Work-From-Anywhere Shift Will Increase IT Costs

    The current assumption among many IT professionals is that, as more employees become vaccinated, the end of one of the most difficult periods in the history of IT is at hand. A recent analysis of IT service management (ITSM) data collected from more than 400 large enterprises conducted by DeepCoding, a provider of an ITSM platform finds the volume for service requests has increased 35% since the start of COVD-19 pandemic.

    With the bulk of employees working from home, they are encountering issues ranging from lost passwords to problems with virtual private networks (VPNs) with greater frequency. The analysis notes all that activity has increased service desk costs per ticket has increased by 30% percent from $20.44 to $26.51 per ticket.

    Those costs don’t include any soft costs that result from employee downtime caused by their inability to access, for example, a corporate application from home. From the perspective of many IT professionals, employees can’t get back to the office soon enough.

    Also read: Digital Workspace Consortium Aims to Foster Adoption of Work-From-Anywhere Model

    The Hybrid Work Challenge

    There’s no doubt more employees will be heading back to the office once the pandemic subsides, but it’s not likely they will be there nearly as often. A global survey of 8,533 respondents conducted by Lenovo finds 83% of workers want to take advantage of a hybrid work model, with more than half (53% reporting they are more productive at home. Nearly three quarters of respondents (70 percent) noted that workplace flexibility provides them higher levels of job satisfaction, with 60 percent now preferring remote work at least half the time. Only a third said they want to work from home all the time.

    Most of the IT decision-makers that participated in the study (83%) said they expect post-pandemic work to be remote at least half the time.

    Arguably, the cost to support employees that are moving from one place to the next on any given day are going to be a lot higher. IT organizations need to factor in those costs as organizations shift from a largely work-from-home (WFH) model to a work-from-anywhere (WFA) approach.

    DeepCoding, for example, is making a case for an ITSM platform that employs machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to augment the capabilities of internal IT teams that are clearly overwhelmed.

    “We believe AI will be needed to reduce costs,” says DeepCoding CEO Sebastien Adjiman. 

    Also read: Salesforce Makes Case for Expanding Reliance on Virtual Selling

    Improving Work Environments

    In addition to revisiting the ITSM platforms required to support WFA, manufacturers of PCs are also betting many organizations will be upgrading devices. These upgrades will provide capabilities, such as built-in wireless 5G connections, that are simpler to consistently secure rather than a raft of home networks based on switches that have not been updated, in some cases, for years. 

    Pressure to provide a better overall work environment will inevitably rise, says Vitalie Palanciuc, executive director for small-to-medium business product and business operations for Lenovo. 

    “It will be about providing a better user experience,” Palanciuc says.

    Putting the right platforms in place to support WFA is, of course, going to require some time. Most organizations don’t have the financial resources required to fund a massive IT upgrade. However, as the economy steadily improves it won’t be too long before WFA finally forces that issue. 

    Read next: Best Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Tools 2021

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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