COVID-19 has dominated the world as we know it for nearly a year now, and it’s safe to say that many things have changed since then. Among other things, it’s hard to believe that just a short year ago most people went to work in an office without even thinking twice about it. Remote working was relatively unfamiliar territory to many companies and industries - including IT. Today, remote working is the new normal for most of us and our old office challenges have been replaced by finding secure tools to host conference calls, making sure you’re unmuted when presenting to your peers, and ensuring you get some exercise after days of working from home. Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, it seems there are also elements to our work that don’t seem to have changed as much as we might have expected.
Last year, we asked CTO’s and Tech Directors of the hottest scale-ups about their most pressing IT challenges. To understand whether or not these challenges have changed in light of a year dominated by a global pandemic, we have once again researched the state of IT and asked leading companies from various industries to look both back and ahead to the state of IT in 2021.
Similar to our 2020 results, our current survey results show that employing good talent is still considered the most pressing IT challenge. Reducing costs of development & platform maintenance costs and supporting chosen technology are considered close runner-ups. Interestingly, moving to the cloud gets higher scores when compared to responses from 2020, though it’s hard to determine whether or not this is impacted by workforces getting used to working more remotely.
With both consumers and businesses being forced to adopt more digital products and solutions than they may have been using before, our survey panel has once again listed improving user experience as the most pressing challenge when it comes to their solution. Additionally, given that adoption of digital solutions has likely increased since COVID-19, there’s plenty of opportunities for business to expand to new, unexplored markets. It, therefore, makes sense that improving scalability is considered the second challenge to tackle.
Overall, relatively few shifts in challenges are noted when it comes to product security, as compliance with security standards remains to be the top challenge. Perhaps unsurprisingly, preventing data breach is listed as a strong second challenge. It’s not too far fetched to think that this may be caused by the fact that both
businesses and consumers are exchanging data digitally more than ever and, with that, more precious data is shared as well. Lastly, we asked our 2021 survey respondents about their top challenge around platform maintenance. Reducing IT overhead is still considered most pressing here, with no change when comparing it to last year’s survey results.
The results of our State of IT 2021 survey suggest that the industry has not been beaten or shaken up by the global pandemic we face today - far from it. Many existing challenges have remained, though some may have become more pressing than before. And better yet, the past year has even presented new opportunities. While a happy 51% of respondents have stated that they have been able to continue business as usual in 2020, a lucky 26% have shared that COVID-19 has even improved their business and that they have been able to spend more time and money on IT.
28% of tech leaders have also shared that they are keen to invest more time and money on new projects in the coming year, while 62% state that they expect to be able to run their business as usual. To better understand what this entails, we’ve asked what the biggest strategic focus of the upcoming year would be. 23% of survey respondents state that their focus will be on product development, while technology development and customer success both get 18% of the responses.
Want to read all details on the results of the State of IT survey of the year? You can download the full report bellow.