- The needs created by the pandemic pushed employees to adopt enterprise technology they had previously rejected or ignored, according to 58% of executives surveyed in a report published by Cisco. The study combines input from 1,500 senior managers, and further surveys and interviews with smaller subsets of leaders.
- Two-thirds of managers found adoption of cloud-based communication, collaboration and productivity tools accelerated as companies navigated distributed work.
- Half of respondents said the shift to distributed work connected companies with "a more inclusive and extended talent pool." Almost three-quarters of managers expect their organizations to "emerge stronger from the crisis."
In the pandemic, businesses took a tech-centered approach as they responded to the disruption. This put pressure on workforces to increase and expand the use of tech tools. Executives expected software platforms to help boost efficiency and help deliver value to customers as organizations sought to maximize cost efficiency in the context of an economic contraction.
In turn, this burdened IT teams as they managed companywide hardware constrains. It also made cybersecurity protections harder to enforce, with the pivot to distributed work removing the perimeter companies had worked hard to build and crimping end-to-end visibility.
But as the novelty of remote work begins to wear off, the distributed nature of work is putting pressure on employees, as well as organizations, to adapt the tools they might have been reluctant to include in their toolkit before the crisis.
Technologies that proved their value during peaks in demand or operational distress can potentially earn an longer-term adoption boost across the enterprise. Low-code tools that helped spin up helpful platforms at the height of the pandemic, for example.
Automation stands to make similar gains. Artificial intelligence applications come with the added benefit of boosting efficiency for industries like travel, which faced high disruption amid the pandemic. Two-thirds of IT decision-makers expect their budgets for automation to grow in the year ahead.