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Tech trends: ICT in the UK today : DATA SECURITY

Securing home workers the greatest headache for IT teams

Data leaks in the home are predicted to be the biggest security headache over the next two years as hybrid working arrangements see employees buying and installing their own technology including laptops, printers and scanners.

In a survey of 500 IT decision-makers by Brother UK, 34% of respondents cited the issue as their top concern, ahead of data security in the office (27%), network security for remote workers (13%) and accountability (12%). 

To mitigate the risk over the next two years, 23% expect office technology to be procured centrally, with employees purchasing home tech from approved supplier lists (up from 19% today). One in ten (11%) expects employees to be responsible for buying all office and home technology (up from 5% today). 

Overall, security was seen as a ‘very important’ consideration by 63% of IT decision-makers, above productivity (52%), cost-efficiency (50%) and sustainability (48%). 


Legacy PCs waste time 

Four in 10 UK workers are losing 3 hours per week (or 6.5 days per year) due to issues with legacy PCs, reveals a survey conducted by Intel to promote Intel Evo vPro platform-based laptops. 

Almost half of all employees polled said a more powerful or upgraded device would enable them to be more productive in their roles, with 37% saying they could recover more than six hours per week of lost or unproductive time. 

Key device requirements include connectivity, such as fast Wi-Fi (cited by 76% of employees and 88% of IT decision makers); better video quality for hybrid working (66% and 81% respectively); and a thin, ultra-light design (60% and 63%).


UK organisations prioritise flexibility 

More than half (53%) of UK organisations say that making effective use of technology is their biggest challenge over the next 12 months, followed by closing the digital skills gap (47%) and improving the performance of a distributed workforce (41%). 

The top investment priorities cited by 165 senior decision-makers at UK mid-market organisations surveyed by IT, communications and cloud services provider Daisy Corporate Services are cloud and hosting services (53%), cybersecurity (50%), Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 (47%) and business-grade connectivity (44%). 

Most organisations see value in working with partners, but, because many still need to transform legacy systems, they also want greater flexibility and resilience – 59% say they want to manage some technologies in house and work with partners to manage the rest. One third (34%) state that building a more resilient and flexible supply chain is a top business priority in the next 12 months.


Pandemic drives take-up of managed services

Half (48%) of small and medium sized businesses surveyed by Keypoint Intelligence for Konica Minolta highlight data security and protection as their number one IT challenge, with 47% having acquired or upgraded IT security software or services since the start of the pandemic.

Over one third (37%) of 550 SMBs in the UK, US, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Czech Republic surveyed for Top SMB IT Pain Points & Solutions say that employees have experienced virus, malware and security threats because of changes necessitated by the pandemic. Remote working posed a number of challenges for SMBs, including the difficulty of managing remote workers (cited by 38%) and servicing/supporting remote workers’ IT (44%). Almost half (49%) complained that they had difficulty equipping remote workers with the necessary hardware or software. 

Other challenges associated with home working include communication with managers/co-workers (51%), locating files (37%) and collaborating on digital documents (30%). 

In response to these challenges, 33% of SMBs invested in managed IT services; 35% invested in document sharing and collaboration applications; and 45% acquired/upgraded cloud data storage. 

Overall, 65% of decision-makers said that the pressures of the pandemic had accelerated their digital transformation.


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