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Remote Work Fuels Fears of Risk from IT Departments

May 27, 2020

By Kevin Marrs, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

A recent study, Virtual Economy IT Impactby HiveIO suggests that during this pandemic most organizations have failed to deploy new technologies to monitor, manage, and support at-home employees.  While this might be expected given the sudden onset of remote work for many, it is leading to concern among many IT departments faced with supporting the new virtual workforce. 

The authors of the study suggest that it highlights the fact that legacy technology reliance cannot efficiently support a remote workforce and protect critical data. “This pandemic left organizations little opportunity to initiate new technology projects, which traditionally require multiple months to deploy,” said Yama Habibzai, COO at HiveIO. “That lack of manpower, budget, and time, shrinking IT teams cannot provide physical on-site or data center support. It’s a perfect storm.”

Unable to introduce new solutions designed to improve efficiency of work-from-home employees, IT departments must now support an unplanned, dramatically increased, remote workforce. Prior to the pandemic, 70% of respondents had less than 10% of employees working remotely, but now 100% work remotely resulting in IT teams supporting 90% more remote workers. Even so, over 70% of respondents have not deployed new technologies to monitor, manage, and support at-home employees. As a result, about 70% of organizations use remote login and access tools to connect to work computers and desktops. These tools are generally known to generate performance and security issues.

The strain on IT from the switch to a remote workforce is escalated by the loss of IT staff. Nearly 25% of respondents reported shrinking staff support and another 18% fear additional staff reductions.  According to Habibzai, “A loss of staff coupled with a network outage or inaccessibility to critical applications can devastate an organization. Picture a hospital facing a barrage of new IT stressors – lives are literally at stake.”

Over 85% of organizations anticipate a larger remote workforce will threaten operations because of new risks, including:

  • Digital communications issues (54%)
  • Employee productivity loss due to family distractions and/or a new approach to work (49%)
  • Security risks involving cybersecurity – ransomware, data breach concerns, compliance issues, etc. (46%)
  • General security issues protecting intellectual properties (31%)
  • Reduced business due to travel restrictions (23%)
  • Increase in business costs to support remote staff (22%)

Additional ASE Resources
Virtual Work Resources – For helpful information on virtual work please visit the ASE Virtual Work Resources webpage.

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