Introducing the Digital Employee Experience Market Map

Introducing the Digital Employee Experience Market Map
April 8, 2021

Employee experience is one of the fastest growing IT markets today, and adoption of EX solutions is exploding. Every organization is competing on the strength of its workforce, which brings new urgency to questions like:

  • Are employees engaged and motivated?
  • Do they have the resources (information, technology, relationships) they need to be productive?
  • Can employees focus on their work without being disrupted by technology?
  • Do recruiting and onboarding processes inspire or demotivate new hires?
  • Are employees receiving the training, coaching, and feedback they need to grow?
  • Is information communicated effectively throughout the organization?
  • Do employees experience a culture consistent with the organization’s stated values?

These questions are at the heart of the employee experience market. But the market itself can be confusing. What is employee experience? What is an EX solution?

There’s no standard definition and the term is often used in very different ways. However, the EX market is starting to come into focus as EX commands greater executive attention.

It’s easy to see why. A recent Gartner study found, “Employees who are largely satisfied with their experience are 60% more likely to report high intent to stay at their current organization, 52% more likely to report high discretionary effort, and 69% more likely to be a high performer.”1

Today we highlight the rise of employee experience management with the first ever employee experience market map. The map includes 9 categories where vendors either position themselves as employee experience solutions or where the solutions themselves have a significant impact on employee experience.

Employee Experience Market Map

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Human Capital ManagementKnowledge & Content ManagementWorkforce CommunicationsEmployee Feedback & SentimentDigital AdoptionEndpoint SecurityDigital Employee Experience ManagementProductivity & Collaboration AppsPortal/IntranetEmployee Experience Market Map

In addition, we’ve created a market map that explores more deeply the digital employee experience market, where Nexthink focuses. People sometimes ask how digital employee experience (DEX) management relates to application performance management/monitoring (APM), unified endpoint management (UEM), and AIOps. The digital employee experience market map shows how these categories complement one another.

Digital Employee Experience Market Map

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Digital Employee Experience ManagementAIOpsServer Configuration ManagementDevice and Software ManagementDesktop and App VirtualizationUEMAPMENDPOINTSPERFORMANCE MONITORING & EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENTSYSTEMS MANAGEMENTAPPS & INFRASTRUCTURE

The increased adoption of EX solutions is driven by many factors:

  • Long term trend toward remote and distributed work
  • Greater recognition of the importance of employee retention from both a financial and organizational culture standpoint
  • Deeper understanding of the impact of employee experience on customer experience and revenue
  • Increased competition for top talent, especially in industries like technology, financial services, life sciences, and healthcare
  • Accelerated digital transformation efforts
  • Rising expectations among employees, especially younger ones, for a more personalized workplace experience
  • And of course, the dramatic short-term increase in remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic, which will also increase remote and hybrid work in the long term

Within EX, digital employee experience (DEX) management focuses on delivering a superior technology experience to every employee, at every moment. By shifting IT’s focus from the technology itself to how employees experience technology, DEX management enables organizations to detect and remediate technology issues faster, prevent digital disruptions from occurring, and give a more personalized experience to every worker.

The benefits of DEX management for both IT and the business as a whole are significant:

  • IT operational cost reduction
    • Reduction in number of incidents (tickets)
    • Reduction in MTTR (mean time to resolution) for incidents
  • Reduced IT project risk and increased adoption of new technologies
  • Hardware and software cost savings
  • Increased employee productivity and satisfaction from fewer disruptions and a more personalized environment

As in many fast-growing markets, the EX category boundaries are sometimes fuzzy. For example, many HCM vendors offer workforce communications and employee feedback & sentiment capabilities, although they may not offer deep functionality in those areas. And some categories are very broad, while others are more focused.

The diversity of categories reflects the many directions from which EX capabilities are being built – from endpoint analytics to endpoint security to survey & feedback gathering to portal/intranet. All can help an organization empower employees to do their best work, while helping the organization itself manage costs and risks. But they address very different problems and opportunities while helping improve employee experience.

These market maps are a first attempt to bring clarity to this fast evolving space. They list representative vendors only and are certainly not comprehensive. Our goal is simply to make it easier for IT and business leaders to understand the EX and DEX market. We hope this helps you make sense of the many vendors offering employee experience solutions.

What do you think? We would love your feedback so we can continue evolving the market maps to reflect the rich innovation taking place today!

Please share your thoughts by commenting on this LinkedIn Post.

Category overviews:

Digital Employee Experience Management
Continuous management of employees’ experience with IT resources (devices, applications, virtualization, and networks)

Unified Endpoint Management
Central management of all endpoint applications and devices, including PCs and mobile devices

Device and Software Management 
Configuration and management of endpoints (typically PCs), including OS and application deployment and patching, inventory, and more

Desktop and Application Virtualization
Delivery of end-user desktop and application resources from a data center or cloud service instead of running on the user’s device

Server Configuration Management
Configuration and management of servers, both physical and virtual

Application Performance Management/Monitoring
Monitoring and management of performance and availability of software applications, typically by monitoring application code

Automation and enhancement of IT operations processes using AI techniques to improve performance and availability

Productivity and Collaboration Applications
Document and content creation, real-time and asynchronous communication, and collaborative planning and execution of projects among groups

Knowledge and Content Management
Creation, collection, and presentation of information and documents to support a wide range of processes

Unified access to an organization’s applications, data, and resources, delivered through a website and/or mobile application

Workforce Communications
Communications tailored to employee groups to drive awareness of and engagement with specific topics

Employee Feedback and Sentiment
Collection and analysis of employees’ sentiment toward their overall work environment

Digital Adoption
Step-by-step guidance provided within applications to increase application and feature use

Endpoint Security
Detection and containment of and protection against threats on endpoint devices

Human Capital Management
Functions that support the hiring, management, and development of employees, such as recruiting, onboarding, benefits, and performance management

1. Gartner, The Modern Employee Experience: Increasing the Returns on Employee Experience Investments,

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