As we approach the end of another year, mapping out individual, team and organizational goals is at the top of many to-do lists. But considering the significant disruptions of 2020 and the continued uncertainty organizations of every size are facing, how do IT leaders chart a path forward?
It is clear that new ways of working, budget cuts and heightened risk will continue to impact IT teams in 2021. At Snow, we wanted to see how those challenges have intersected with organizational priorities and employee behaviors, uncovering trends that are influencing how CIOs and IT leaders will set their plans for the coming year. In our inaugural 2021 IT Priorities Report, we surveyed 1,000 IT leaders and 3,000 workers from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia to better gauge how organizations around the world are using and managing their technology resources, especially as they adapt to the long-term implications and resulting market pressures of the pandemic.
To understand how the landscape has shifted for many enterprises, discovering more about the realities faced by IT teams was only one piece of the puzzle. Employees’ attitudes and behaviors towards technology, policies and processes are equally important to see how IT plans come to life. In the IT Priorities Report, we asked questions like:
- What were IT teams’ most pressing challenges and organizations’ top IT priorities in 2020?
- How did these challenges and priorities impact technology investment and management?
- What are employee perceptions and behaviors when it comes to technology use?
- What is the current risk landscape for organizations, not just in terms of security but also compliance and financial risks?
- Are there any commonalities between organizations with strong visibility and management over their technology resources, and how does that stance impact the larger IT agenda?
- How has Covid-19 impacted the role of technology in business and how is that setting the stage for 2021 priorities?
While every organization is facing a different set of circumstances based on industry, geography and size, there were a number of similarities in the trends and challenges faced over the past year. The data also suggests that organizations who feel confident in their ability to understand and govern their technology accordingly – what we at Snow call technology intelligence – were better positioned to weather current events and maintain an innovative IT agenda.
Additional key takeaways we discovered include:
- The majority of IT leaders increased spend on all technologies. This was expected for cloud infrastructure and SaaS applications but more surprising when it came to hardware and on-prem software.
- 63% of IT leaders reported that technology management became more difficult in 2020. Additionally, 76% said the pace of digital transformation significantly increased as well.
- Employees attitudes towards IT improved in 2020, with 50% of workers saying they have more empathy, respect and gratitude for IT.
- IT leaders are likely underestimating some key risks in 2021. While there is high awareness for security risk among both employees and IT, there are concerning disconnects in other areas such as vendor audits.
- The top three IT priorities for organizations in 2020 were reducing security risks, reducing IT spend and adopting new technologies. Given the inherent conflicts between these priorities, IT leaders need to take a more advanced approach to technology management.
If you’re interested in learning more about these trends and how these are framing priorities for CIOs and IT teams in 2021, download your copy of the report here. We’ll provide additional analysis and data breakdowns on the blog as we dig even deeper into the findings over the next couple months.
For additional help with your 2021 planning process, be sure to check out our Software Savings Calculator, Cloud Savings Calculator and SAP Optimization Calculator for a personalized look at your environment.