Changing working patterns as a result of Covid-19 are fuelling demand for new ownership models for IT in businesses of all sizes, according to a pan-European survey carried out by 3stepIT. While three-quarters of those polled reported IT was pivotal to their survival during the pandemic, there are growing concerns about the increased risks and environmental impact of dispersed workplaces.
The research was conducted in July 2021 by OnePoll on behalf of 3stepIT and surveyed 1000 IT decision-makers (200 from each territory) from the UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Finland.
This found 70% of businesses across the UK and mainland Europe have accelerated their digital transformation due to Covid-19, and to protect themselves from future crises.
Three quarters (74%) of businesses say technology was pivotal to their survival during the pandemic, ensuring business continuity and allowing the rapid shift to home working.
Over half (51%) of IT departments were given larger budgets to enact these changes, with a third (32%) increasing their IT headcounts to handle the huge volume of services requests coming in from remote workers.
But with the shift to hybrid working, businesses are now facing a number of new, unforeseen challenges
A third (30%) say they have faced an increased security risk due to the greater number and mobility of devices, and a quarter (25%) admit to having lost track of devices assigned to remote workers.
Three quarters (74%) say they are under increasing pressure to showcase that they can be sustainable with their IT processes, as public concerns around environmental issues grows.
As a result of the widespread digital transformation taking place in European businesses, 26% of respondents said they had more devices that needed to be disposed of. Yet two-thirds (65%) say they do not have an environmentally sustainable process in place to manage this, and three-quarters (74%) of organisations say that they are concerned about the amount of e-waste they produce.
3stepIT said this data hints at a tidal wave of redundant IT potentially hitting landfill post-pandemic, which is a worry given figures which show e-waste is already expected to hit 74m metric tonnes by 2030.
Commenting on the findings, Carmen Ene, CEO at 3stepIT said: “The pandemic has created one of the most challenging business environments in our history - organisations are being asked to deliver huge digital transformation projects, improve security measures and deliver more business value with every investment, all while operating sustainably.
“Traditional models of cash ownership are no longer fit for purpose, and the leading companies are instead moving towards technology as-a-service to ensure they can prove ROI, grow performance and answer critical environmentally sustainable goals.”