Cloud Study Finds Freedom to Choose Apps Defines Business Culture

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Cloud infrastructure and business mobility specialist VMWare recently released the results of its annual study on the impact of the digital workspace on businesses, and found that empowering employees with business apps can lead to measurable gains in culture, decision making, personal productivity and morale.

While empowering employees with technology choice can translate into superior enterprise performance, the report also found a dangerous disconnect between the perception employees and CIOs have on the availability, utility and freedom to use employee technologies in the workplace.

“The traditional approach to technology from the top down has led to shadow IT, with employees choosing to use devices, software and systems outside the approval of IT,” says Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, End User Computing, with VMWare. “This report shows that a change in mindset among IT leaders and empowering employee choice can lead to improved workplace culture and yield tangible benefits in multiple areas.”
Cloud Services Providers Raw HTML ModuleVMWare’s Impact of the Digital Workforce Report is based on a survey of 2,158 executives divided equally between CIOs and end-users of business applications and productivity solutions. All respondents were from companies with annual revenue of over $250 million, with average revenue of $4.3 billion.

Dhawan warns that there is a gap that companies should be aware of between what some CIOs think they are providing employees, and those employees’ actual experience.

The empowerment of employees, for example by granting them access to the apps they prefer and need to do their jobs, can create a new equilibrium between IT teams and end users. Companies that identify themselves as digital leaders, and many do, can migrate to a business powered by employee initiative and management trust.

Companies that give employees ready access to the apps they need are nearly three times as likely to be rated leaders in digital transformation by their employees, compared to companies that do not. Meanwhile, employees in companies that are lagging are 10 times more likely to say they do not have ready access to the apps they need to do their jobs properly, compared to those firms which empower their employees.

It is a stark contrast.

VMWare also found that business applications and productivity solutions are driving a fundamental transformation in the way individual employees work. Empowered employees are five times more likely to report gains in personal productivity and are nearly twice as likely to report that apps are “very important” in accelerating decision making in the company.

Indeed, empowered employees are four times more likely (55% vs 14%) to report that their company is a more desirable place to work.

Much of this can be distilled into culture and vision within firms. But is it also striking that there is a disconnect in perception between CIOs and their employees regarding the freedom to use technologies in the workplace. While 47% of the CIOs interviewed said they strongly believe they are providing employees with the apps and tools they need to do their jobs, only 40% of employees agree.

Workspace ONE, VMWare’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, enables customers to manage all their enterprise devices, including mobile, desktop and IoT, from a single, user-centric platform. It adopts a holistic unified endpoint management (UEM) framework.

The platform also makes it easier for employees to access the apps they need through an identity-defined app catalogue that can be accessed from any corporate-owned or personal device. Following a simple single sign on process, employees can gain access to all their apps, including cloud, native and virtual, from the single Workspace ONE app.