IT Technology Challenges: Collaboration, Cloud, Security Top the List

Security and collaboration for a hybrid workforce, delivering the best end-user experience, and driving innovation are among the top IT challenges companies are facing today, according to a new IT technology plans study from Cisco.

Those challenges are driving tech investment decisions, with more than half investing in cloud applications (56%), network security (56%) and cloud security (51%), with only slightly fewer (45%) investing in multi-cloud infrastructure in 2021-2022.

Among other report findings:

  • Future of work: A majority (61%) of CIOs and IT decision makers are unsure of what the future of work looks like, but 89% responded that it is essential to maintain security, control, and governance across user devices, networks, clouds and applications. Eight-six percent think it is important to empower a distributed workforce with seamless access to applications and high-quality collaborative experiences. Eighty-eight percent said security of remote work tools and protection of customer or employee data is essential.
  • Importance of improved user experiences: Greater than 75% of survey respondents said user experience should focus on delight versus satisfaction. Nearly nine-in-10 (89%) think it is important to ensure consistent performance across both the application and infrastructure, while only slightly fewer (86%) said it is important to make infrastructure as dynamic as application software to meet the changing policy and optimization needs of the application and developer.

“IT leaders are at the forefront of ensuring critical success for their organizations in 2021,” said Liz Centoni, Cisco’s chief strategy officer and general manager, applications, in a prepared statement. “Even as questions remain and new challenges will surface, CIOs and IT decision makers are telling us they need to accelerate digital agility for their teams, so they have the speed, flexibility and choice to consume services across both traditional and modern environments.”


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