Riverbed and Aternity announced that 88% of Australian business and IT decision makers believe that at least one quarter of their workforce will remain hybrid post-pandemic, according to the results of the Riverbed | Aternity Hybrid Work Global Survey 2021.
In addition, 55% believe that at least half of their workforce will remain hybrid in the future.
Accelerated by the pandemic, hybrid work environments provide numerous benefits – 98% of respondents agreed that hybrid work helps with recruiting talent and competitiveness, and 91% believe that hybrid work will have a positive impact on society and the world.
While all indicators signal hybrid work environments are the future, the report found that most organisations are not fully prepared to deliver a seamless hybrid work experience.
Under half (44%) of Australian businesses believe they are completely prepared to support the shift to hybrid work, and 91% are concerned about digital disparity between in-office and remote employees as businesses return to the office.
93% plan to invest in technology in 12-18 months to support their hybrid workforce.
Dan Smoot, President and CEO of Riverbed | Aternity had the following remarks.
“We’ve reached a critical point when a hybrid workplace is required for organisations to push to the next level of employee and customer satisfaction and sustainable financial success.”
“What’s very clear is to gain the maximum benefits from hybrid work, organisations must invest in technologies to modernise their IT environments, and underinvesting can be severe.”
“With the solutions from Riverbed | Aternity, organisations can maximise their visibility and performance across networks, applications, devices and the end-user experience so they can fully capitalise on their digital and hybrid workplace investments.”
Human and technology barriers must be addressed
The survey reveals that to create a sustainable and high-performing hybrid workplace, organisations must address both human-and technology-related barriers. The top five barriers when it comes to Australian businesses adopting a hybrid work model are:
- Employee motivation and well-being (43%)
- Lacking the right technology and equipment (38%)
- Poor home or remote network performance (37%)
- Expanded security risks (36%)
- Collaboration and virtual relationship building (33%)
Over 87% of decision makers believe technology disruptions negatively affect them, their teams, and employee job satisfaction, and blame lack of acceleration technologies (46%), lack of end-to-end visibility (44%) and hybrid working (41%) for application performance.
End-to-end visibility and cybersecurity, even more critical
The need for end-to-end visibility and actionable insights intensifies in a hybrid workplace with 70% of Australian respondents believing that gaining this visibility will be even more challenging in a hybrid work environment.
Security risks also increase, and 95% of local business and IT decision makers say it is critical to have full end-to-end visibility to better identify and protect against cybersecurity threats.
Of those surveyed, 64% cite that it would be seriously disruptive if their organisation suffered a cybersecurity breach due to underinvestment in visibility technology.
However, 79% agree that their organisation struggles to glean actionable insights from data that is generated from their technology infrastructure.
According to the survey, the top five challenges with current visibility or monitoring solutions identified by business and IT decision makers are:
- Lack of visibility into the availability, performance and usage of cloud resources (50%)
- Multiple tools give conflicting data, delay root cause analysis and issue resolution (49%)
- Too much data, not enough context or actionable insights (44%)
- Data is not accessible or usable by all who need it (40%)
- Lack of unified visibility across the entire technology infrastructure (36%)
Tony Wright, Country Manager of Riverbed | Aternity ANZ made these remarks.
“The findings reveal a great deal into the gap that sits within operational resources. Half of Australian decision makers stated that a lack of visibility into availability, performance and usage of cloud solutions are one of their biggest pain points when it comes to hybrid work.”
“For the multitude of stakeholders that are driving the organisational goals, we know that end-to-end visibility and the rich, broad set of data it provides is more important than ever to ensure productivity, end-user experience, high-quality digital experiences and security.”
IT and business decision makers reveal that their top areas of technology investments over the next 12-18 months include:
- Investing in end-user experience and digital experience monitoring solutions (49%)
- Better visibility of network and application performance (47%)
- Increasing the use of cloud services and Software as a Service (SaaS) apps (47%)
- Investing in cybersecurity technology and software (45%)
- Updating company-wide hybrid workplace strategies and policies (43%)
- Investing in application or network acceleration solutions (39%)
Network and application performance impact employees
The survey findings underscore that when networks and applications operate at peak performance, so do employees and the business.
Respondents believe performance contributes greatly to delivering critical services to employees and customers (48%); driving innovation (40%); enabling hybrid work models (39%); reducing downtime (34%); saving time and money (33%); and enhancing collaboration (28%).
In contrast, underinvesting in technologies that ensure IT services are high-performing and secure can have severe consequences. Australian business decision makers cite the following impacts on business when underinvesting in technology:
- Increased difficulty in engaging customers or clients (50%)
- Decreased customer satisfaction (46%)
- Reduced quality of service to customers or clients (43%)
- Decreased productivity (37%)
- Decreased revenue (35%)
Business and IT decision makers in Australia agree that underinvesting impacts employee experience citing reduced work-life balance (42%); increased stress or frustration (41%); lack of work motivation (40%); reduced creativity and stunted innovation (39%; reduced employee productivity (38%); and reduced collaboration among co-workers (38%).
Riverbed | Aternity Hybrid Work Global Survey 2021 was conducted by Sapio Research in September 2021. Nearly 1,500 business leaders responded comprising 750 business decision makers (BDMs) and 738 IT decision makers (ITDMs) from organizations.
All respondent organizations had revenue above $500M USD annually in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the Netherlands.
Industry sectors included Finance/Insurance, Public Sector/Government, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Retail, and Professional Services.