63 percent of IT executives believe that at least a quarter of their organization's workforce will continue to work from home permanently after COVID-19, and they are pivoting their IT investments to cater to this change, according to new research released this week by Qualtrics.
As a result, IT and technology leaders are investing much more heavily in technologies related to supporting remote work. The top three IT investments last year were security and privacy, cloud infrastructure, and network infrastructure—items critical to the remote or hybrid working model. Similarly, the top employee tools introduced or improved during and after the height of the pandemic include remote collaboration tools such as video conferencing tools, instant messaging tools, and email client apps.
The survey, which covered over 200 IT executives and senior technology leaders from France, Germany, and the UK, also found that improving employee productivity is among the top three business objectives company leadership wants IT to address. Unsurprisingly, the employee tool most invested in is cloud-based productivity, with 78 percent of respondents saying they had introduced or worked on it.
However, the findings also indicate that despite working to be more responsive to employee feedback, there may still be quite a communications gap between IT departments and the regular users in the rest of the organization. 74 percent of IT leaders said they are taking action in direct response to employee feedback—but only 29 percent are actually gathering that feedback to understand employee needs and requirements before introducing a new tool or service. Furthermore, only 44 percent of IT teams are actually seeing employee satisfaction after a support ticket is closed, suggesting that the problem may not be fixed. Overall, despite the investments and adjustments to strategy, only 28 percent of IT departments are “extremely prepared” to support employee needs post-COVID-19.