How IT Leaders Can Be Proactive in the Face of Change

Expect the unexpected, and prepare for it by having a stronger, more secure network, say IT leaders still adjusting to a new workplace.

Bart de Graaff, CEO, ngena

September 13, 2022

4 Min Read
How IT Leaders Can Be Proactive in the Face of Change
Andrei Krauchuk / Alamy Stock Vector

The speed of business change has increased over the past two years and will continue to increase as we move forward. Businesses are collaborating and connecting differently. The centricity of data in every part of daily life has changed our way of thinking. Within the business environment, data has become the only currency when determining the value chain. For businesses to survive this change in focus, business leaders and IT leaders need the right technologies at their disposal to minimize risk and match the speed of change that is impacting their industry.

From the pandemic to the war in Ukraine, supply chain issues and changes in the economy, one thing is clear: disruption is here to stay.

To better understand the ever-evolving technological landscape, we at ngena conducted a survey of 375 IT professionals and leaders, titled “How Workplace Change Brings IT Pains.” The key themes that emerged from the survey include the expediting of remote and hybrid work, pain points and worries brought forward by IT teams, and suggestions for how teams could have better prepared and plan to be better prepared in the future.

Looking Back

To fully understand the impact change and disruptions have had on IT, the survey looked back 18-24 months -- going back to the move to remote and hybrid work models that upended everything in the workplace.

Not surprisingly, we found that 83% of IT members and leaders felt stress and anxiety over the change to hybrid and remote work at the onset of the pandemic. Almost no businesses were prepared for this shift or had the infrastructures in place to handle it. When asked how their teams could have been better prepared for the rapid change in the workplace, the responses varied. The top four responses were stronger network security, better communication skills, stronger network connection and faster remote deployments. As we look to prepare for future disruptions, IT leaders should keep these areas top of mind and keep their eye on new technologies, apps, and solutions that may need to be implemented.

To that point, 65% of IT teams do plan to implement new solutions within the next year. But even with new plans in place, 48% of respondents reported that they were not confident or only somewhat confident in their company’s IT preparedness for another disruption, leaving just over half of respondents that felt confident. This is cause for concern. No company can move confidently into the future if its IT team isn’t confident about its ability to adapt to an ever-changing business and technology landscape.

Pushing Forward

According to the study, IT teams believe that the largest opposition in the next 3-5 years will be keeping up with technology (33%), innovating new technology (28%), and addressing security and risk (27%). The supply and demand chain is dealing with many of these issues right now. Stock and supply are moving at a slower pace than demand, causing a shortage of goods. The good news is that data has the ability to smooth out the supply chain problems, if used thoughtfully. The constant movements and disruptions in the IT industry, such as the supply chain crisis, call for new planning, advanced technology, and forward-thinking leaders.

Business leaders need to learn from the pandemic and make changes to their IT solutions to ensure their businesses are prepared for another disruption. IT leaders and team members should be proactive in implementing systems in place to avoid employees feeling overlooked in the future. And some of those precautions seem to be in place -- in fact, 87% of survey respondents say budgeting has changed over the past 18-24 months to be better prepared for any future disruptions.

One of the biggest solutions IT teams are looking to implement is secure connectivity. According to the survey, 40% of respondents chose secure connectivity-as-a-service as the number one solution IT teams are turning to when combating future challenges. Secure connectivity will allow companies to keep business running smoothly in uncertain times and will be a necessary tool to prepare for the unknown.

Businesses need to learn from past disruptions and implement new solutions that will help IT teams and companies reduce stress and anxiety when preparing for the unknown.

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About the Author(s)

Bart de Graaff, CEO, ngena

Bart de Graaff is CEO of ngena. Prior to joining ngena in May 2019, he spent over 20 years working with global consultancies and IT powerhouses. He served as Managing Director at Accenture for 12 years, leading Cloud Sales, Solutions, and Operations, as well as creating digital and data-driven client programs. He also worked in enterprise architecture at Perot Systems Corp. Bart has a passion for helping companies and teams to exceed their own expectations, and he has been delivering on this philosophy at ngena, establishing it as the premiere SD-WAN as a Service provider in the industry

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