75% of executives polled say employees won’t return to the office as they knew it in wake of COVID-19, 72% say rapid shift to remote work is accelerating digital transformation
The coronavirus has challenged IT organizations around the world in ways unimaginable. However, they are rising to the occasion, accelerating their digital transformation efforts to accommodate more flexible ways of working they say employees will demand even after the pandemic subsides, according to Citrix-Censuswide research. Over three-quarters of more than 3,700 IT leaders in seven countries surveyed believe a majority of workers will be reluctant to return to the office as it was. And 62% say they are expediting their move to the cloud as a result.
Testing their Mettle
“COVID-19 has put already stressed IT teams to the test as mandates designed to slow the spread of the virus have forced them to deliver digital work environments with unprecedented speed,” said Meerah Rajavel, Chief Information Officer, Citrix. “But as the results of our latest research reveal, they have responded and are stepping up their efforts to accommodate flexible models that will drive work for the foreseeable future.”
Flexing their Muscle
Over two-thirds of the IT decision makers polled by Censuswide (69%) say that it has been surprisingly easy for the majority of their employees to work from home, and 71% say that the technology they have put in place has enabled them to collaborate just as effectively as they can face-to-face. In light of this, they are revving up their digital engines and implementing solutions to support remote work for the long haul.
· 62% of IT leaders say their departments are considering downsizing physical IT infrastructure and transitioning to a cloud model
· 42% anticipate introducing digital workspace platforms
· 44% are looking to public cloud services to facilitate long-term remote working
A Rough Road
The road to widespread remote work has not been easy. Almost half (48%) of the IT leaders who participated in the Censuswide survey say their organizations did not have a business continuity plan based on the vast majority of employees working from home, and 61% found it challenging to make the switch.
In addition, the fast and widespread adoption of remote work has opened a new set of concerns and challenges with which they must deal:
· 70% of IT leaders are worried about information security as a result of employees working-from-home
· 54% say there’s been a spike in employees installing unsanctioned software.
· 23% say that unscheduled virtual personal network (VPN) shutdowns have been a key problem for their department over the last few weeks.
Taking a Toll
All of this has taken a toll on IT teams, with over three-quarters (77%) reporting high stress levels. But there is a silver lining.
“This crisis has thrust IT teams – often the ‘unsung heroes’ of a business – into the limelight like never before,” Rajavel said. “They have worked to deliver secure, reliable work environments that are keeping employees engaged and productive and business moving in extremely challenging times. And in doing so, they will emerge from the crisis more strategic and valued by their organizations than they were going in.”
More than three-quarters of the IT leaders polled (77%) share this sentiment and say that IT is currently seen as “business critical to their organization,” while 55% believe that their new job title should be “working from home warrior” or “corporate savior.”