2020 IT Operations Survey Results – Highlights and Key Takeaways

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Through our latest 2020 IT Operations Survey Results Reports – Strategic Priorities for IT Leaders and Technical Priorities for IT Practitioners — both of which were compiled by surveying over 800 IT leaders and practitioners, we bring you deep insights into the topmost priorities, pressing challenges and technology spending concerns of small and midsize businesses.

Cybersecurity Remains the Biggest Priority and Challenge

With companies all over the world quickly transitioning to remote work over the past few months, cybersecurity continues to be the top priority for IT leaders and practitioners, as evidenced in the reports. Security and data protection remains the biggest challenge, due in part to the added risk of employees using unsecured Wi-Fi network connections and unpatched, remote, off-network computers. Consequently, more than one-third of IT leaders (34 percent) say they spend a significant 11 percent to 30 percent of their IT budget on security alone.

Figure 1: Top Priorities for IT Leaders
Figure 1: Top Priorities for IT Leaders

In keeping with the high prioritization of IT security, backup management and antivirus/antimalware deployment and management are two very important use cases for an endpoint management solution for more than 50 percent of the IT practitioners surveyed. Even so, less than a third are able to patch their remote off-network devices, exposing their businesses to potential risks in today’s work from home environment.

IT Budgeting and Cost-Cutting Concerns Continue

Reducing IT costs has been a perennial high priority for IT teams and continues to be so this year. As IT leaders deal with budget constraints amid the ongoing economic crisis, 41 percent said that “Reducing IT Costs” was a top priority (see Figure 1 above) while nearly one-third of IT practitioners are struggling to meet the ever-increasing demands on IT with limited resources (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2: Top IT Challenges for IT Practitioners
Figure 2: Top IT Challenges for IT Practitioners

In addition, the accelerated need for digital transformation has led to greater demand on IT services and support, leaving multi-function IT teams having to do more with less.

Major Investment in IT Automation in 2021

About 60 percent of IT leaders plan on investing in IT automation in 2021. This comes as no surprise since automating IT tasks is not only an effective way of increasing efficiency and cutting costs, but also improving service delivery. And “delivering higher service levels” was third on the list of IT priorities for IT leaders. Furthermore, automation of IT processes is a very important use case for an endpoint management solution for more than half of the IT practitioners surveyed.

Figure 3: Top Technologies IT Leaders Plan to Invest in for 2021
Figure 3: Top Technologies IT Leaders Plan to Invest in for 2021

A third of IT leaders are also looking to invest in data science and analytics while 24 percent are planning to invest in AI and machine learning in 2021.

Business Growth and Outdated Infrastructure to Drive IT Spending in 2021

Despite the economic uncertainties and the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are looking to grow their business and plan on spending to update their outdated infrastructure in the coming year. They also anticipate spending more on digital transformation and remote workforce transition in 2021.

Figure 4: Factors Driving IT Spending in 2021
Figure 4: Factors Driving IT Spending in 2021

These and many more insights can be found in our 2020 IT Operations Survey Results Reports. Download the Strategic Priorities for IT Leaders Report here or Technical Priorities for IT Practitioners Report.

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