Regardless of the easing of lockdown, most employees still won’t be returning to their offices. This is largely due to the rapid shift to remote working that has accelerated digital transformation at most companies. A recent Citrix survey shows IT leaders are preparing for new work order.

The lockdown has challenged most businesses in ways unimaginable, but new research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Citrix Systems, shows they are rising to the occasion. More than 75% 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.

According to the survey, 69% of IT decision makers say that it has been surprisingly easy for the majority of their employees to work from home, and 71 percent 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.

More than 60 percent say they are considering downsizing physical IT infrastructure and transitioning to a cloud model. Furthermore, 42 percent anticipate introducing digital workspace platforms and 44 percent are looking to public cloud services to facilitate long-term remote working.

Troye CEO Helen Kruger (Featured Photo) says the road to widespread remote work has not been easy. “Almost half of the IT leaders who participated in the Censuswide survey say their companies did not have a business continuity plan based on the vast majority of employees working from home, and 61 percent found it challenging to make the switch.”

The fast and widespread adoption of remote work has opened a new set of concerns and challenges with which they must deal. Nearly 70 percent of IT leaders are worried about information security as a result of employees working-from-home and 54 percent say there’s been a spike in employees installing unsanctioned software.

More than 20 percent say that unscheduled virtual personal network (VPN) shutdowns have been a key problem for their department over the last few weeks.

Kruger says all of this has taken a toll on IT teams. “According to the report, 77 percent of respondents reporting high stress levels. They have however managed to deliver secure, reliable work environments to keep staff engaged and productive and business moving forward in these challenging times.”

More importantly, IT teams will emerge from this more strategic and valued. More than 75% of the IT leaders polled share this sentiment and say that IT is currently seen as ‘business critical to their organisations’ while 55 percent believe that their new job title should be ‘working from home warrior’ or ‘corporate saviour’.

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