Alexander Laubert, Lakeside: Technology is fundamental to employee productivity and happiness

by Agnes Hartl

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Alexander Laubert, Lakeside: Technology is fundamental to employee productivity and happiness

In today’s dynamic market environment, businesses face significant challenges. To meet these, internal IT plays a crucial role. It’s no longer just about fulfilling customer desires and implementing instructions. CIOs must now actively participate in and drive corporate strategy.

Our latest research for the “Proactive IT” factsheet offers exciting insights. We talk with leading IT decision-makers and distinguished CIOs from the Confare network. This factsheet is created in cooperation with Lakeside Software.

The second part of our big interview with Alexander Laubert, Lakeside’s Director of the DACH-region, looks at the importance of “Proactive IT” for the productivity and satisfaction of employees in the company and how “Proactive IT” works with the business departments.

Meet the IT management experts from Lakeside at the Confare #CIOSUMMITs in Vienna, Zurich and Frankfurt, the most important CIO gatherings in the German-speaking area. Lakeside provides IT executives worldwide with comprehensive insights into their IT systems, infrastructure, and architecture – a crucial basis for truly “Proactive IT”. Register now for free, participation is complimentary for IT managers.

Don’t miss the Confare Factsheet “Proactive IT”. Secure your free subscription to the Confare Factsheet here: Factsheet Subscription.

In the first part of the interview with Alexander Laubert, Alexander talks about the importance of “Proactive IT”, why few have the right data for it, and what it will take to change that.


Which tools, mechanisms and methods have proven successful for understanding the needs and wishes of employees for “Proactive IT”?

Alexander Laubert: The Lakeside SysTrack platform provides the analytics, applications, and dashboards to understand underlying or hidden IT issues that may have an impact on the digital employee experience. Building off the Lakeside Intelligent Edge — agents that gather 10,000 datapoints every 15 seconds off nearly any type of endpoint device — and extending data intelligence with core integrations, SysTrack empowers IT to supplement qualitative employee sentiment data with quantifiable, hard metrics about the end-user experience.

With SysTrack, IT can use both historical and real-time data to build the robust picture needed to gain more complete and accurate view of what users are experiencing. Coupled with all the underlying IT factors that may disrupt their digital experiences, this visibility translates into an ongoing end-user experience score.

While quantitative metrics can tell IT teams a lot, they may not reveal everything. What may at first appear to be a small problem can sometimes be a major nuisance to a user, and objective data doesn’t always reflect this.

For that reason, qualitative data is needed as well. The most common way to collect qualitative data is through surveys, specifically surveys that include free-response questions. However, manually reading through hundreds of survey responses is time consuming and can be difficult to pull actionable insights from.

In these situations, it can be helpful to use sentiment analysis for each free-response question. Sentiment analysis tools can track the occurrence of words with positive and negative connotations to score individual responses.

Once responses are scored, IT can obtain an average of overall user sentiment and then read individual positive and negative responses to get an idea of why users may feel a certain way. Subjective data is turned into concrete data without losing the nuances that make it so insightful.

What defines the user’s experience in the digital workplace? How can “Proactive IT” contribute and shape this?

Alexander Laubert: The user experience in the digital workplace is referred to as the “Digital Employee Experience” (DEX). Forrester’s Senior Analyst Andrew Hewitt and Principal Analyst Cheryl McKinnon define as, “The sum of all the perceptions that employees have about working with the technology they use to complete their daily work and manage their relationship with their employer across the lifecycle of their employment.”

DEX is the line between employees happily working on their smooth-running computers versus throwing up their hands in frustration when a glitchy computer or app, slow load times, or other IT issues get in their way of doing their job. Digital employee experiences, both good and bad, cover the full gamut of this spectrum.

One thing is common for every enterprise creating a digital workplace strategy: today, DEX matters more than ever. According to McKinsey’s The State of Organizations 2023 report, “Since the pandemic, about 90 percent of organizations have embraced a range of hybrid work models that allow employees to work remotely from off-site locations (including home) for some or much of the time.”

“Proactive IT” is especially important as companies enact return to office (RTO) policies. Despite some push toward RTO policies, every company is going to have to plan for a hybrid workforce model. IT must ensure that the digital employee experience is the same whether the employee is working from home or in the office. The transition to and from must be a seamless one, or employees will get frustrated and lose productivity. No one working from home will want to log in to 10 systems to get the same kind of access at home as they do in the office. In this environment, battery health and its impact on device performance will continue to be super important as employees carry their laptop between environments.

How does this proactive role affect the collaboration with management and specialist departments?

Alexander Laubert: In the Forbes article “The Rise of the Chief Workplace Experience Officer: A New Role For A Digital World,” Andrew Mawson points out that “the war for key talent continues to rage across sectors,” prompting “many organizations around the world, particularly in the knowledge sectors, [to pay] more attention to the experience their people have at work.” Accordingly, they are hiring “Chief Happiness Officers.” Currently more than 4,000 companies have enlisted per LinkedIn.

In this context, managers and People / HR teams are key stakeholders in digital employee experience initiatives a few reasons.

  1. Silent Suffering: One aspect of hybrid work environments is the effort it takes to contact IT. Employees often can’t just walk down the hall to drop off their laptop. Instead, they call the service desk or submit a ticket, which takes time. The affected end user sometimes has to reproduce the problem, get screenshots and often get on a call, and show someone what happened. With a lot of trial and error accompanied by frustration, users will then reboot and hope that works. And then, as a last resort, they’ll submit the ticket.


  1. Right-Sizing Hardware and Software: New capabilities, updates and patches—software is constantly changing. It’s, therefore, essential to ensure that employees have what they need for their roles. “Proactive IT” can automate the right-sizing of hardware and software, so employees have streamlined digital experiences while cutting the expense of software licenses or unnecessary hardware.


  1. Employee Productivity: Much of the ongoing debate around working from home centers on employee productivity. Even though 60% of employees surveyed about their digital workplace productivity consider technology to be fundamental to their productivity, on average, employees indicate that they’re performing at only 60% of their potential productivity with their current digital tools. In this context, right-sizing for each employee is even more imperative. When IT can improve the employee’s digital experience, they also empower and improve end-user productivity.

Read more: In the first part of our big interview with Alexander Laubert, Lakeside’s Director of the DACH-region, Alexander talks about the importance of “Proactive IT”, why few have the right data for it, and what it will take to change that.

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