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Maidstone, UK, 22/02/2023
Almost three-quarters (74%) of IT directors in public sector organisations are not very confident in their IT estate being able to support a hybrid workforce, but almost seven-in-ten (69%) are not placing investment at the top of the priority list. This is according to new research undertaken by leading managed workplace services (MWS) provider, Apogee Corporation.
Almost all (93%) organisations say that effective collaboration is being prevented by their current IT setup, with 42% admitting that their remote workforce don’t have the same access to solutions as office workers. This is despite the top expectation among the workforce being the ability to collaborate effectively with technology, as cited by over a third (36%) of respondents. This is on par with the need to work flexibly (36%).
With remote workers already at a disadvantage, over a fifth (21%) of public sector organisations identify both security and productivity challenges from remote and hybrid working as detrimental to IT transformation progress. Measures to secure the hybrid/remote workforce are also being neglected, with just 14% of respondents citing it as a top priority for their department.
Other security concerns identified by IT directors include fear of a cyber breach among employees when using sharing solutions (28%), revealing that current technology setups are unlikely to meet the needed standard, and further prevent effective collaboration. In addition, only 35% of organisations have endpoint security in place, with even fewer (31%) stating that they have device encryption.
As little as 15% of public sector organisations have an end-of-life plan for their devices to improve security among their hybrid workforce. These are particularly concerning findings as organisations in the public sector are a prime target for cyber criminals, with unencrypted and end-of-life devices a popular avenue for attack.
These issues are presenting a barrier to the 49% of public sector organisations who want to offer a hybrid/remote working strategy to attract new staff as prospective candidates are unlikely to be won over by the organisation’s current offerings. Almost a third (31%) also identified providing access to high quality/reliable IT solutions a top priority for attracting and retaining staff.
"In the age of hybrid working, today’s talent pool demand an element of flexibility. Exposure to digital technologies from an early age also means that they expect access to the latest and greatest solutions in the workplace. Public sector organisations are currently struggling to meet these needs, and failing to take steps to do so will likely lead to challenges in bringing in new staff while causing unhappiness among current employees, leading them to potentially leave the business,” said Aurelio Maruggi, CEO of Apogee.
The risk of staff departures is likely to place further pressure on public sector organisations, which are already running on tight budgets and skilled staff shortages. A third (33%) are already experiencing increased IT downtime as a result of the shortages. 30% are also seeing that slow resolution of IT issues is frustrating their staff.
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