Two years ago, when IT leaders were forced into remote work, many viewed it as a temporary experiment. Today, they see it for what it is: the future of work and have made it their top priority.
According to a Pulse survey, conducted by US-based cloud computing and virtualization technology company Citrix Systems, 100% of 400 IT and security leaders across North America, EMEA, and APAC have adopted the hybrid model and rank enabling it as job number one for their organizations.
“In 2020, IT was focused on survival amid the great remote work pressure test. In 2021, they overhauled their infrastructure and strategies to accommodate this new model. And in 2022, they will enact flexible technology strategies and workplace policies to deliver what is clearly the future of work,” says Meerah Rajavel, chief Information Officer, Citrix.
Leading the Charge
Business leaders, who once bristled at the idea of remote work because they didn’t think employees could deliver outside the office, now see the benefits it can deliver in terms of employee productivity and experience. They are calling on IT to enable it.
The Citrix Pulse survey reveals that the top five priorities of the business leaders over the next five years include enabling distributed collaboration, ensuring always-on availability, empowering individual focus, providing a consistent, consumer-like experience from device to device and location to location and automating work.
The leaders, however, will face some challenges in executing these priorities.
The Citrix survey participants identify lack of understanding the needs across the business to effectively prioritize investments (41%), cumbersome, complex infrastructure (34%) and lack of investment in cloud (24%) as the top obstacles to driving digital transformation.
Security is also a concern. As per the survey, the leaders see ransomware attacks (41%), insider threats (18 %), API/software breaches and vulnerabilities (16 %) and phishing and cloud-related attacks (15 %) as the top risks opened by remote and hybrid work.
Teams Stretched to the Max
Business leaders polled say 70% are working more hours, 56% are leaving, 50 % are experiencing decreased productivity, 49% are less satisfied with their jobs and 24% are disengaged
The leaders plan to overcome these challenges by focusing on seven key things which include bridging the cybersecurity gap (32%), managing the pace of digital acceleration with cybersecurity investment (29%), zero trust network access (14%), vendor consolidation/simplification (13%), security AI and automation (7%), app/API protection and/or browser isolation for SaaS and web apps (3%), acceleration to SASE (2%)
“When it comes to securing a workforce that cycles in and out of the office, ensuring an even playing field for collaboration and supporting employees through what remains a time of unprecedented upheaval, IT can no longer afford to make yesterday’s compromises between distributed collaboration and security,” says Rajavel.
“Instead, they must implement solutions and strategies that help them balance these seemingly competing priorities and chart a new course that allows them to deliver the future of flexible work,” she adds.