It goes without saying that IT teams are essential for the long-term success of organizations of any size. While the teams behind IT may not always take center stage at every business, they were certainly pushed into the spotlight as a result of COVID-19.
Beyond the new and immediate demands that the pandemic brought to many IT teams, it also rapidly altered their roles. Prior to the pandemic, some teams largely spent their time working to future-proof their organization for future technologies. The pandemic forced an all hands-on deck mantra of IT teams doing whatever it takes to ensure business continuity, tirelessly ensuring that employees were able to perform their tasks with the most efficient, collaborative and secure tools available.
Organizations’ systems and networks previously designed to either have all employees working in one physical location or having some employees outside of the office had to be adapted on short notice to allow employees to complete their daily tasks while across cities or provinces. Furthermore, this needed to happen while ensuring organizational and customer data remained secure.
Appreciation of IT professionals amid COVID-19
Regardless of whether their role is understood or not, IT teams became even more critical in the rapid work from home landscape, and working Canadians agree. We recently conducted a survey, in partnership with Angus Reid, that assessed the sentiment of over 1,500 working Canadians and their perceptions of IT teams amid the pandemic. Nearly all working Canadians (89 percent) believe their organization’s IT department was important in the successful transition to remote work. Compare this to respondents’ perceptions of their executive leadership team’s importance (82 percent), accounting and payroll (76 percent) and human resources (63 percent) and IT teams’ critical roles become increasingly clear.
A day in the life of an IT professional
Despite the important role IT teams play and their critical help in the work from home transition, many Canadians are unsure about what they do on a daily basis. According to the survey, over one third of working Canadians (34 percent) still do not understand what their IT team does day-to-day.
There are various ideas among working Canadians about IT teams’ daily tasks including just over half (52 percent) who indicated their primary role involves supporting technology needs, half who believe it involves ensuring the organization operates smoothly (50 percent) and just under half (42 percent) who believe it is support desks. Other ideas include testing, repairing and installing hardware (40 percent), providing hardware such as laptops and company phones (34 percent) and helping with forgotten passwords and broken technology (19 percent). A mere 16 percent of respondents indicated that IT’s primary role involves future-proofing organizations for what lies on the horizon.
Even though there are misconceptions about the tasks, there is no doubt that working Canadians continue to appreciate the efforts IT teams and that their perception has evolved. Our survey found that a net 84 percent of respondents believe their IT team is appreciated, and that their work during the pandemic has only elevated goodwill within their organizations – over one third (38 percent) appreciate their IT teams more as result of their contributions.
As the remote work landscape continues and Canadian organizations navigate an unknown horizon, one is thing is for certain: our IT teams will be there to support us, no matter the need, and ensure we have the services and solutions to succeed. From all of us at CDW Canada, we want to thank IT teams across the country for the critical role they play each day in ensuring their organizations are able to operate efficiently, but especially during COVID-19. Without you, we would not be where we are today.
If you have any questions on how your IT team could be supported and what services and solutions they may benefit from, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experts at 800.972.3922 or visit cdw.ca today.