Last year, companies across various domains rushed to digital transformation. Several technology measures like migration to the cloud were implemented to enable remote work during the Coronavirus pandemic. In a recent report, the research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. predicts that global IT spending will reach $4.1 trillion this year, an increase of 8.4% from about $3.8 million in 2020.
The focus of technology leaders will be on strengthening the hybrid environment that integrates physical and virtual workspaces. Cloud-based systems and tools can be scaled quickly to fulfill ever-changing demand. The aim is to ensure that the staff productivity is maximum even in unforeseen circumstances and regardless of the location they are working from.
However, the sector-wise spending will be uneven and depend on the economic recovery of the industry. The sectors like banking and insurance that witnessed enormous growth during the pandemic will have lesser budget constraints than hospitality and other such domains.
The most in-demand enterprise tools across different sectors are to ensure cybersecurity, collaboration & online document storage, and transfer. Let’s elaborate on these points in detail.
Cybersecurity Is Vital for Business Sustenance
Going digital means putting your data online and accessing it via the internet. On the flip side, this makes you prone to cyber-attacks. If any system becomes infected, it can crash or become so slow that working on it becomes extremely difficult.
Hackers can sell confidential information or gain access to every action performed by an employee and use it against your business. You might have to replace everything, which will be a waste of time and money.
Cybersecurity solutions like firewalls and antivirus software protect sensitive data of businesses from unnecessary network traffic and malicious attacks. Workspaces have all the necessary hardware and software infrastructure to prevent damage from a wide range of malicious attempts for data theft. The employees can surf the internet from their systems without being vulnerable to threats.
The shift to remote work setup increased the use of devices in unsecured or poorly secured home networks, making it an easy target for cybercriminals. As a result, many companies are now opting for remote security software.
Examples of cybersecurity tools include Endpoint security software, Malwarebytes, Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance firewalls, among others. Additionally, practices like virtual private networks (VPN), strong passwords, and two-factor authentication are a must.
Collaboration is Mission-Critical for Modern-Day Businesses
Nearly half (48%) of businesses worldwide are expected to increase their spending on collaboration software in 2021 – Analyst Firm IDC.
Effective collaboration is important for the even distribution of work, timely completion of tasks, and avoiding confusion. Unlike office premises where you can communicate with your team members face-to-face, working from home poses certain challenges to seamless communication.
Employees work at different times, which makes teamwork tougher. But they still need to work on projects together and share information with each other. For this, companies will continue to invest in virtual collaboration solutions in the days to come.
Virtual collaboration tools are highly crucial for efficient remote working. They make it possible to work with hundreds and thousands of team members with virtual yet face-to-face meetings in real-time. Employees can maintain and update to-do lists, share data, and more. Some of the collaboration tools for working remotely are Trello, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, etc.
This way, everyone is up to date with the current work progress, and complete transparency is ensured. This prevents any form of misunderstandings that can negatively impact productivity.
Data is the New Lifeline for Business Growth
Data drive all businesses. Even small businesses can generate terabytes of data in a short span. When working in the office, employees can create and store physical documents and files. It is possible to share handwritten or printed files with each other quickly.
But in the long term, storing such documents, organizing them, and searching for them in heaps of files is a time-consuming process. As companies became more technologically equipped in the last decade, they started to prefer online modes of document storage and transfer. The process not only becomes simple and quick, but it also saves paper.
With the rise of remote work culture, online way of storage and transfer has become essential. Sharing files physically would mean waiting for several hours or days for courier delivery. This makes it a very inefficient process, and work comes to a standstill. Urgent deadlines can suffer.
This has led to an increased demand for secure and reliable options to store massive amounts of data online. There are many tools for online document storage and transfer in the market like Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer, Send Anywhere, Hightail, and more.
Remote work has numerous benefits for employees, like better work-life balance and less commute stress. For employers, it means higher retention rates and lower costs. But there are hassles, such as communication gaps, security vulnerabilities, and issues in ensuring efficient teamwork.
To overcome these challenges and achieve better productivity, companies worldwide will spend more on IT software suitable for remote work this year.