The future of work in 2022

Concerns among IT decision-makers around the future of work have been revealed by research from technology solutions provider CDW that highlights the importance for CIOs to plan for 2022 to alleviate the potential stress points of hybrid working.

88 per cent of participants believe the initial transition to home working was handled effectively. Despite this, security concerns, system performance issues and a lack of knowledge and experience have become increasingly apparent. In 2022, CIOs will undergo a responsibility shift, transitioning from technology experts to business strategists providing guidance on hybrid work management.

The coordination of company-wide deviations to hybrid models has increased strain on CIOs with over half (58%) of IT decision-makers feeling anxious about providing technology solutions needed to support the future of work. These anxieties are heightened further with IT workers expressing that implementation could be negatively impacted by employees’ attitudes and lack of understanding (63%), a lack of resources (60%) and too little buy-in from senior leadership (58%).

Recognising these pitfalls, 94 per cent of organisations increased their technological investment during the pandemic but often overlooked long-term consideration. In 2022, ‘future CIOs’ will step up to a new set of responsibilities and lead their organisations into the future.  

Matt Roberts, Practice Lead, Workspace Solutions, CDW UK said, “organisations are turning to their IT teams once again to deliver on the most important corporate initiative of the decade: hybrid working and implementing the technology to make it possible.”

Rethinking protection strategy

2022 will demand a rethink of security strategy, with employees dispersed nationwide, 60 per cent of IT workers believe that working remotely has made their organisation more susceptible to cyber-attacks.

Matt said, “when you roll out new devices to end-users, information needs to be moved from the old device to the new device. By undertaking discovery at the transition phase, we ensure that back doors aren’t left open.”

Enabling optimisation

Deployment of monitoring tools will become increasingly key to ensure that all new technologies stay optimised for users.

Matt said, “before sending out new laptops to an organisation, we look to deliver tools that can monitor how these devices will perform, based not only on the applications installed but also what the user is running.

“A monitoring system will examine the workloads, which provides a baseline to go from when considering where upgrades are needed.”

Supporting the shift

Three in ten IT decision-makers felt unsupported ‘all the time’ in managing hybrid working, which could lead to employee burnout, decreases in productivity and higher employee turnover. As we look to the year ahead, companies will be forced to invest in uplifting employee wellbeing to ensure they stay resilient in the face of new challenges and opportunities.

Matt added, “to ensure success, IT leaders should have the support of their colleagues and senior leadership. They should have access to the services, solutions and support they need to put in place agile technologies that can adapt quickly and securely to the world in which we are working.”

With 35 per cent of organisations planning on continuing to use all the technology invested in during the pandemic and another 35 per cent keeping most of it, the working landscape will continue to undergo a widespread permanent evolution in 2022. Senior leadership must embrace this transition and wholeheartedly support the key facilitators enabling it.

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