According to a new study, businesses prioritize IT spending to focus on investing in technologies that support a “hybrid” combination of work at home and in the office.
According to a new report, almost two-thirds of European businesses plan to invest more in technologies that support a combination of work at home and in the office, with more than half planning to prioritize remote staff support.
A study commissioned by PC maker Dynabook surveyed more than 1,000 senior IT decision makers in midsize and large businesses in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands to understand where the money is going over the next 12 months.
Respondents found that 65% of European businesses set aside larger budgets to adapt to a more flexible work style that provided for employees to spend more time working remotely.
Cloud platforms, cybersecurity, remote IT support and IT training were among the top investment priorities of European IT leaders over the next 12 months. They have been identified as important to support changing work patterns and business continuity after the 2020 failure.
“Last year saw an unprecedented change in the way we work, and our study shows that European businesses continue to strive to ensure that their IT infrastructure meets the requirements of increasing the remote and hybrid workforce,” said Damian Yavm. president of Dynabook. Europe.
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Spain’s IT leaders have reported the largest increase in technology spending: 71% of organizations plan to increase investment in technology next year, followed by 70% of businesses in the Netherlands. More than three-quarters (76%) of financial services organizations reported budget increases, while 73% of manufacturing companies said the same. The retail sector was the least likely to increase IT budgets: 54% of businesses reported an increase in IT spending.
The expected increase in “hybrid” work styles involving employees working from different locations has been identified as an obvious factor in IT spending. Report found that more than two-thirds (67%) of employees expected to work from home or without a designated place after the pandemic, compared with 53% before COVID-19.
To support this, businesses are increasing investment in cloud infrastructure: 50% of respondents in all market sectors have given cloud platforms and remote IT support as their top priorities.
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When asked about the productivity of the growing remote workforce, more than half (51%) of the organizations surveyed said they would prefer to provide remote assistance to employees. This increased by 29% compared to the 2018 Dynabook report. UK businesses are more likely to prefer remote IT support, with almost two-thirds (63%) identifying it as a key focus.
Productivity and collaboration software have also been key tools for businesses since the pandemic, and IT leaders plan to continue investing in ways to keep employees connected, with 73% of respondents planning to increase investment in collaboration tools next year. The Dynabook report also highlights the difficulties some organizations have faced in maintaining a remote workforce: employee performance and collaboration have been identified as the most difficult destinations for a third of European IT decision-makers.
IT leaders are also aware of the rapidly evolving landscape of threats. According to SonicWall Cyber Threat Report 2021 in 2020, there were 56.9 million attempted IoT attacks, 5.6 billion malware attacks and 4.8 trillion intrusion attempts. Threats used the COVID-19 pandemic to attack both individuals and organizations, with increasing numbers of remote work makes IT systems even more vulnerable.
To combat this, organizations are leveling both their infrastructure and their people: 48% of IT leaders surveyed by Dynabook named cybersecurity infrastructure as one of their top investment priorities next year and then IT staff training (40%). The report also shows that more than three-quarters (77%) of businesses consider security software more important than in 2019.
Although much emphasis has been placed on the importance of software for remote work, the Dynabook study also highlighted the increased value of laptops.
Employees of 86% of Dynabook organizations surveyed used laptops for remote work. Britain saw the highest inconsistency in the use of laptops and desktopswith 90% of companies in the UK using laptops and only a third (33%) using desktops while working remotely.
Thus, two-thirds (66%) of organizations said they plan to integrate more laptops into their remote work infrastructure over the next 12 months.
In addition to these immediate priorities, more emphasis is also placed on automation tools (60%) and wearable devices (59%), Dynabook found.
“Armed with increased budgets, it’s clear that the role of the device has increased as organizations realize the important role that hardware, along with the right software, plays in ensuring the security, connectivity and productivity of employees in this new world,” Jaum said.
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