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Emerging from the digital shock: IT leaders prepare for the new work order

Darren Fields, VP, Networking, EMEA - Citrix

Almost three-quarters (72%) of UK IT leaders believe that the rapid shift to home-working has accelerated their organisations’ digital transformation.The data is from a poll of 511 UK-based IT leaders, forming part of a global research study of 3,700 IT leaders. It has found that businesses have been scrambling to meet the challenge of mass working-from-home and confronting new security and performance concerns. But with nearly three-quarters of IT decision-makers (72%) believing that employees will not want to return to office working, the pressure is on for businesses to rapidly establish a new model.

“Almost overnight, the office has become a digital space rather than a physical place,” said Darren Fields, VP, Networking, EMEA, Citrix. “This study shows that IT teams around the world have risen to the challenge of swiftly enabling mass home-working. The next task is to make this sustainable and effective for the long-term, while also beginning the mammoth job of reintroducing workers back to physical workplaces. This huge rupture in the business landscape is likely to bring forward the emergence of a truly hybrid working environment. IT teams and business leaders must make sure this is as seamless, secure and adaptable as possible.”

As lockdowns are eased and the world of work restarts, there is a limited appetite to return to the previous model of office-based working. Over two-thirds of IT decision makers (72%) agree that it has been surprisingly easy for the majority of the organisation to work from home, and three in four (75%) agree that technology has enabled employees to collaborate just as effectively as they can face-to-face.

IT teams are implementing technology to facilitate long-term home-working in a post-pandemic world. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, 57% of IT leaders agree their departments are considering downsizing physical IT infrastructure and transitioning to a cloud model, whilst 42% anticipate introducing digital workspace platforms and 44% are looking to public cloud services to facilitate long-term remote working.

The study also reveals that the road to mass home-working has not been an entirely easy one, however. Despite nearly two-thirds (61%) of employees already working from home at least one day a week, businesses have struggled to make the switch. Half (50%) did not have a business continuity plan based on the vast majority of the workforce being mandated to work from home, and 68% found it challenging to migrate their workforce to remote-working.

“This crisis has thrust IT teams – often the ‘unsung heroes’ of a business – into the limelight like never before,” added Fields. “This research makes it clear that the reputation and visibility of the IT department has been transformed, as IT infrastructure and digital tools become critical to business continuity.”

Data from Citrix

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