When the first COVID-19 lockdown hit, many UK organizations rapidly ramped up home working as a business continuity strategy. A new survey report from Daisy Corporate Services has found that the majority expect to maintain this stance through 2021. Research for the report, the ‘The Connectivity Imperative’, was commissioned by Daisy Corporate Services and conducted by LARATO. Senior employees at 350 UK businesses were surveyed during November and December 2020.
Key findings include:
- 85 percent of organizations expect up to half of their employees to continue to work from home over the next year. As a result, almost a quarter of organizations say they are looking to downsize their office space. However, almost all respondents (97 percent) stated that working environments for homeworkers need to be adapted if homeworking is to be effective long term.
- More than two thirds (68 percent) of organizations would provide their homeworkers with a dedicated, managed connection to their corporate network.
- Organizations say that shared broadband connections (40 percent), remote working cyber security risks (40 percent) and connectivity performance (39 percent) have been the biggest technology challenges they have faced during lockdown.
- Cyber security will remain a big focus for organizations as homeworking increasingly becomes the norm. Almost half (46 percent) of respondents felt that cyber security risk management of remote workers was an essential part of ongoing homeworking strategies.
- When it comes to cyber security investments of the next 12 months, the key areas of focus are: protection against data theft (60 percent); recovery from a cyber breach (47 percent); VPN (48 percent); and penetration testing (41 percent).
- During lockdown, Microsoft Teams (94 percent) and Zoom (78 percent) were the most adopted collaboration technologies. However, a quarter (25 percent) of organizations admit that they face challenges making effective use of these technologies. This will undoubtedly be a big area of focus during 2021, as the organizations surveyed want technology to support homeworking (22 percent) and for it to improve productivity and efficiency (21 percent).
- The survey reveals that IT budgets will continue to vary from organization to organization, with 38 percent saying they will increase this year, while a further 30 percent say they face a decrease. However, it is clear that the business demands on IT will continue to grow, therefore perhaps unsurprisingly 70 percent of organizations expect their IT support needs to increase over the next year.