Xerox forecasts 85% of IT will return to office over 12-18 months
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

While offices across the globe have been inching closer to reopening in fits and starts over the past few weeks, a new report from Xerox has found that 85 percent of IT and tech decision makers expect they’ll finally be back in the office within the next 18 months.

The report found that the biggest pain point for a third of all respondents was supporting their company’s tech footprint as users went remote, while 72 percent indicated flatly that their companies weren’t ready for a wholesale switch to work-from-home – something they learned the hard way as unexpected office closures took effect in March and April.

The largest factor motivating teams to get back to the office comes down to data security, as teams had to deploy new tech like VPNs and CASBs (quickly) to ensure network traffic wasn’t “up for grabs” when traversing the internet between users at home and their apps.

But despite the discomfort many companies have felt during this unplanned stretch of remote work, it’s a given that many businesses will still need to adopt some remote work capabilities for the long term. That’s because not only will companies need to bring workers back to the office in waves, but also because many companies are finding that some roles are more efficient at home.

To that end, the rush to WFH that pushed teams to accelerate cloud migration back in March and April forced IT teams to consider new cloud tools that maybe hadn’t been on their radar prior to the pandemic. As remote teams have had time to acclimate themselves to their new normal, returning to the office may actually hinder their newfound productivity, which is great for end users but can be tricky for IT.

The challenges lay in the fact that IT won’t have inherent visibility into a user’s location when they are leveraging a new cloud solution, which can inhibit IT’s ability to manage user experience without the right tools. Fortunately, the report found that the majority of companies polled are reevaluating their tech budgets from the top down, and money that may have been allocated to supporting an office server will instead go to cloud solutions – including performance monitoring tools that can help enterprise IT teams tie it all together.

The best bet for enterprise IT teams right now is to view the rushed network transformations brought on by the pandemic as an opportunity to replace legacy solutions with cloud-based tools. And with legacy tools being offloaded in exchange for cloud solutions, IT teams can adopt new management and monitoring technologies designed for the cloud to help tie it all together.

So it’s on IT to capitalize on this opportunity to a) streamline their network to support users in and out of the office b) move the needle on their company’s cloud migration and c) adopt new tools that will make management easier in the long run.

To learn how to make the most of this opportunity, join our webinar, Transforming the Network: Leveraging visibility as you move to the cloud, on June 24 at 1 PM ET.

Our experts will help you zero in on opportunities to evolve your network, optimize new learnings from your rapid WFH transformation, and set your network up for long-term success by making it more responsive to the unexpected.

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Filed Under: Industry Insights

Tags: office life , Xerox , pandemic , COVID 19 , tech jobs , IT jobs , enterprise IT , remote workforce , remote workers , remote work , wfh , work from home , cloud computing , cloud