How do IT managers plan to overcome the security challenges of remote work?
Two years ago, IT managers were forced to work remotely. Many considered it a temporary experience. Today, they see it for what it is: the future of work. And they made it their top priority.
According to survey results from Citrix Systems and Pulse, 100% of 400 IT and security leaders in North America, EMEA and APAC have adopted the hybrid model and rank it as the number one task for their organizations .
“In 2020, IT has been focused on surviving amid the great remote work pressure test. In 2021, they revised their infrastructure and strategies to adapt to this new model. And in 2022, they will embrace flexible technology strategies and workplace policies to deliver what is clearly the future of work,” said Meerah Rajavel, CIO, Citrix.
lead the charge
Business leaders who once bristled at the idea of remote work because they didn’t think employees could work outside of the office are now seeing the benefits it can offer in terms of productivity and employee experience. They are using IT to activate it and, as the survey revealed, they are responding.
When asked to rank their top five priorities over the next five years, respondents answered:
- Enable distributed collaboration
- Guarantee permanent availability
- Increase individual concentration
- Deliver a consistent, consumer-like experience across devices and locations
- Automation of work
But they will face challenges in execution. When asked to identify the top barriers to driving digital transformation, Citrix survey participants cited:
- Lack of understanding of business needs to effectively prioritize investments (41%)
- Heavy and complex infrastructure (34%)
- Lack of cloud investment (24%)
Safety is also a concern. When asked what they consider to be the main risks opened up by remote and hybrid working, respondents answered:
And their teams are stretched to the max, with respondents noting:
- 70% work more hours
- 56% leave
- 50% experience a drop in productivity
- 49% are less satisfied with their work
- 24 percent are disengaged
How do the leaders surveyed plan to overcome these challenges? By focusing on seven key elements:
- Closing the cybersecurity gap (32%)
- Managing the pace of digital acceleration with investments in cybersecurity (29%)
- Zero Trust Network Access (14%)
- Supplier consolidation/simplification (13%)
- Security AI and Automation (7%)
- Application/API protection and/or browser isolation for SaaS and web applications (3%)
- Acceleration to SASE (2%)
“When it comes to securing a workforce moving in and out of the office, ensuring a level playing field for collaboration, and supporting employees through what remains a time of unprecedented disruption, the IT can no longer afford to make yesterday’s trade-offs between distributed collaboration and security,” Rajavel said. “Instead, they must implement solutions and strategies that help them balance these seemingly competitors and chart a new course that enables them to deliver the future of flexible working.”