With all the disruptive changes the pandemic has caused to organisations worldwide, many businesses are now adopting strategies that were not the norm before. These include the enabling of remote work as offices are compelled to temporarily close, as well as accelerating the use of technologies such as AI and the cloud.
To discuss such trends in the business landscape, Gibu Mathew, Vice President and General Manager, APAC, Zoho Corporation shared the key findings in the 2021 Digital Readiness Survey prepared by ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management software division of Zoho.
In the said survey, 98% of respondents based in Singapore confirmed that their organisation will be supporting remote work for at least the next two years. To make this possible, 86% of executives and IT professionals report an increased use in the cloud.
“The cloud has always been there when we needed it and it's not something new. But it hasn't had adoption rates like what we see today and I guess the pandemic actually forced a lot more adoption than ever before,” added Gibu.
He added that remote work is not all about online meetings on the cloud. Rather, organisations should also consider the other aspects of enabling a remote workforce. One of these is cybersecurity, as businesses now have lesser security controls due to a shift in operations. In fact, 96% cited that security threats have increased since the pandemic started.
Among the top reasons for this increase is the use by employees of services or applications not approved by the IT department – shadow IT that is hard to control. About 85% say that they fail to control the applications their employees use, with 37% also mentioning that they have failed to adapt their security strategies in response to remote work.
Another aspect that organisations need to consider is analytics. According to Gibu, the use of business analytics is driven by the need to improve decision-making and better leverage the data available to the company. To help with this, 83% report their confidence in AI has increased over the last two years, correlating with increased use of AI by 89% of participants.
Moreover, Gibu also discussed another important key finding in the survey: the trust in IT is also increasing across the organisation. Even more, 71% of respondents believing that IT leaders are better equipped and qualified to assume the CEO role than others.
“It's been very important for them to concentrate on improving their cloud services. I think that's the reason why 90 per cent of the respondents actually put a lot of trust in their tech leadership team to lead their company into the future because they strongly understand that IT is very important as a huge component of digitalisation,” ended Gibu.