Following is a summary by a recent research report from LogicMonitor. Summarizing some of the key points below:
Key Finding #1 IT teams lack confidence in their infrastructure’s ability to withstand a crisis.
2020 will forever be remembered as the year of remote work. In the first half of 2020, millions of workers around the world were forced to abandon their offices and work from home on short notice due to a variety of disasters including bushfires, flooding and the global coronavirus pandemic. For many companies, remote work will become the new status quo moving forward. In fact, at the time this survey was fielded, 91% of global IT professionals were working remotely.
However, fully remote workforces come with their own set of challenges. And as it turns out, many companies and their IT personnel were not prepared to transition to and support a fully remote business model and workforce.
Business Continuity Plans
86% of companies surveyed had a business continuity plan in place prior to June 2020. A noteworthy exception was within the Education sector, where nearly a quarter (24%) of IT professionals stated that their employer did not have a business continuity plan in place. The purpose of a business continuity plan is to ensure the company is able to withstand an unanticipated crisis (i.e. extreme weather, pandemic, massive outage) and carry on serving customers and operating normally. For the purposes of this study, we define having a business continuity / crisis plan as the ability to withstand an unanticipated crisis without seeing an impact to customer service and operations.
• Overall, 35% of global IT professionals feel very confident in their organization’s crisis plan.
• 53% feel somewhat confident in their organization’s ability to withstand an unanticipated crisis.
• 11% have minimal confidence, and 1% have no confidence at all in their organization’s crisis plan.
• Nearly half (49%) of respondents who already possess a ‘great deal’ of automation within their IT departments feel very confident in their organization’s ability to withstand an unanticipated crisis.
• 43% of large organizations (those with 5,000 employees or more) feel very confident in their organization’s crisis plan.
Top 5 IT Crisis Concerns
During a crisis when people must work remotely or where the office cannot be accessed in a reasonable timeframe, IT leaders say they are most concerned about the following:
1. Having to deal with internet outages or other technical issues remotely (49%)
2. Strain on the network from having too many individuals logging in remotely (49%)
3. Having to deal with coworkers logging in through VPNs (38%)
4. Not being able to access the hardware they need (33%)
5. Teleconference software not being secure enough (28%)
More than half (54%) of IT leaders say that they experienced initial disruptions or outages with their normal software, productivity, or collaboration tools as a result of companies shifting to a remote work model in the first half of 2020.
• 70% of IT professionals find it challenging to adapt to their new responsibilities of supporting a remote workforce.
• 70% find it challenging to keep data secure as their organization increasingly relies on the cloud.
• 69% find it challenging to ensure there is enough network bandwidth available to avoid service disruptions, with 29% saying they find it “very challenging” to do so.
• Numerous IT professionals mentioned having to “get laptops for everyone” or “increase bandwidth on VPN” as immediate adjustments required.
94% of IT leaders expect IT automation to become a focus in the next three years.
When it comes to IT’s ability to provide business continuity in the face of a crisis, automation helps. Automation—in which IT professionals use software and integrations to make routine tasks more efficient and less manual—is a top priority for many businesses as part of their larger digital transformation initiatives. In fact, the majority of IT decision makers (88%) say there has been an increasing focus on automation in their department over the past three years. An even greater majority of IT professionals, 94%, say they expect this focus on automation to increase in the coming three years.
In the face of a crisis such as the 2020 global pandemic, only 39% of organizations surveyed feel ‘very confident’ in their IT department’s ability to maintain continuous uptime and availability. However, that percentage is far higher for organizations who already have automation built into their IT department. A full 50% of organizations who already possess a “great deal of automation” within their IT department feel very confident in their ability to maintain continuous uptime and availability
in the face of a crisis.
Benefits of IT Automation
According to our data, most IT leaders view automation as a business enabler that allows them to operate more efficiently and free up time to focus on innovation, rather than simply keeping the lights on. 86% of IT leaders state that they manage or are part of a team of highly skilled workers who spend a large portion of their day on routine tasks. However, for many, leveraging automation within ITIM or ITSM platforms represents significant time savings. In fact, 93% of IT leaders say investing in automation is worthwhile because it allows IT leaders and their teams to focus on more strategic tasks and initiatives.
Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can also create significant time savings for the team by automating everything from alert escalations and thresholds to anomaly detection. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of IT teams around the world have already taken the plunge and currently use AIOps functionality within their daily workflows. These teams employ intelligent software platforms with AI or ML to provide insight into their IT infrastructure.
For additional information related to the report, please find the full report below:
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