Legacy government IT systems and network infrastructure may struggle to provide the same quality as more workers return to the office.
A majority of federal government IT employees are concerned about their IT systems if agencies return employees to traditional offices, according to a survey conducted by research firm Market Connections on behalf of technology companies Riverbed and Swish.
Unveiled Tuesday, the survey showed that half of respondents are concerned their IT systems will not offer good user experience as more workers return to the office. Specifically, 52% of those are worried their legacy IT systems and office network infrastructure “will struggle with the increased usage of collaboration tools such as Teams and Zoom as workers return to the office.” Meanwhile, 44% are worried that the user experience at the office will not be as good as the user experience at home.
These concerns are important, as according to the survey, 47% of respondents anticipate hybrid work environments to continue in the long-term and 30% expect that a majority of employees will return to the office full-time within the next six months.
Federal workers are not happy with their current IT systems. Notably, 54% of federal employees state they are frustrated by application speed and load time and 47% are frustrated by application crashes or freezes. The survey also noted that agencies’ IT are not meeting their needs, as 53% of civilians rated their online experience with a government agency as poor.
Meanwhile, 87% of respondents state that their agency is reactively responding to help desk tickets and 51% use phone calls as the main way to address issues. The survey respondents also noted that they “rely on reactive, manual methods to quantify problems with user, infrastructure and application experiences.” Every respondent agreed that measuring end-user experience and productivity capability is at least somewhat important.
“These survey findings point to the importance of utilizing proactive monitoring tools that provide complete network visibility to improve the user experience and network performance across an agency’s entire IT environment,” Craig McCullough, senior vice president of public sector for Riverbed, said. “As agencies balance their various work environments and collaboration tools, they should seek to implement an observability platform that multiple teams can use to proactively identify and contextually analyze user issues and leverage automation to solve them quickly.”
The survey showed that nearly 6 in 10 respondents indicate their agencies are ineffectively measuring the impact of IT environment changes in addition to not looking at business transaction productivity with regards to cost of labor, impact of inactivity and rate of success.