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Independent Study Finds Growing Divide Between IT and End Users on IT Performance Perceptions

Study reveals dissatisfaction with IT department among end users, differing views on what it takes to bridge the gap.

BOSTON – A new study, Mind the (Perception) Gap, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Nexthink, a leader in end-user experience management solutions, revealed a major perception gap between end users and IT practitioners regarding IT performance. 

According to the commissioned Forrester study, only 36% of business users think IT is aligned with the needs of the business, delivers projects on time, reduces the frequency of issues and offers updates to improve productivity. Further, only 34% of end users think their satisfaction is a priority for IT.

As part of the study, Forrester developed custom survey questions and polled one hundred IT managers in the U.S. responsible for end-user monitoring, and 300 office workers who use computers daily in their jobs, to examine areas where IT and end users perceive a disconnect, areas where they agree, and the actions that successful IT organizations undertake to align with the business.

"This survey underscores the growing divide between IT and the business. As this divide grows so too does productivity loss which is costing enterprises millions of dollars and unimaginable aggravation,” said Vincent Bieri, Co-founder, Nexthink. “Often IT is delivering services without end-user visibility, which creates a lot of problems in terms of quality, costs and change management. It’s vital for IT executives to get to the root of this gap and rethink the ways in which IT teams collaborate with end users and receive feedback.”  

According to the Forrester study, “the key is for IT to think less about their standing KPIs and think more about what end users value. Effectively understanding end users’ needs requires that IT establish a better line of communication—seeking and receiving immediate feedback in the context of the activities end users perform in order to better understand how to provide proactive solutions.”

Additional findings from the Forrester study, include:

  • End users and IT practitioners each have different ideas on what would improve end-user productivity. Eighty-six percent of the end users cited faster computers, compared to 52% of IT managers; and 76% of IT managers said reducing the time IT takes to resolve issues would improve productivity.
  • Out of the respondents who had very satisfied end users and IT practitioners, they pointed to aligned priorities between IT and the rest of the business, as well as IT departments that make frequent device updates and proactively solve service issues. They also pointed to end users who generally report all issues to the service desk, providing the incident data necessary to identify and fix problems. 
  • While end-user feedback is crucial, 70-to-89% of IT practitioners face challenges with many of the current feedback methods, such as pulse surveys, monitoring social channels, fielded surveys or interviews and meetings.


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