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Companies that empower employees with the applications they want and need, and make them readily accessible at any time and from any device, can benefit from measurable gains at the individual and organizational level, according to a new report from Forbes Insights and VMware.

While empowering employees with technology choice translates to better enterprise performance, the report also found a dangerous perception disconnect between employees and CIOs on the availability, utility, and freedom to use employee technologies in the workplace.

Companies that give employees ready access to the applications they need are nearly three times as likely to be rated leaders in digital transformation by their employees, compared with companies that do not (81 percent vs. 31 percent).

The findings are based on a survey of 2,158 executives in 16 countries, divided equally between CIOs and end-users of business applications and productivity solutions, conducted from June to August 2017 by Forbes Insights in collaboration with VMware.

Employees in companies that are lagging in digital transformation (followers) are 10 times more likely to say that they don’t have ready access to the applications they need to do their jobs right, compared with companies that empower their employees (2 percent vs. 22 percent).

Empowered employees (those whose organizations make applications available and highly accessible) report that they spend 17 percent less time on manual processes. In addition. their team collaboration has increased by 16 percent, and decision-making has been sped up by 16 percent.

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