertainty, they have to make decisions on IT investments where the payoff will be largest. And not every employee needs the newest device to be productive at their job.

To address the effect of IT performance on productivity, Volume 6 of the Global Tracker looked at web page load time by different generations of CPU. Of course, many factors affect the amount of time it takes a web page to load. The performance of the user’s device, the network they use to connect to the page, and the design and performance of the web page or application itself.

web page load time, work-from-everywhere
Employees working on devices based on newer generation CPUs spend 37% less time waiting for pages to load, as compared to those on 6th generation or older devices. For every generation of device, page load time changed throughout three periods of remote work: panic, fast fixes, and continuous improvement.

Employees working on devices based on newer generation CPUs spend 37% less time waiting for pages to load, as compared to those on 6th generation or older devices. This results in a productivity gain between 3 minutes to an hour per employee per day, depending on the extent to which employees rely on web-based applications for their jobs. Investing in newer generation devices is a way to counteract the remote work productivity tax we saw emerging over the summer (see Global Tracker Volume 5).

Three steps to take to manage the Work-From-Everywhere Enterprise

Whether or not your organization is upgrading employee devices to the latest generation of CPU, there are three steps that IT can take to ensure excellent employee experience in the Work-From-Everywhere environment.

1. Get insight into the employee experience of your remote workforce.

In a Work-From-Everywhere enterprise, business and IT leaders must address fundamental questions around whether the workforce has the right IT resources to get their jobs done. Device upgrades are one thing, but other considerations include Wi-Fi connectivity, VPN capacity, and application performance.


remote workforce, remote employee experience
The Aternity Remote Workforce Executive Summary dashboard enables user to specify a date for their work from home directive, then shows 1) how users are connecting, 2) application performance, and 3) device health and performance over time.

If you’re interested in a deeper look at this questions, catch the on-demand webinar on the new KPIs to manage the remote work experience.

2. Tame collaboration app sprawl

Collaboration apps have become key to success in the Work-From-Everywhere enterprise. Usage has sky-rocketed from the start of the shift to remote work. Aternity enables IT to manage the voice quality, video quality, and performance of leading collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, Webex, Zoom, and Slack, all from a single console. Watch this short video to see more.

For additional information, watch the on-demand webinar on managing collaboration app sprawl.

3. Benchmark your company’s digital employee experience against the market

As shown in the latest version of the Global Remote Work Productivity Tracker, investment in new devices varies greatly across Work-From-Everywhere industries. For industries like finance, insurance, legal, and software/technology, where IT plays such a crucial role in the ability of firms to make money, investments were focused exclusively on devices with the newer CPU generations. With education and healthcare, IT leaders were happy to invest in earlier generation devices.

With so much business uncertainty due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, CIOs are under pressure to reduce budgets and prioritize IT spend to where the payoff is greatest. Analyzing investment and cost saving options internally is a necessary first step, but it’s not sufficient. For better insights, CIOs can compare their company’s digital employee experience externally, to others in their industry or company size.

The Aternity Digital Experience Management Quadrant (DEM-Q™) enables companies to benchmark their digital experience to hundreds of others managed by Aternity SaaS, by industry, geography, or company size, on a two by two matrix of selectable digital experience KPIs. Watch this short video to see the DEM-Q in action.


Get started with Aternity today!

Aternity Free TrialIf you’re not yet an Aternity customer, you can explore how we help you address the IT challenges of the Work-From-Everywhere enterprise. You can get started today by registering for a free trial of Aternity running in your environment. You’ll see how your organization compares to the market with the benchmarking insights from millions of end points monitored in via Aternity SaaS. You’ll see how your Service Desk can drive down costs and improve service with AI-driven automated remediation. And you’ll get a view of employee experience for every app running in your environment – even SaaS and Shadow IT.

You can find all of the volumes of the Global Remote Work Productivity Tracker in our library of white papers.

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