‘Employee Experience Has Become More Important Than Ever’

However the future of work plays out, IT leaders will need to focus on connecting people through technology and processes, says Damon Venger, CIO at Compucom.

The shift to hybrid work has transformed the role of CIOs, who need to be able to connect people in all kinds of new configurations today, says Damon Venger.

As CIO and CTO at Compucom, a technology managed services provider and product reseller based in Indian Land, South Carolina, Venger has seen the shifts firsthand, for both clients and in his own roles. He spoke with StrategicCIO360 about IT leaders’ new priorities, how to be a business partner—not just a service provider—and the future evolution of the workplace.

What are the biggest problems Compucom’s customers face as it relates to hybrid work and employee technology?

The biggest challenge Compucom’s customers are facing is implementing a seamless transition to hybrid work. With new and existing employees working out of the office, employee experience has become more important than ever.

An employee’s technology experience is largely based on their consumer experience. Convenient processes such as one-click shopping, the ability to track a product in real-time, algorithms that know their needs even before they do, and access to data and information wherever and whenever they want on any of their devices also translate to their workplace technology expectations. With five generations in the workforce, accommodating each to acquire, retain and maximize their experience is a very important challenge in today’s hybrid and remote work environment.

What are your top priorities as Compucom’s CIO when it comes to supporting a distributed workforce?

I have similar challenges and opportunities as our customers. We have more than 6,500 associates throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and India. In order to use technology, we must first deliver it to the employee ready to go, not just on day one, but minute one. That means hardware procurement, asset management and software accessibility that supports our employees and customers where and how they work in a secure environment all are part of today’s IT focus.

What are some of the biggest challenges CIOs face today as it relates to employees and end-user technology?

CIOs play a key role in understanding business needs and technology. While the cloud, Metaverse and cybersecurity are always paramount to a CIO and top of mind, CIOs are working more closely with CHROs and other C-Suite leaders to address digital transformation and workplace technology to improve employee productivity and help deliver value to the overall business. 

IT’s impact on improving productivity has moved beyond measuring service levels and downtime to include real-time productivity metrics and other key deliverables that contribute to business outcomes. IT must be a business partner, not just a service provider, leveraging technology to create and sustain long-term business innovation, efficiency and growth.

How has the pandemic changed the role of a CIO?

The pandemic opened a market that didn’t exist before. People can hire and work from anywhere. This forces companies to think about how the traditional office translates to home not just in terms of technology, but also office set-up including laptops versus desktops, multiple monitors, smartphone access and more. This is all about finding ways to enable the workforce.

From a technology perspective, we’re thinking about what enables employees to be effective and interested in their jobs. Returning to the office is not necessarily returning to a big office. The future evolution of work from anywhere may require multiple headquarters. The key is figuring out how to connect people through processes and technology. A seamless experience is key to a productive and happy workforce.

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