3 Key Takeaways From the 2019 State of IT Operations Survey

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Kaseya conducted its fifth annual IT Operations Survey this past June, aiming to delve into current IT operational state and trends affecting IT professionals in small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The results shed light on the various priorities and challenges of IT teams in 2019.  Here, we’ll give you a sneak peek into the survey report. See how your peers are facing the challenges of today’s complex IT environments.

Top Three Takeaways 

The Kaseya IT Operations Survey Report includes responses received from about 500 participants, the majority of whom have identified their primary responsibility as ‘all of IT’.

Following are three big takeaways from the report:

1. Top Priorities Include Improving IT Security, Controlling IT Costs, and Delivering Higher Service Levels

The last few years have seen a seismic shift in top IT priorities, with security coming to the top of the list owing to rampant cyberattacks. Companies are keenly aware of ever-evolving security hazards that can impact the business in many ways, including financial, regulatory and reputational risk. This year, 57 percent of survey participants have selected ‘Improving IT Security’ as one of their top priorities.  

IT teams have always been under pressure to control IT operational costs. The 2019 survey shows that about 35 percent of respondents rate “Reducing IT Costs” a top priority. IT teams are required to “do more with less”, so we see the high priority to optimize IT costs. 

About 24 percent of participants have selected ‘Delivering Higher Service Levels’ as a top priority. One key way for teams to ensure they are delivering on their IT services is to have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place. SLAs are important for measuring both internal and external, i.e. third party, service delivery. Despite ‘Improving service levels’ being one of the top priorities of IT teams, the percentage of respondents having formal service level agreements has dropped since last year. In addition, about 58 percent of respondents whose companies do not have formal
SLAs are at the lowest level of IT operational maturity (Reactive).

Top 3 Priorities for IT in 2019
Top 3 Priorities for IT in 2019

2. Implementation of Automated Patch Management Has a Long Way to Go 

Without proper software patch management, companies can be exposed to software vulnerabilities and cybersecurity risks. Automating patch management ensures a layer of protection by keeping all your operating systems and applications updated and patched in a timely manner. However, the majority of companies are failing to recognize the security risk exposure they have due to improper or delayed patching. Only 42 percent of survey participants have put automated patch management into practice, or have plans to do so. Similarly, only 42 percent monitor third-party software vulnerabilities and apply critical patches for these within 30 days.

3. Ransomware Attacks Drop but Companies Still Must be Vigilant 

Cyberattacks have become disturbingly common. There’s news of new attacks cropping up every week. Interestingly, among our survey participants, the percentage of respondents that have been hit by ransomware attacks has gone down to 12 percent this year, from 22 percent in 2018. Other industry data has shown that ransomware attacks are on the decline overall, but are increasing for enterprises. So, the takeaway for small and midsize businesses is, you still need to be vigilant and have systems in place, such as backup and disaster recovery (BDR), to defend against ransomware.

Companies who experienced ransomware attacks in 2018 and 2019
Companies who experienced ransomware attacks in 2018 and 2019

To learn more about the results of 2019 IT Operations Survey, download the report The Kaseya 2019 State of IT Operations for Small and Midsize Businesses.

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