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Working From Home Looks Set to Stay for Public Sector Employees

Distributed workforces are driving widespread cloud migration and transforming the way the public sector manages and secures endpoints.

Many public sector employees look set to remain working from home for the long-term, as a result of the pandemic. Public sector leaders reported that working from home was here to stay with 45% of those surveyed believing that 70% or more of their formerly office-based employees would be allowed to continue to w************* in some capacity.

Reasons given included proof that working from home was more productive and that it allowed for a review of property use and the subsequent potential savings from reducing office space.

The findings came from a survey questioning public sector leaders on the biggest challenges facing their UK IT teams during the pandemic. The independent research was commissioned by IGEL, provider of the next-gen edge OS for cloud workspaces, and undertaken by market researchers Question & Retain.

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Providing access to business critical applications and suitable computing devices were the biggest initial challenges facing UK public sector IT teams, as employees rushed to w************* during the coronavirus pandemic.

Struggling to set-up employees at home, 33% reported their most significant IT challenge as providing access to business critical applications, while 28% said it was providing suitable mobile computing devices.

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Other significant challenges identified included broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity issues at employees’ homes. These issues were just one of a number of support problems that resulted in 60% of IT teams reporting an increase in end user support as employees worked from home. Of those, 35% saw increases of up to 50% more end user support requests, 6% up to 1********, 12% up to 200% more and 6% up to 300% more.

However, 33% reported no noticeable change and 6% reported less support required than usual, likely to be as a result of furloughed staff.

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Priority technology investment

Investments in cloud (29%) and hardware (26%) were predicted to see the biggest spend increases over the next 12 months as organisations adjusted their IT infrastructure to reflect the new working culture, followed by security (13%) and virtual desktop Infrastructure (10%).

“This research shows that public sector IT teams have been incredibly quick and versatile in adjusting to the requirements of the pandemic and successful in keeping vital public sector services operational,” said Simon Townsend, Chief Marketing Officer at IGEL. “In less than a few months, w************* and remote working computing demands have gone beyond being simply desired, to becoming essential. The priority moving forward is to establish a resilient IT infrastructure to support the significant proportion of the workforce that will continue operating remotely. Large distributed workforces and the resulting trend towards widespread cloud migration is transforming how the public sector manages and secures endpoints, fueling demand for virtual apps, desktops and cloud workspaces.”

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