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Enterprise Spotlight Turns to Communications


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We know that when the pandemic hit this past spring, enterprise communications/collaboration organizations became more important than anyone could have imagined. There are different ways of quantifying this, but a couple stand out for me.
* At the end of April, (ISC)2, the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals, found that 47% of respondents to a member survey had “been taken off some or all of their typical security duties to assist with other IT-related tasks, such as equipping a mobile workforce.”
That’s an amazing statistic. For years now, information security has, rightly, been the obsession of most IT organizations — and IT security talent has been increasingly hard for enterprises to find and employ. The fact that nearly half of security professionals would be taken off this absolutely business-critical task shows you how pressing the job of relocating information workers to home connection really was.
It also suggests that it was a much more difficult, labor-intensive task than it often sounds like when we talk about the experience of the past few months. We talk about how “everyone started working from home,” and allude to the relative ease of the transition — but “relative” is the key word. If an enterprise had planned such a transition as a normal IT project, the timeline likely would have been months or years instead of weeks or even days.
* Budgets tell the tale: In an Enterprise Connect webinar earlier this year, Robin Gareiss of Nemertes Research presented data from a survey of enterprise organizations indicating that more than half of respondents expected overall IT spending to increase this year, to support work from home (WFH). Even more noteworthy from the Nemertes survey: Almost 20% of respondents expected their overall IT budget to decrease — not surprising when we’re staring down a pandemic and resulting economic dislocation — but even within that lower budget, this group expected to spend more on WFH efforts.
We’re now at a point where, at least in the U.S., it doesn’t look there’s going to be a clear moment when we start transitioning from the emergency WFH response to a back-to-office mode. We’re likely in for several months or more of ebb and flow — where COVID response measures achieve some level of success, leading to overly hasty reopening that drives a resurgence of the virus, and so on. It will make for a very uncertain time for those tasked with delivering communications and collaboration functions to enterprise end users.
In such an uncertain environment, enterprise communications/collaboration professionals will have to be nimble, which means being well-schooled in the issues and challenges. That’s why our Enterprise Connect Digital Conference & Expo 2020 is here.
The event, which kicks off next week, features the in-depth, vendor-neutral content that we’ve always stressed at our in-person events. It also uses a platform that will enable attendees to make connections with colleagues so they can get at least some of the networking and information-sharing that everyone loves about a live event. And we’ll have the leading industry vendors on hand, so you can compare their products and roadmaps, and see what they can offer as you gear up for this uncertain future.
It’s free to attend, so I hope you can join us next week as we gather the industry virtually and make some connections in this time of social distancing.