According to Gartner, by the year 2024, remote workers will use at least four different device types for remote working, up from three devices in 2019. In spite of this, many businesses still do not have the right solutions in place to properly prepare. Businesses and IT teams are in desperate need of new technologies to adapt to meet shifting demands in the ever changing workplace.
IT teams should not be excluded from the move to a more balanced and less stressful approach to work. In our recent survey of IT professionals, 52% of respondents reported having confidence in their company’s IT preparedness for another major disruption, but just under half (48%) were not confident or only somewhat confident. Well, I don’t know about others, but if nearly half of my IT team isn’t feeling confident about the future, I’m worried.
If we look back and reflect on the pandemic, this same survey found that 83% of IT team leaders and members noted feeling stress and anxiety over the change to hybrid or remote work; with 77% of IT teams expressing that they did not feel fully prepared overall for the change. This rising stress and anxiety among IT team leaders and members has contributed to the growing sense of urgency for new tools that simplify work processes and minimize risk.
When asked about how their teams could have been better prepared for the swift change in the workplace, the top four responses were: (1) better communication skills, (2) stronger network security, (3) stronger network connection and (4) faster remote deployment. This feedback reinforces that IT professionals are looking for solutions to simplify their network while positioning their connectivity in the cloud era.
More Unexpected Disruption
While the initial work from home stressors and challenges are mostly behind us now and we’ve largely adjusted, the supply chain issues, rising costs and the war on Ukraine all suggest that this disruption ride is far from over. According to a recent report from McKinsey and Company, every industry is going to have to reinvent itself after the pandemic to achieve maximum growth and sustainability. Organizational executives need to take a leading role in protecting enterprise margins and growth, investing in proven technology and process automation, and building deep expertise in supply market dynamics.
Most companies were not prepared for the rapid shift to remote work, but that doesn’t mean they can’t better set themselves up for success before the next major change in the workplace hits.
With the potential for a recession coming down the pike along with more disruption in business, Forrester Research predicts that CIOs will be looking for better deals on telecommunications contracts and for one-stop solutions that will provide them with the tools they need to manage their networks. There will also be a heavy focus on technology investments that enable employee productivity, collaboration and connectivity. Because the pandemic led to such a distributed workforce, technology is the backbone of communication and continued operations.
The bottom line is that disruption in the workplace isn’t going to stop, so having the right systems in place to ensure that businesses are prepared to handle the next curve ball is paramount.
Finding the Right Solutions
According to Harvey Nash Group’s 2021 Digital Leadership Report, 60% of tech organizations are expecting an increase in tech budgets in 2022 and 61% are expecting an increase in their IT teams’ headcount. The digital workforce is here to stay and businesses appear to be preparing their IT teams for this by increasing budget and headcount – so, why is their technology not changing?
When asked about the biggest challenges IT team members will face in the next 3-5 years, survey respondents reported concerns with keeping up with existing technologies (33%), innovating new technology (28%) and addressing security and risk (27%). And, when asked about solutions to future challenges, 40% of respondents chose secure connectivity as a service as the number one solution IT teams are considering. Regardless of which pathway they choose to take, they aren’t wasting any time in implementation either — 65% of IT teams plan to implement new solutions within the next year.
It’s clear IT teams know what they want and have goals to get these solutions into their infrastructure sooner rather than later.
So, with budgets in flux and IT teams looking to expand, businesses need to integrate new tools that simplify work processes and minimize risk. The implementation of these new tools will help IT team members and companies as a whole reduce stress and anxiety when preparing for future unknowns. And I think we can all agree that simple, integrated solutions that reduce stress are something we all need right now.