In less than six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the workplace. More people than ever before are working from home and the nature of business means some people are asked to work in a combination of places. This presents a challenge to IT and it has spawned a new era for the hybrid workplace.
The era of the post-pandemic workplace
The hybrid workplace is not a new concept, with many businesses allowing people to move between locations and work remotely pre-pandemic. But the sheer number of people asked to do so as a result of pandemic has fundamentally altered the nature of how we work, and as a result, how businesses approach technology and IT.
Business leaders who were already beginning to adapt gradually to remote working and allowing workers to have flexible hours have had to accelerate the need for change as a result of the pandemic. Many people to now have to work remotely for safety, as opposed to it being a purely transformational initiative.
How IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) are preparing
Aruba surveyed 2,400 ITDMs, seeking to provide a snapshot of how IT departments have been affected by the pandemic and how they intend to prepare for the post-pandemic workplace:
COVID-19 has had serious financial and economic ramifications on a variety of industries, yet IT leaders aren’t holding back on investment. Aruba’s survey found that:
- 74% of ITDM’s are either maintaining or increasing their investment in SD-WAN or SD-Branch solutions
- 83% of ITDM’s said they will increase or leave unchanged their investment in cloud-based networking
- 34% of ITDM’s said that they plan to increase their investment in analytics and assurance
- 35% of ITDM’s are set to increase their investment in Edge computing
- 35% of ITDM’s are set to increase their investment in AI-based networking technology.
In addition to increasing investment in key IT infrastructure areas, ITDM’s are adapting their consumption models for these solutions. Aruba’s survey found that:
- 55% of ITDM’s said they would explore a subscription (‘as a service’) model for either hardware or software
- 53% of ITDM’s said they would explore a managed service for turnkey hardware/software
- Regionally, 61% of ITDMs in Asia-Pacific are looking towards the subscription model, against 52% in Americas and 50% in EMEA.
The post-pandemic workplace has forced IT leaders to adapt rapidly to changes in the way people work. As a result of increased remote working, we are seeing organisations investing in SD-WAN or SD-Branch solutions, edge computing, and cloud-based networking, as well as solutions like VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).