IT asset management becomes top concern in the era of hybrid work

IT asset management was cited as the biggest IT support challenge two years into the COVID-19 pandemic with most employees working remotely, followed by communication and collaboration, according to the latest findings from ManageEngine.

To understand how well organisations have coped over the now two-year-long pandemic, the impact on operations and which factors have influenced success, ManageEngine surveyed 437 IT professionals globally across a range of topics in late 2021.

The survey focused on seven areas as they relate to ITSM — work locations, the impact of employees working remotely, financial and asset management implications, the business view of IT, security and governance issues, third-party services and technology assistance and business continuity success levels.

With three-fifths of the workforce now working in a hybrid mode, managing IT assets (46%) and communication and collaboration (41%) have emerged as the biggest challenges.

Both jumped to the top spots, registering a positive difference of 11% and 7%, respectively, when compared to the 2020 figures.

The most significant shift in reported challenges was a drop from 36% to 22% for securing company and client data in a distributed network. This change is likely the result of the proactive efforts of IT teams to ensure remote working risks were minimised. 

“The survey clearly reveals that traditional IT needs to transform itself in the post-pandemic world to cater to the new realities in the workplace,” said Kumaravel Ramakrishnan, evangelist at ManageEngine. “Self-organising teams, high-velocity workflows and a digital-first approach to customer experience are the hallmarks of new age, democratised IT.”

Ramakrishnan said organisations worldwide learned invaluable lessons from the pandemic, including what’s most important to them and their end users, the importance of IT to business operations and the changes needed to meet the needs of a hybrid workforce. 

“ITSM teams played a critical role in ensuring that business operations continued during the pandemic, from overseeing BYOD policies and the provision of mobile assets to implementing self-service features and chatbots, investing more in business continuity planning and offering IT service delivery and support,” he said.

Findings also show that employees are better equipped. Compared to the beginning of the pandemic, an additional 47% of organizations are now providing mobile assets to employees.

Also, IT teams see their value rise, as 52% of respondents think IT is now viewed and treated better because of the pandemic, and another 14% think IT has always been highly regarded.

However, BYOD policies are still absent. Two years after workplaces were totally disrupted, 40% of organisations still do not have a BYOD policy.

Further, user experience falls short, as 34% of organisations still do not offer users self-help capabilities, and 52% do not have chatbots.