Hybrid work has significantly impacted technology decisions and overall IT strategy. From video conferencing and collaboration tools to complete virtual desktops, solutions that were once used for only a small portion of the employee population have evolved in their use to become an everyday part of our work-life for nearly everyone. As these solutions have become mainstream, new challenges and risks have arisen that must be addressed.. It is in this context that Workspot conducted its State of Remote Work 2022 survey, which sought to uncover the IT and business challenges of greatest concern to IT leaders.
The business climate is presenting challenges with an intensity we’ve not faced previously. Constant change, a highly volatile security landscape and widespread employee dissatisfaction top the list. The Workspot State of Remote Work survey report reveals some key insights into how expansion into public cloud adoption is affecting enterprises today. The report explores how technology used for supporting remote workers is delivering value toward business growth strategies while also creating an end user experience that keeps people happy and engaged. It also identifies challenges IT decision-makers are still facing and expectations on where they expect to make additional investment for evolving end user computing, strengthening security, and improving collaboration and productivity.
Although they continue to face many challenges relating to the hybrid work paradigm, the power of cloud computing has been strongly validated. To continue supporting the ‘anywhere’ workforce, cloud-first and multi-cloud strategies have become mainstream. Along with the growing adoption of SaaS across all categories of enterprise applications, VDI modernization with SaaS Cloud PCs is gaining momentum as well, delivering all the same agility, flexibility, operational simplicity and user experience benefits enterprises need today and into the future.
Workspot’s State of Remote Work survey report provides insights into three key areas that have challenged IT leaders and offers the steps they have taken to mitigate risk and future-proof their business. Today, we can see how much the cloud landscape and the challenges IT departments face have changed in just two years.
Support of remote workers creates increasing challenges for IT
It comes as no surprise that almost all respondents (99%) agreed that challenges have increased. The main concerns they highlighted include maintaining security across environments (71%), ensuring employee compliance to new controls (60%), and ensuring device performance (59%)..
IT budgets have also changed, with IT leaders expecting to see an increase in allocations to control the impact of remote work. Security tops the list of investment priorities, closely followed by SaaS solutions and collaboration tools. Despite this expected investment increase, only 30% report they have all the resources they need to enable remote work.
Shifts in cloud adoption, security, and productivity
Remote work drove enterprises to double-down on cloud adoption overall, with 35% of organizations expanding the scope of their cloud strategy and 47% accelerating timelines within their established strategy.
Among the benefits of SaaS and cloud, 65% of respondents highlighted scalability while 59% and 56% mentioned reduced requirements for on-prem investments and improved business continuity and reliability respectively.
Across all industries, the report revealed that securing corporate information assets was more difficult. Security as a priority isn’t anything new, but the expanded security perimeter that comes with remote work makes the challenge all the more daunting.. 67%cited that new tools and strategies for the expanded security perimeter are needed, while 54% responded that securing user devices outside the corporate firewall is a serious issue requiring resources.
Contribution of virtual desktop technology to remote work
Faced with immediate remote working directives at the start of the pandemic, many IT teams employed remote access technologies, such as VPNs, to address the immediate need. As we emerge from the acute nature of the pandemic and step into a forever-altered workstyle, it’s time to take stock of what else is possible to optimize remote work and provide great experiences for users. 61% agree that Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) or Cloud PCs would be beneficial in increasing remote worker productivity moving forward, underscoring the need for seamless and real-time collaboration.
Over half of the respondents said they relied on VDI to support remote work and 33% leveraged DaaS, Cloud VDI, and Cloud PCs. Larger organizations (with more than 5,000 desktops), opted for DaaS, Cloud VDI and Cloud PC, reflecting an imperative to modernize their approach to end user computing.
What does the future look like for remote work?
Beyond shifts in technology adoption and the challenges noted, leaders are seeing budgets shift positively, with security and cloud services leading the investments being made. They are also seeing the flexibility benefits remote work brings to employees, with 76% of executives confirming that offering remote work opportunities has become an important requirement for recruiting the best talent and retaining employees.
For their businesses to thrive, IT and business leaders will need to continue supporting a remote and hybrid workforce. The public cloud and SaaS Cloud PCs are the way forward for modernizing end user computing, so enterprises are ready to defend against business disruption, gain new levels of agility, and delight their employees with a user experience that inspires productivity; it all adds up to a competitive edge that tough to beat.