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A Human-centric Approach to Operational Awareness and Risk Management.

The Workforce of the Future, Cyber Intelligence & Privacy

The Work-from-Anywhere (WFA) movement predates the pandemic, but COVID-19 was an unprecedented accelerant. Millions of workers suddenly became “remote workers” in home offices, at kitchen tables, and in spare bedrooms. Employees have largely welcomed the opportunity to avoid long commutes and fixed hours. According to a study by PwC, most workers want to keep it this way. Only 4 percent want to work for companies that require them to be in the office every day.

But the WFA shift has also benefited employers. The available talent pool is no longer limited to commuting distance from the home office. Employers can hire the best person for the role irrespective of where that person lives. With less time spent commuting, many employees are working longer and more productively. One study showed that productivity increased in 39 percent of the companies surveyed.

Remote work also presents challenges, however. Many organizations are concerned about “quiet quitting”. According to at least one study, Innovation can also suffer. Remote employees are not meeting for coffee or mingling with employees from other departments as much as in-person employees. Slack channels cannot be expected to make up the difference.

Employees are a real-time source of enterprise intelligence whose behaviors and contributions offer a rich, contextual data signal that lends insight into the value of enterprise applications, the effectiveness of organizational processes, the adoption of collaboration workflows, the usefulness of training, and perhaps most importantly, an employee’s level of personal and professional well-being.  In fact, did you know that poor mental health is costing the global economy US $1 trillion a year in lost productivity, while mental health related absenteeism was costing workplaces an estimated US $17 billion.1   Specifically, almost three quarters (73%) of respondents felt that their well-being had improved with hybrid working.2

An engaged workforce is critical for organizations to innovate and succeed. Maintaining employee engagement is critical to innovation. According to Gartner(TM), “employees who are kept informed about why and how their organizations gather data about them exhibit higher discretionary effort and higher levels of trust relative to peers.  In turn, companies with high levels of trust between employees and managers beat average annualized returns for the S&P 500 by a factor of three.”3

Unfortunately, legacy technologies are failing to answer the most important questions raised by progressive CEO’s, and their HR, IT, and Finance leadership:

  1. What applications do we have? Are they being utilized? By whom? How often? Are there cost savings and efficiencies to be found in our application stack and licensing agreements?
  2. How is a hybrid work model performing for our organization as a whole? Are we meeting key performance indicators? Are we meeting objectives from a time and deliverables perspective? Do our employees feel engaged, motivated, and involved?
  3. What unsanctioned SaaS applications are being utilized by top performers? What opportunities are there to learn from BYOA and adopting new SaaS apps that could accelerate innovation and efficiency?

Workforce Cyber Intelligence answers these questions and flips everything you know about ‘employee monitoring’ on its head.  You see, a workforce’s level of engagement can be interpreted by understanding when, why, where, and how employees and third parties interact with data, machines, applications, and their peers as they perform their job responsibilities WITHOUT invasive surveillance techniques or invading privacy.

To be clear, Workforce Cyber Intelligence is NOT employee monitoring. Outdated, invasive platforms scrutinize productivity using keystroke logging, screen capture, and other surveillance techniques to observe precisely what each employee is doing all day. The surveillance solutions breed mistrust – the antithesis of what is required to improve operational efficiency and foster a positive employee culture.

Instead, DTEX PULSE is a Workforce Cyber Intelligence solution built around employee privacy using data minimalization and pseudonymization. It provides IT, security, and HR teams with data measuring which applications are used and how frequently. It measures the intensity to prevent burnout and promote work-life balance, and understands engagement level to foster optimal times for organizational communications and meetings without compromising privacy.

A new type of workforce requires new solutions to support them, and that’s what we’ve set out to do with the launch of DTEX PULSE. In subsequent posts we will discuss the three primary use cases for Workforce Cyber Intelligence: Remote Work Analytics, Asset and Software License Utilization, and addressing and benefiting from the Bring Your Own Applications (BYOA) trend.

To learn more about DTEX’s new privacy-by-design tool to support today’s modern organizations with employee engagement and intelligence, please visit the PULSE page here and if you want to jump ahead, you can download the entire DTEX PULSE e-book here.

1 Australian Government Productivity Commission, Mental Health Inquiry Report November 2020
2 Balancing Act – The New Equation in Hybrid Working, PwC AU, copyright 2022.
3 Gartner, How to Communicate Employee Monitoring to Your Associates, 29 March 2022.
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.