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U.S. Firms Make Workplace Investments That Deliver Results

Amid economic uncertainty, companies turn to service providers for help improving employee experience, ISG Provider Lens™ report says

As enterprises in the U.S. tighten spending due to worries about a possible economic downturn, they are sharpening their focus on employee experience and investing in workplace technology services that deliver tangible business benefits or reduce costs, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2023 ISG Provider Lens™ Future of Work (Workplace) Services report for the U.S. identifies growing macroeconomic concerns and recent major developments in artificial intelligence as significant new trends influencing workplace-technology-buying decisions this year. The major issues ISG identified last year, around the rise of hybrid work, concerns about sustainability and ensuring a tech-savvy workforce, continue to affect investment decisions.

“Companies are putting their money where they expect rapid results,” said Dee Anthony, leader, ISG Workplace of the Future. “Many are holding off on technologies that might take longer to deliver benefits, such as blockchain and the metaverse.”

U.S. enterprises are starting to recognize that outstanding employee experience (EX) leads to better customer experience (CX), the report says. Decisions about allowing remote and hybrid work increasingly are guided by considerations around employee mental health as well as productivity, and human resources departments play a growing role in workplace technology choices.

AI has become a major part of the digital workplace, along with analytics and automation, for providing proactive and preemptive support to users, the report says. With rising interest in large language models such as ChatGPT, almost all unified communications and collaboration technology providers have started implementing generative AI in their products. The emerging technology offers the potential for human-like insights that could improve service desk operations through capabilities such as enabling employees to auto-resolve their IT issues.

U.S enterprises are engaging with workplace managed service providers in three main areas, ISG says. They seek providers that can fulfill an overarching requirement for improved EX, with well-defined experience service levels. In addition, they want providers to offer end-user technology management that supports hybrid and remote work, ensuring uninterrupted technology access, and to enable user self-help.

“We expect large U.S. companies to shift from a traditional device-centric desktop environment to a digital workplace centered on experiences,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Service providers recognize the need for improved EX and are stepping up to help clients achieve it.”

The report also explores other workplace trends in the U.S., including enterprises’ efforts to elevate their security postures for remote work and the increasing demand for dedicated midmarket service offerings with innovative pricing models.