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5 Jul 2024

What is Digital Employee Experience (DEX)?

Moving from frustrating to frictionless IT experiences requires shifting from SLAs (Service Level Agreements) to XLAs (Experience Level Agreements) and a better digital employee experience.

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, employees expect their corporate technology to be as seamless and intuitive as the gadgets they use in their personal lives. However, the reality often needs to catch up. Clunky IT systems, outdated software, and frequent disruptions create a frustrating work environment characterised by slow downloads, application crashes, and endless troubleshooting. 

Deploying an XLA gives staff a better IT service, but what is an XLA, and how does it improve the experience of digital employees?

The evolution from SLAs to XLAs

SLAs have traditionally been the go-to standard for managing IT services. SLAs focus on technical metrics like uptime guarantees and response times for resolving incidents. While these are important, SLAs often overlook the user's perspective and how easy it is to use the technology. Enter XLAs, the next step in the evolution of IT service management.

What do CEOs want most from an IT Managed Service Provider?

XLAs take a more holistic approach by focusing on employee sentiment and proactive problem-solving. They look beyond uptime metrics, including application performance, security posture, and overall usability. While SLAs measure deliverables, XLAs measure impact.

The importance of IT support is highlighted by our survey of CEOs and senior executives. It showed that IT support is a critical concern; 36% said that quality IT support was what they wanted most from a Managed IT Service Provider*.

The power of telemetry data

Consider the frustration of constantly rebooting your computer due to application crashes – a common issue many employees face. On average, we see users experience this problem seven times before reporting it to IT. XLAs leverage telemetry data collected from user devices to gain insights into myriad issues that can hinder productivity. This data encompasses everything from boot times and application crashes to connectivity issues and even the frequency of blue screens (blue screens are critical errors in the operating system that indicate a serious system crash - the computer displays a blue screen with white text, often detailing the error code).

Telemetry can also provide valuable clues about underlying hardware problems. For example, frequent Microsoft Teams crashes accompanied by blue screens might indicate an overheating device or impending hardware failure. Similarly, a spike in dropped calls during meetings could signal that a device is on the verge of failure.

Setting clear expectations

XLAs set clear expectations for the user experience, focusing on metrics like ease of use, resolution times, and self-service capabilities. By proactively addressing issues and streamlining IT support, XLAs can significantly enhance the employee experience.

OryxAlign is embracing XLAs to improve the digital employee experience. Our approach tackles digital friction across four key areas: device, applications, network, and security. These areas form the foundation for what we call 'guaranteed states' – the normal operating limits for your device.

Proactive monitoring and automation

By continuously monitoring these areas, problems can be identified before they disrupt workflows. Imagine working on a critical project when you receive a notification from Stephen, an IT team member: "Hi Justin, we can see that your machine hasn't rebooted in 15 days, and you've had three application crashes. We can schedule a reboot to restart these systems and return your device to a guaranteed state, potentially improving performance."

This proactive approach is the essence of DEX – identifying issues, automating fixes where possible, and empowering users through user-friendly notifications.

The impact of DEX

The shift towards automation and user engagement is crucial. It allows IT staff to focus on more complex issues while providing employees with the tools and information they need to maintain a smooth and productive work environment. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of digital well-being, reducing the time spent on hold and making IT feel more accessible.

Statistics highlight the importance of effective IT support. A report by Forrester** indicates that companies with higher levels of digital employee experience see a 25% increase in employee satisfaction and a 15% increase in productivity.

Summary of digital employee experience

OryxAlign's commitment to enhancing the digital employee experience through XLAs represents a significant step forward in IT service management. By focusing on the end-user experience, we aim to create a more efficient, enjoyable, and productive workplace.

"This shift from SLAs to XLAs marks a pivotal moment in how organisations approach IT service management." says Justin Rutherford, CTO at OryxAlign. "By prioritising user experience and leveraging advanced telemetry data, companies can reduce digital friction and create a more seamless and productive work environment. A better digital employee experience."

* Source: OryxAlign survey, Jan 2023  n=191
** Forrester report 'Make Digital Employee Experience The Centerpiece Of Your Digital Workplace Strategy'

Graham Smith

By Graham Smith