[Part of The 9 Most Common Issues in End-User IT Affecting Digital Employee Experience video series]
Transcript of the video:
In this video, we talk about the common end-user IT issues that are affecting the employee experience the most.
The digital employee experience is becoming a laser focus for the early adopters of DEX best practises who have started to monitor, measure and improve their end-user experience with the knowledge that it's becoming a critical benchmark for the success of their company and the IT department.
So, what are the most common issues affecting employee experience?
High memory usage
We have had reports from our customers, which is also clear in the data of 1000 plus workstation environments using Applixure that most of the issues with high memory usage are taking place in computers with 8GB RAM, which is less efficient at running multiple power-hungry apps at the same time than those with 16GB RAM. And in the future, as application memory requirements continue growing, 16GB may also start feeling tight.
Our analysis found that nearly half of 8GB laptops have high memory usage issues where 16GB or more it drops to low single digits.
It almost goes without saying why high memory usage is one of the most common digital employee experience issues. With high memory usage, a computer may need to use its hard drive as additional space to free up physical memory, slowing things down to a literal cruel.
Also, the current trend in application development is to use browser technology in client applications and for developers to not care too much about how much memory their applications consume. This places even more demands on the amount of RAM.
Computers should make employees more productive and not limit their productivity.
Often the easiest way to speed things up is to add memory. RAM is relatively cheap and quick to install, and it's important today to make use of data when deciding the computer models and specs that employees need rather than using a blanket approach.
General recommendations are often far from adequate and based on them, sizing can go wrong in terms of performance when selecting undersized machines for users in relation to the application load actually needed for the job. And the applications needed to perform work tasks are the most important determinant when considering how powerful computers need to be.
Data should be harnessed for defining the specs for new computers, whether that be 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and so on.
Laptop battery wear
One of our customers has many offices spread out all over the country. And so before they arrange a site visit, they check which computers need new batteries so that they are equipped to replace them when they visit each site periodically. This often surprises the recipient of the new battery, who has been experiencing issues but not got around to reporting it.
The fact is, if not kept on top of, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, which means that computers need to be charged more often. Pretty soon the user must carry a charger around with them everywhere and looking for power outlets or fighting for the few that are available becomes the norm.
Browsers or modern applications using browser technology may be very battery draining, and because these apps are in high active use like Teams or Chrome, batteries in good condition are important for laptop user.
Heat and charge cycles increase wear, as does keeping them plugged and charged close to 100% all of the time, which is most often the case now that laptops in most cases have replaced desktop computers.
While a new modern laptop battery may last the entire day, a worn-out battery may last only 30 to 60 minutes, especially if the computer has other issues which increase energy consumption. Always carrying a charger with you becomes a chore, especially as we humans tend to forget things and have to turn back to pick up the charger we forgot at a desk at home, or in a meeting, or at a client.
A worn-out battery often leads to accidental power offs, lost work and productivity when the battery runs out unexpectedly or because the user forgot the charger.
Changing a laptop battery to a new one is often a worthwhile investment and a quick fix, unless the laptops is in its last months of economic use, in which case it's better to buy the employee a new laptop straight away.
What's interesting is that users often don't notice how worn out their battery is and it's ITs job to detect the issue and then they can go on and order a new battery and invite the user for a short pit stop and they'll love IT for it.
It's therefore important to check which laptops have battery wear at less than 75% of its original capacity and those with worn out batteries with less than 50% of their original capacity.
In our analysis of over 1000 customer environments, nearly one in five desktops and one in five laptops were experiencing performance degradation. And so it's critical to identify which computers have this issue.
Computers tend to become slower over time for many reasons, including high memory usage which we covered earlier, and each new software adding its own drivers and OS updates applying batch on batch, for example.
With a bit of investigation though, you may find out why certain computers have gotten slower and how to fix them. And as a final resort, reinstalling often makes things run faster.
Quantifying or measuring performance degradation can be hard, as many different technical things combined can affect perception of responsiveness of a machine. For IT, monitoring these things in isolation following simple metrics such as CPU usage or memory usage might not tell the whole picture, as employees can suffer with slow operations in their applications even if one particular metric is "good" simply due to the combined effect.
Performance degradation results mostly from the computer struggling to service all that it has been asked to do when too many things are up in the air at the same time. For this reason detecting performance degradation must be performed smartly on the device by correlating multiple metrics.
Are you interested in seeing how YOUR computer environment stacks up?
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