On February 22, the UK government published its roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, setting the wheels in motion for an eventual reopening of offices. Although remote working is likely to remain a big part of professional life even after the pandemic ends, 41 percent of organisations still believe that the office is a safer environment from a cybersecurity perspective. This is according to research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).
The CIF survey found that 56 percent of companies considered the more flexible approach to work brought on by the pandemic a positive, with an additional 41 percent enjoying the use of cloud-based collaboration apps to stay productive while at home.
CIF said the next step for leaders is to recognise the subsequent phase of the challenge: maintain satisfaction with remote working while addressing security issues and negotiating a successful return to the office.
“The success of the vaccine rollout so far has imbued many of us with a genuine sense of optimism that normality may return soon. That said, the way we work won’t be the same; office life will undoubtedly return, but a hybrid system with frequent home working will become a fixture,” said Alex Hilton, CIF CEO.
“Despite this reality and the fact that a majority of businesses see the benefits of a more flexible approach, our research shows that some security concerns associated with home working remain. This is something that organisations should be wise to as they plot what their post-pandemic working environment will look like.”
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Increased adoption of cloud
As COVID-19 hit, 83 percent of organisations were forced to make changes to their IT strategy. Most respondents (55 percent) increased their adoption of cloud technologies to meet this challenge, and 88 percent expect to increase their adoption of cloud services over the course of 2021.
For Hilton, cloud’s role will continue to be pivotal as businesses transition to a hybrid working model. He added: “The very nature of a hybrid working arrangement means cloud will remain an integral element of the workplace.
“Collaboration apps like Zoom or Teams will inevitably remain popular, but cloud’s potential goes way beyond that: its flexibility means businesses can scale their technology capabilities up and down according to the increasingly fluid needs of the organisation, and it provides the platform for leaders to explore transformative new initiatives such as AI and IoT projects.
“As the government sets out its plans to reopen the economy, firms should be getting their own houses in order too. Most have done a fantastic job in remaining successful during this extended period of remote working, so now is the time to step it up further. This means identifying and addressing any lingering security issues, while adopting the technologies and processes needed to make the hybrid workplace a successful one.”