Business apps starting a quiet revolution amongst employees in the Asia-Pacific Region: VMware research

A study conducted by Forbes Insights for VMware highlights the disconnect between CIOs and end-users in the APJ region when it comes to the availability and accessibility of utilizing employee technologies in the workspace.

Apr 13th 2018

VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility revealed today, in collaboration with Forbes Insights, new Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) findings from a study on the impact of business apps on employee and business performance.

The research highlights that whilst APJ organizations are actively deploying business apps, their employees feel as though these apps are not meeting their demands or helping to generate new business opportunities.  This situation that has risen as a direct result of the disconnect between CIOs and end-users must be addressed in a business environment that is experiencing intense competition for skilled talent, geographically dispersed frontline staff and greater demands for collaboration and job satisfaction.

The research, titled "The Impact of The Digital Workforce: The New Equilibrium of the Digitally Transformed Enterprise”, questioned 2,150 global CIOs and frontline staff in large enterprises on how the utility, availability and accessibility of business apps affects their work and their companies.  This research surveyed respondents from Australia, China, Japan and India.

Businesses driven by employee initiative and management trust grant employees greater access to the apps they prefer and require to do their jobs are ultimately benefiting from faster decision making, increased productivity, improved collaboration and higher staff satisfaction.
•    APJ companies are ahead of European companies and on par with North American companies in deploying business apps.
•    However, whilst 40 per cent of APJ CIOs believe they are deploying the apps that their employees need, only 25 per cent of APJ end-users believe they have access to the apps they need.  This highlights the significant disconnect between the CIOs rolling out business apps and the employees’ ability to actually use these apps.
•    As an example, less than one-third of APJ end-users believe that business apps are readily accessible to employees on all devices.

“Now more than ever in the APJ region, we’re seeing employees, especially frontline staff, work  and engage with customers remotely.  When doing so, having access to critical information anytime, anywhere and on the devices and apps they choose can make the difference when it comes to effective customer engagement and productivity,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, Vice President, End-User Computing, APJ, VMware.  “CIOs must therefore consider how they can orchestrate the adoption of employee technologies, not simply for the sake of it, but for real and effective use.  If employees can take decisive and effective actions to enhance their personal performances, it will no doubt benefit the companies they work at.”

Key India Findings:

Digital Transformation is Driving a Shift in Management Environment and Culture:
o    Digital transformation, particularly through highly accessible employee-centric apps and productivity suites, is forcing management to adjust to a new equilibrium within the enterprise
o    This rebalancing gives frontline employees the tools and freedom they require to take on more innovative and productive roles in their jobs.  It requires investment in an underlying digital platform and a mindset that enables management to deviate from the traditional business structure of “command and control” to one that is driven by employee initiatives and management trust.
o    Companies leveraging business apps are experiencing a strong impact on workforce morale. Other than improving human resource operations like recruitment, retention and onboarding, respondents also agree that having greater accessibility to business apps has improved their job satisfaction (49 per cent of employees in India) and made their company a more desirable place to work at (53 per cent).
When looking to the future of digital transformation, companies in India are championing the movement towards making relevant business apps more accessible to their employees, with 98 per cent of respondents confident that business apps will play a major role in their company’s future growth.

• As Employees Become More Empowered, They Become More Productive:
o    Business apps are driving a fundamental transformation in the individual employee’s workday by increasing workplace efficiency.  India noticeably performs better in this aspect with a 16 per cent rate of improvement – 28 per cent higher than respondents in other more developed Asia-Pacific regions.
o    Indian respondents also indicated that the utilization of business apps have lead to significant reductions in time spent (18 per cent) and induced faster decision making (16 per cent).  These are, again, significantly higher than India’s regional counterparts.
o    More than half of the respondents in India (56 per cent) strongly believe that increased access to business apps have improved employee productivity.
o    Historically, operations in India were highly manual, labor-intensive processes.  However, Indian companies nowadays are effectively embracing highly-automated, user-friend business apps that disrupt legacy environments and enable employees to leap ahead in productivity and efficiency.

 Making Business Apps Accessible From Any Device is the Performance Differentiator:
o    Individual and workforce improvements can translate to enhanced performances at the enterprise level with empowered employees not only increasing revenue and cost-savings, but also supporting global expansion of the enterprise.
o    Indian executives believe that accessible apps can have a significant impact on a firm’s revenue growth.  When asked to rate the importance of employee business apps in helping their company’s bottom line, India leads the pack with 92 per cent of respondents agreeing that employee business applications have helped their firms increase revenues.

• The Disconnect Between the CIO and the End-user
o    Neither CIOs nor end-users in APJ believe their companies are fully leveraging business apps.
o    Yet, when examining companies in India, 61 per cent of CIOs believe they are providing their employees with the apps they need despite only 27 per cent of Indian end-users believing they have access to the apps they need.
o    The disconnect between the CIO and the end-user is largest in India and given the aforementioned finding of more than half of Indian end-users believing business apps make their companies a better place to work at, this is quite confounding.
o    This highlights the significant difference in views between the CIOs who deploy the business apps and the employees who must have the capabilities to use those business apps – a dangerous disconnect that will ultimately impede company performance.

“With technology taking an exponential leap forward, CIOs are acknowledging the increasing need to leverage business apps in the workplace.  It has become imperative to empower employees with access to unrestricted information on any device and on any business app in order to facilitate faster decision making and increased productivity,” said Ramesh Vantipalli, Director EUC, Systems Engineering at VMware India,“employees equipped with better tools and the freedom to innovate and execute tasks are proven to be more profitable for their companies.  VMware’s digital workspace solutions can expedite access to business apps and data on any device of the employees’ choice.”