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Your cloud has a lot more value than you may realize. It turns out that by analyzing cloud access, you can learn a lot about how your employees are using different software, whether they’re following compliance rules, and even areas where your cloud may not be as safe as it should be. And you guessed it: it all comes down to data. The following are a few ideas to help you perform cloud monitoring for employee insights using data you already have. After all, employees are the first customer. With better data you have the opportunity to hire and retain better employees, build a stronger culture and reach more of your organization’s digital transformation milestones.
How to Monitor Your Cloud
The data you need to gain effective employee insights is right in front of you (this is often true with customer insights as well, but I’ll cover that another time). Most companies, however, fail to use the data in the most effective way—if at all.
In some ways, cloud monitoring for employee insights involves beginning with the end in mind—working backward from your goal and establishing rules and processes that can make those goals a reality. In other ways, it simply involves monitoring for outliers to determine where employees—and security—are getting off track. In either case, the data is easy to find and incredibly value. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
- Improving Usage and Adoption: We all know that getting employees onboard with new applications isn’t always easy. If they find it difficult or cumbersome, they may use only a few key features. Others may not even use it at all. But what if we found a new way to improve adoption? In the past, companies have focused on measuring employee logins to see if employees are using the software in which they’ve invested. For instance, how many employees logged in to Salesforce this month? Is that number increasing? What times of day are they doing the most calls?The thing is, these types of numbers are only the surface of the insights you can find by cloud monitoring for employee insights. Imagine, for instance, if you chose to look at the log in history of only your top performers. How often are they using the software? What applications within the program are they using most? How often are the updating client records? Use those numbers as a baseline to encourage—or even incentivize—your other teammates to follow suit. Imagine the improvement in adoption—and total performance—you could see across the board!
- Improving Compliance: Are your employees always following compliance protocols when logging in to your cloud-based apps? Which are the apps that are providing the most difficulty? Where are the common bottlenecks where a process improvement could enhance efficiency enterprise-wide? Unless you’re utilizing blockchain as a compliance device, chances are good you will have compliance issues—even if just due to human error. Be sure to see where and why these issues exist. After all, your reputation depends on it.
- Improving Performance: Are you using your cloud data to understand how employees are performing—and how your cloud-based apps are performing, as well? On the app side, for instance, you may well hear employee grumbles about certain software being consistently glitchy, but is that true? And how big of a problem is it? By analyzing the numbers, you may find that the issue is one of human error on the part of a select number of teammates. Rather than dump the system, you can invest in extra training only for those impacted.On the employee side, the number offers key insights, as well. How long is each employee spending with each client record? How many lulls in activity are you seeing throughout the day? And what can you do to improve the efficiencies even further?
- Improving Security: Last but not least is the issue of security. Obviously, we all worry about the security of our cloud environment.But do we all understand how cloud monitoring for employee insights could enhance our understanding of blind spots in our security framework—and even prevent cyber disasters altogether?
For instance, by monitoring inactive users, you can quickly find inappropriate or unexpected activity when those inactive users pop up on your cloud environment. And by monitoring active users, you can quickly see if someone seems to be logging in from a different region or country than usual—hence, recognizing that someone’s user ID has been hijacked. And, by seeing which apps or parts of the cloud experience the most issues, you can quickly decide where shoring up security would be a good idea.
Too Much Big Brother?
I know that after reading all of that you’re probably thinking it sounds a little too big brother like. And while on the surface you are correct, it’s important to note that this monitoring should be looked at as a way to improve productivity and the bottom line and not as a tool to spy on your employees. Also, it’s important to let your employees know what you’re looking at. Transparency could spark a conversation about difficulties employees are having or it could spark a discussion on how to improve processes. Either way, don’t be shady about your monitoring practices.
Yes, the cloud is an incredible resource for businesses—but its value does not just lie in effective data storage or app access. By performing cloud monitoring for employee insights, you can gain highly beneficial information about how your employees are using software, how much time they’re spending with clients, and even how often they put your data security—and reputation—in jeopardy. Make cloud monitoring for employee insights a regular part of your digital strategy to make the most of your cloud investment.
The original version of this article was first published on Forbes.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio