Remote working is here to stay, according to a poll of more than 3,000 IT decision makers. According to their survey responses, by 2022 only 13 per cent of businesses will have no full time employees that work remotely.

It is a considerable drop from the 2019 pre-pandemic mark when 26 per cent said they had no full time staff working remotely. Or in other words, COVID-19 has effectively halved the amount of companies that don’t use remote work.

The findings come from Nutanix, a hybrid cloud infrastructure and software provider that polls IT leaders each year on their IT strategy and adoption of cloud technologies.

The vendor’s 2020 Enterprise Cloud Index report, conducted by Vanson Bourn, touts hybrid as the ideal IT infrastructure model (86 per cent of respondents). Additional research this year examined the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on IT strategy.

Remote work to stay

Unsurprisingly, companies are preparing for the lasting legacy of remote work. The pandemic put the migration of remote work into hyperdrive. Only 7 per cent of companies persisted without any full time employees working from home.

That rate is expected to grow back to 13 per cent by 2022, according to the report, but won’t come close to the 2019 mark where a quarter of businesses didn’t utilise full time remote work.

Around half of the IT leaders said improving their systems and supporting work from home capabilities are priorities in the next 12 to 18 months.

IT also enjoyed a reputation bump, according to survey respondents, three quarters of which said COVID-19 had caused the department to be viewed more strategically within their organisations.

Backends are also being adapted for a hybrid future, according to the report, including more hyper converged infrastructure in data centres and the decommissioning of legacy systems in favour of private and public cloud systems.

Respondents said changes to IT are being done to gain more control (58 per cent), improve flexibility (55 per cent), and improve customer and worker support (50 per cent).

“In January, for many companies, technology was considered a basic function of a business, enabling core organisational processes,” said Wendy M. Pfeiffer, chief information officer of Nutanix.

“Today, technology has taken on an entirely new meaning. It is a complex strategy and it makes or breaks a company’s long-term viability. COVID-19 has accelerated us into a new era of strategic IT and raised its profile considerably, and the findings from this year’s Enterprise Cloud Index reflect this new reality. Hybrid cloud is the frontrunner, and it will continue to be as we navigate our mixing of physical and virtual environments and move away from doing business in a single mode.”

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