The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led many organizations to let employees work remotely, and the increase in remote work has had far-flung effects on IT teams, according to "The Surprising New State of IT in a Remote World: Tackling Challenges and Redefining IT for Future Success" report from remote desktop software provider LogMeIn.
In its report, LogMeIn identified seven key IT trends during the shift to remote work:
1. Remote Work Is the New Norm.
Approximately 72 percent of employees worked in a traditional office setting prior to the pandemic, LogMeIn reported. However, 87 percent of companies had employees that transitioned to working from home and 13 percent had employees that transitioned to part-time remote during the pandemic, which represented a "complete reversal" in the work environment of most employees.
2. IT Security Is Becoming Increasingly Important.
Time spent addressing IT security is on the rise, LogMeIn noted. Forty-seven percent of IT professionals spent five to eight hours per day on IT security, compared to 35 percent in 2019 and 36 percent in 2018.
3. Virtual Tasks and Security Concerns Require Additional Time.
Web meetings, remotely accessing employee devices and customer web meetings demanded more time than ever before during the pandemic, LogMeIn stated. Also, more time was spent on managing IT security threats and developing new security protocols.
4. IT Redefined the Remote Work Environment.
IT pros showed the ability to adapt and execute most everyday tasks remotely during the pandemic, LogMeIn indicated. In addition, most companies said they will never return to a five-day in-office work week.
5. IT Pros Are Most Concerned About Cloud Security Breaches.
Cloud security breaches (53 percent) ranked first among IT security concerns during the pandemic, LogMeIn noted. IT pros also were concerned about malware (46 percent), employee behaviors and habits (45 percent), ransomware (40 percent) and internal data breaches (39 percent).
6. An Increase in the Remote Workforce Is Driving Change Across the IT Industry.
IT pros named an increase in the remote workforce (33 percent) as the top IT trend driving change in 2020, according to LogMeIn. Furthermore, IT pros are increasingly exploring ways to deliver proactive IT support.
7. Lack of Budget Is the Biggest Barrier to Keeping Up with IT Trends.
Thirty-seven percent of IT pros cited a lack of budget as the biggest challenge their organization is facing in trying to keep up with IT trends, LogMeIn said. Along with a lack of budget, IT pros named insufficient training (32 percent) and inadequate staffing (30 percent) as their top challenges in trying to keep up with IT trends.
LogMeIn also provided the following tips to help IT pros prepare for future challenges:
- Create and refine a business continuity plan
- Leverage hardware and software that enables employees to work from anywhere
- Invest in IT security
The pandemic has caused a "massive shift in the day-to-day work of IT professionals," LogMeIn pointed out. By preparing for the future of remote work, IT pros can find ways to keep data safe, maintain seamless operations and oversee critical systems.