Data and analytics provider PwC surveyed 89 technology leaders from Fortune 100 and private companies, along with other CIOs and C-Suite executives about business priorities and decisions they’re making around the future of hybrid work — business changes are expected to occur over the next 12 to 18 months based on company experience around work during the pandemic.
The concerns about insecure work environments that have plagued IT departments since the pandemic-driven work-from-home trend that emerged in 2020 hasn’t gone away, according to PwC.
CIOs fear not having effective cybersecurity measures in place when it comes to continuing hybrid work. Twenty-eight percent of CIOs worry about not having the right technology tools to support hybrid work. About 49% rank data analytics as the most important capability for supporting the future of work.
Executive teams may not be fully aligned around the potential risks of a hybrid model. CIOs and other risk management leaders should work together to help close the gap between the perception and reality.
Related: How To Communicate Cybersecurity To The Board
No organization or industry sector is immune from cyberattacks — as we’ve seen in some high-profile cases like the Colonial Pipeline, T-Mobile and SolarWinds hacks. Even small organizations and school systems are seeing disruptions to their work and data protection.
Cybersecurity firm KELA’s report cited activity from July 2021 that indicated ransomware attackers prefer organizations in specific geographies and markets and prefer very specific products for initial network access.
Technology Challenges with a Hybrid Model
Around 43% of CIOs see data privacy, cybersecurity and compliance as the most pressing technology challenges they face with a hybrid model.
Ransomware, phishing and malware continue to loom over organizations. Employees altering from working from home to the corporate office are using unsecured devices to access enterprise networks via unsecured connections.
One-third of tech leaders mentioned shadow IT as a challenge. Hybrid work has led staffers to take technology matters into their own hands to meet their needs. Users might download cloud-based storage services without the approval or even knowledge of IT.
Concerns about high turnover and network security following cyberattacks still lingers. “To keep operations running smoothly through these high volumes of resignations and turnover almost half of CIOs plan to make changes in their processes to make organizations less dependent on employee institutional knowledge,” said Joe Nocera, leader of PwC’s Cyber & Privacy Innovation Institute to TechRepublic.
The survey did note the challenges facing technology executives at large global enterprises are likely to be different than those at much smaller companies.
“The difficulty of managing the tech needs of a hybrid workforce of a few hundred people is nothing like overseeing tens of thousands of workers in various parts of the world,” says PwC.
CIOs & The Future of IT Organizations in Hybrid Work Environment
About 46% of CIOs and CTOs surveyed indicated their department is expected to rely more on outsourcing, such as contingent workers and third-party vendors.
Technology executives continue to struggle with the talent gap, particularly when it comes to skills in analytics, data science, cybersecurity, cloud and other areas of IT.
With an increase in working with external vendors, tech leaders needs to be attentive to the compliance, adequate controls and transparent reporting from third parties.
More executives are learning towards more automation to free up employees rote tasks to more strategic activities based on the organizations changing business conditions.
Regardless, almost every IT department is expected to be making changes as result of the pandemic and hybrid work based on company experience in the coming months.
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