More than half of North American businesses believe their technology is inadequate

With remote work fully underway, inefficiencies are hampering employee productivity, according to the survey by Beagle Research Group and software provider Zoho.

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Source: Beagle Research Group and Zoho

An overwhelming 90% of North American companies surveyed said it is not possible to get a 360-degree view of their customers without using multiple systems, according to a newly published survey. Companies need to recognize the significance of this finding since "the customer and client relationship is particularly fragile during the pandemic and [the] context for communication is critical, according to the survey by Beagle Research Group and global tech provider Zoho.

While companies excelled in the areas of traditional management, technology systems were rated by employees as outdated and inefficient for overall performance, the two companies said.

The survey found that applications are hard to use (46%) and technology is inadequate to align with company goals while working remotely (24%).

However, respondents gave their companies high marks in areas of goal setting, alignment, and inspiring performance, so even with the disruption of office closures, workers feel supported by and aligned with their employer while working remotely, Beagle Research and Zoho said.

Employee engagement and alignment also ranked high. Specifically, 66% of respondents said they find high satisfaction in the work they do and only 4% reported that their job is chaotic and difficult to do well, the two companies said.

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Additionally, 69% of employee respondents agreed that their job provides them with meaningful work they take pride in; and 68% of front-office employees and 75% of back-office employees said they felt a sense of purpose in their work.

However, in the category of technology infrastructure, employees reported that their current company systems need a unified overhaul. Specifically:
·         51% of employees categorized these systems inadequate in keeping them aligned with company goals while working remotely.
·         52% said they found their computing systems not conducive to their work, with that number growing to 56% at the small and medium enterprise level (businesses under 500 employees).
·         54% of enterprise-level employees (businesses with more than 500 employees) said they found the applications they work with not intuitive and difficult to integrate.
·         40% of the largest enterprise employees surveyed (businesses with more than 4,000 employees) said their work can be chaotic, working with multiple technology platforms to do their job accordingly.
·         37% of enterprise employees said they found their technology infrastructure not supportive to good communication throughout the organization as they work remote.

For both front office and back office employees, half of respondents found their company's technology inadequate to support their job role while remote, the survey found.

"Going to the office, as a concept, started during the Industrial Revolution, when workers needed to travel to factories to use heavy equipment," said Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist at Zoho, in a statement. "With the cloud, with online tools accessible from anywhere, including your home, we are back to a pre-Industrial Revolution era. This means that the right tools have to be made available for employees to be productive."

The inevitable conclusion from this data is that if companies want to improve their performance, they should look first at the technology systems that support their primary business activities, said Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research Group and the report's author, in a statement.

"The data show that companies, especially at the enterprise level, are realizing the importance of integrated solutions to streamline business processes to enable working in a variety of new theaters," he said.

The April 2020 study by Beagle Research Group surveyed more than 500 employees at businesses of varying sizes and industries throughout North America.

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