With COVID-19 continuing to impact our daily lives, organizations are adjusting to ensure they can be productive and serve their customers. The biggest change that has taken place is the adoption of remote work strategies. The critical role endpoint solutions serve in our daily lives continues to grow as they now connect us with colleagues during the day and friends and family at night. With the world of work changing and new, more efficient tools being developed, organizations need to view the future of work as an ever-evolving opportunity to streamline systems and processes as opposed to a single moment of change. With improved employee experiences, organizations should also recognize the bottom-line impact of investing in the future of work today. A recent study we commissioned with Angus Reid found the vast majority of organizations (94 percent) value evolving technology and what it means for organizations going forward.
The evolving technology in today’s workplaces
Providing employees wih versatile tools to make their jobs more efficient will ultimately help to facilitate customer satisfaction, as well as drive loyalty, engagement and profitability. BYOD and company-owned/liable devices have become staples in the shifting workplace landscape. The majority of Canadian organizations (82 percent) permit these devices on their corporate networks, which shows encouragement in employee independence and an expanding organizational perimeter. Allowing for more autonomy and providing the appropriate solutions will also help organizations attract top talent. Organizations in Canada have recognized this as nearly one-third (29 percent) of respondents indicated their device purchasing has increased, with an additional 19 percent noting their purchasing has diversified.
The ongoing barriers at today’s organizations
Prior to COVID-19, the concept of working from home was gaining momentum, but 50 percent of organizations believed it would be difficult to measure employee productivity with remote work. Other reasons cited by respondents for keeping work in the office included upholding a level of professionalism (44 percent), maintaining an industry standard (41 percent) and encouraging employee collaboration (40 percent). Throughout the pandemic, we’ve learned that when processes and technology are implemented correctly, these issues can be overcome.
However, there continues to be barriers that prevent organizations from fully adopting new endpoint solutions. The majority of respondents (70 percent) cited configuration challenges as a major barrier, followed by about half of respondents (51 percent) citing IT support challenges. While the risk of data breaches and a lack of privacy have become increasingly relevant, only 37 percent of organizations see their endpoint device deployment as secure by design, while nearly one quarter (23 percent) adopted new endpoint security solutions to secure their network in the current environment.
The long-term impact
The adoption of new endpoint solutions has changed the way we conduct business and will likely have lasting effects. When asked about the impact of automation and AI on jobs over the next five to ten years, most respondents (52 percent) believe it will increase efficiency and create more meaningful work. With the need for in person human interaction becoming less essential, the possibilities for collaboration and outreach become endless. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said they believe automation will allow colleagues to do more work in less time, while 41 percent of respondents believe it will help to reduce errors in people’s work. Just over one third (35 percent) of respondents believe AI will allow them to work entirely from home going forward and even be able to live in different cities. It’s important to note that the increase in BYOD devices increases the risk of cyberthreats, as these devices don’t always have the same security protocols as company-owned/liable devices. Just over half of the IT professional respondents in our survey (52 percent) believe they have strong cybersecurity programs in place to protect BYOD or company-owned devices, while 39 percent believe there is room for improvement with no significant concerns. As the remote landscape is expected to continue, proper employee training will need to be administered to mitigate security issues.
With continued thoughtful investment into endpoint solutions, the topic of whether a physical office space is needed at all will become increasingly relevant for many organizations. As this conversation evolves, it’s critical that cybersecurity is kept top of mind. Employees have proven that when proper solutions are introduced, they can work from anywhere with the same efficiency as the traditional office setting. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on people and organizations nationwide, the need for adjustments has opened doors to new possibilities of what work will look like in the future.
Where do we go from here?
As organizations look to adapt to the evolving workplace and adopt endpoint solutions that can support employees’ evolving needs, there are three things we recommend they keep in mind:
- Recognize the link between new digital solutions and employee productivity. Embracing new digital solutions will help organizations streamline processes and improve employee performance, which will be beneficial internally and externally.
- Cybersecurity must be considered when implementing new technology. With the increase in digital tools and solutions utilized during the pandemic, it’s important to make sure cybersecurity is prioritized to prevent devastating consequences.
- Organizations need to recognize the work/life flexibility that employees desire and provide the virtual or in-office environment they want. Listening to employees and satisfying their needs for more flexible work environments will generate and increase positive brand perception, both internally and with the public.
If you’re interested in augmenting your organization’s endpoint solutions or are curious about where to start and would like to learn more, contact our CDW solution experts at 800.972.3922 or visit CDW.ca/digitalworkspace. Our complete market trends report is available at the link here.