The Great Resignation — also referred to as the "Big Quit" — creates major challenges for IT leaders who deploy and manage technology in the workplace. They were already navigating the ripples of the global pandemic in a remote and hybrid work environment. Now they must do it with a smaller staff.
Effectively managing technology in the workplace has been a top priority for large enterprises — long before the pandemic. IT staff were in high demand and continue to be coveted.
However, with the rise of remote work and the emergence of hybrid workplaces that are now the default model in several industries, IT staff are just as likely to opt for remote work. Whether they perform their tasks in the office or away from it, the same challenges persist — and in some cases, they're more difficult than ever.
Cybersecurity is irrevocably intertwined with technology in the workplace and continues to be a major concern for enterprises. Attacks by threat actors are growing and becoming more sophisticated. Many cybersecurity jobs were going unfilled before the Great Resignation, and the need for skilled security analysts is even more acute now as remote work creates more endpoints and connections that must be protected.
The overwhelming workload extends to all IT staff, and it's compounded by the need for new skills as cyberthreats continue unabated, data grows exponentially, and organizations look to execute their digital transformation plans. It can seem impossible for heavily burdened IT workers to find time to take courses that will expand their skill set. However, those skills are critical. Without the right knowledge, IT staff will feel even more stressed. They'll struggle just to meet deployment schedules, let alone achieve digital transformation goals or fully leverage the benefits of cloud computing. The expertise to deliver new technologies is critical to gaining a competitive advantage.
Budget remains a constraint, whether the money is earmarked for adopting the necessary software and hardware to support IT operations or for hiring the people to deploy and manage it. The Great Resignation means rethinking how to manage technology in the workplace, and that includes deciding what IT staff do and don't do moving forward.
Technology in the workplace can be considered both the problem and the solution to challenges created by the Great Resignation and the remote/hybrid work environment.
When confronted by limited IT staff, look for ways to automate. This is especially helpful in the cybersecurity space, where it's not feasible for analysts to keep up with every alert on a dashboard and decide if it is, in fact, a threat to the organization's applications and data. Getting a handle on cybersecurity might mean outsourcing the security operations center to a managed security services provider, albeit with adequate oversight from internal IT staff.
Selective and strategic outsourcing can also go a long way toward maximizing technology. Consider outsourcing some end-user support activities to offload IT staff of the responsibility of resolving every single ticket that comes through when remote workers have trouble with an application. Moving a number of on-premises applications to a cloud service provider will reduce the time and internal expertise needed to manage technology in the workplace.
After determining which IT functions to outsource and which applications are best run by a cloud service provider, then decide what skills and organizational knowledge are required internally. This focus allows business leaders to budget more strategically and improve overall productivity.
The productivity of IT staff and all employees, regardless of where they work, can also be enhanced by the right collaboration and meeting tools. That includes videoconferencing and collaboration software that supports a hybrid workplace and ensures interactions between on-site conference rooms and remote locations are seamless.