Leading tech company’s findings, gathered from nearly 700 IT professionals, focus on lessons learned by organizations forced to face a ‘new normal’ amid the global pandemic.
BURNABY, CANADA – Teradici, creator of PCoIP technology and cloud access software, has released findings from a new report entitled “The Separation of Work and Place,” which highlights lessons learned from organizations navigating a new normal, amid the pandemic. Notably, the report found that organizations plan to increase IT spending by well over 100% to support remote teams. Two-thirds of respondents shared they would change the way they shift employees to work remotely if faced with a similar or like event. IT respondents also shared what they have learned since the pandemic amid new concerns ranging from security to managing dispersed teams for an extended period of time.
“Companies across key industries have struggled with the increasing number of IT and remote work hurdles brought on by COVID-19,” explained Ziad Lammam, VP of product at Teradici. “Challenges ranged from procuring new hardware, to VPN set up, to assessing work-from-home policies -- all while ensuring security and productivity didn’t take a back seat. Conversely, we also saw several companies take advantage of centralizing their workstations in a data center or public cloud, providing them many benefits, including greater operational and cost efficiencies, improved flexibility, and superior talent acquisition, now from any location.”
The report, which gathered insights from nearly 700 IT respondents, reveals that companies forced to quickly shift employees to a remote work setting were not fully prepared to make the move.
Report Key IT Findings
- Most organizations would take a different approach next time If faced with another similar event to the COVID-19 pandemic; two-thirds of respondents would change the way they shift employees to work remotely (See Top Lessons from IT Leaders section).
- Compromising security and user experience: While 65% of IT professional respondents expressed being comfortable with the level of security they were operating with after sending their employees home, a sizable minority of 35% was not comfortable.
- Majority of organizations are leveraging remote desktops: A notable 75% of the respondents were using remote desktops in their organizations, though in many cases their remote desktop deployments were not companywide. One-third of respondents had to procure additional hardware, and the same number had to set up a VPN to enable remote access to their corporate networks.
- Remote work for the foreseeable future: While the tech (56%), media and entertainment (53%) expect more than half of their workforce to continue working from home, education (43%), finance (38%), government and military (38%) and manufacturing, engineering/AEC (36%) organizations plan on less than half of their employees to work from home ongoing.
- Work-from-home policies need attention: Over half of the survey respondents admitted that one of the first issues they needed to address was creating or revising a work-from-home policy.
Industries Ramp Up IT Spend to Support Remote Workers
In addition to sharing the key findings above, IT leader respondents revealed a major surge in IT spending to support their remote teams for the long-term. They view remote work as the new normal for the foreseeable future and are therefore willing to shift budgets and/or prioritize initiatives that support remote work needs.
Specifically, tech organizations and companies within the media and entertainment industry plan on increasing their IT spend above 250%. Not far behind is the education industry, which revealed plans to increase spending by 191%, outspending other vertical industries including finance (155% increase), government/military (139% increase), and manufacturing and engineering/AEC (118%). In addition to relieving stress on IT resources and trying to ensure worker productivity, many organizations are concerned with improving the user experience. According to respondents, 54% felt that user experience had been compromised by going remote; IT spending could be directed to address this issue moving forward.
Remote Desktops for a Remote Future
Long before the pandemic, several factors have been driving the adoption of high-performance virtual workstations. There has been a growing desire among employees to have flexibility in working remotely, a rise in the freelance workforce allowing organizations to build agile teams and the need to keep data or intellectual property protected in a central location.
Survey respondents using remote desktops (75%) opted to do so for several reasons, the most prominent of which was to provide remote access to high-performance workstations needed to run graphics-intensive applications like animation and visual effects applications.
For example, artists working in media & entertainment require access to high-performance workstations that are secure and compliant with industry standards. In a remote setting, artists can benefit from solutions that help make more efficient use of the network bandwidth, while saving considerable time and effort for IT teams supporting their remote workers.
Today, enterprises have even more options to create centralized workstations in a data center or public cloud. Organizations implementing effective remote work strategies for the long-term are benefitting from operational and cost efficiency; IT resource and compute power optimization; and greater cross-team flexibility and overall talent acquisition improvements, as companies can now broaden their reach in competitive hiring markets.
Top Lessons from IT Leaders:
- Prepare hardware in advance: Ensuring workstations have remote host cards or remoting software installed even before they are needed can help facilitate a quicker, smoother transition to a work-from-home environment. This is highly effective when time is in short supply and small IT teams are scrambling to support everyone at once.
- Provide client devices: Although personal devices and laptops can (and did) work in a crunch, providing access to devices like thin clients, zero clients or laptops with software clients installed can be more efficient for support in the long term. Even older laptops can be stored and repurposed for this in a pinch. For example, one respondent noted that employees had been able to use laptops that had been previously designated to be discarded.
- Train employees for remote work: Training users on the software and corresponding policies around collaboration and security compliance requirements as part of day-to-day operations can help smooth the transition and reduce the workload for IT teams in the event of a sudden, unforeseen circumstance that necessitates a rapid change in work environment.
The complete report is available HERE.