Amid evolving market dynamics and fierce competition, energy leaders say they’ll need to deliver more advanced digital experiences in the next five years as new generations enter the workforce

A global study has found that a vast majority of energy leaders are prioritising digital employee experience (DEX) to remain competitive, retain staff and drive operational efficiencies.

The Global Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Survey 2023 by Riverbed, a leader in Unified Observability, revealed that IT and business decision-makers in the sector are working to improve digital experiences for employees and customers as an urgent priority.

The survey polled 1,800 global IT decision-makers (ITDMs) and business decision-makers (BDMs) across 10 countries and seven industries, including 100 energy and utilities leaders.

The survey was conducted by Sapio Research in May 2023 to explore generational expectations, hybrid work, the evolving role of IT, and challenges and strategies to delivering an exceptional digital employee experience.

With evolving market dynamics, competition is fierce, and a key way to remain competitive is to ensure a strong DEX so staff can collaborate seamlessly across a geographically dispersed workforce.

A substantial majority (93 per cent) of survey respondents agreed that providing a seamless DEX is crucial to remaining competitive, at a time when energy companies are shifting toward renewable energy sources and increasing digital transformation and sustainability initiatives.


Identifying ways to deliver a strong DEX is vital as long-standing employees are retiring, and ‘digital natives’ – Millennial and Gen Z – are becoming a larger part of the workforce.

In particular, 85 per cent of energy leaders surveyed believe they’ll need to deliver more advanced digital experiences for new generations in the next five years, and 65 per cent say failing to do so could impact the company’s reputation and be disruptive.

Additionally, 66 per cent of survey respondents say that Millennial and Gen Z employees would consider leaving the company if their digital needs are not met.

Despite knowing that DEX is a vital tool to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals, 98 per cent of energy decision-makers surveyed cite, at least, one major obstacle or gap – such as to delivering the seamless digital experiences their workforce and customers demand.

The top obstacles include inadequate observability tools, talent shortage or lack of skilled personnel, and lack of appropriate cloud services and SaaS apps.

Additionally, 83 per cent say slow-running systems and applications and outdated technology are directly impacting the growth and performance of their organisation, while others are being hamstrung by staffing concerns.

Forty-three per cent believe they are understaffed, and 34 per cent have enough employees, but those employees lack the fundamental skills to do their jobs.

However, 76 per cent of those with employees lacking the correct skills have set budget aside to retrain people.


Compared to other industries surveyed in the report, energy decision-makers were especially concerned with the security of their IT operations.

Hybrid infrastructure and legacy technologies can be difficult to monitor and manage.

In fact, 48 per cent of respondents said security vulnerabilities were their greatest IT-related concern, with 44 per cent estimating they’ll increase their investment in security solutions – the greatest across all verticals.

Increasingly, chief information officers (CIO) in the energy industry find themselves playing a more essential role not just in the server room, but also in the boardroom.

In fact, 82 per cent of respondents have found that IT teams’ relevance within the C-suite has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 87 per cent of IT leaders surveyed said they have a seat at the C-Suite table.

This is because CIOs and IT teams have the power to improve employee experiences, mitigate security risks, and improve operational efficiency through greater network visibility.

Overwhelmingly, this power is being used to focus business’ attention and investment on unified observability.

Ninety per cent of energy leaders surveyed said they recognise the importance of the tool in their company’s ability to provide seamless digital experiences.

And of all the verticals surveyed, Energy decision-makers were also the most optimistic (92 per cent) about the power of unified observability technology with automation to help bridge the skills gap, demonstrating that the technology can help them meet even their most challenging goals – while delivering better experiences for employees and customers.

"Our Global DEX Survey 2023 confirmed that it’s never been more critical for IT teams to have complete observability and insights into their data, in order to deliver a better digital employee experience," explains Mena Migally, Regional Vice President – Emerging EMEA at Riverbed.

"By leveraging unified observability and AI, Energy leaders can make informed decisions that allow them to better satisfy digital expectations of their employees, while at the same time keeping customers loyal, staying compliant and competitive, and improving operations."

By Abdulaziz Khattak