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Secure Digital Workspace Apps Enable the Future Enterprise

In early 2020, as the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, many organizations were forced to rapidly transform their communications networks and IT infrastructure to support an unprecedented shift to remote work.

Before the pandemic, approximately 38 percent of employees were remote full-time or had a flexible work arrangement where they split time between home and office locations. During the pandemic, the percentage of remote workers that CIOs had to support reached almost 72 percent.

Future Enterprise Technology Market Development

Enterprise leaders have been forced to adapt to a new state, shifting from traditional office-based operations to distributed workforce environments that must still provide the same level of connectivity, security, and efficiency across the organization.

According to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), addressing connectivity across geographies and transforming networks to become more virtual and agile were among the top issues that CIOs and CTOs must address to ensure an efficient business and operational environment.

Connectivity is a strategic element in every organization's effort to maintain, sustain, and grow its operations. It allows for scalable access anytime anywhere, creates pervasive digital experiences, enables real-time insights, and provides the foundation for business continuity and resiliency.

IDC analysts believe that achieving seamless connectivity with employees, customers, partners, and others will require additional IT investment, more strategic planning, and greater oversight.

When asked about their investment plans for network connectivity, more than 50 percent of respondents to an IDC survey indicated that they expect to increase spending on 5G wireless connectivity, end-user computing devices, and software applications in the next 12 months.

And a similar percentage expects to increase their spending on WiFi-6 local area network hardware, software, and related services to bring increased speed, lower latency, and more efficient IoT functionality to large buildings, corporate offices and campus environments.

"IDC believes that the Future Enterprise is best served by adopting a Wireless First strategy for last mile access and connectivity, embracing gigabit performance rates from 5G and WiFi 6 that will enable organizations to stay connected and manage data just as effectively as over copper and fiber," said Paul Hughes, research director at IDC.

Outlook for Future Enterprise Applications Growth

According to the IDC assessment, these technologies also create and expand new opportunities for industries that depend on connected applications, IoT devices in the field, and IT management tools to ensure business continuity, resiliency, and safety.

That said, I anticipate as more organizations implement their "return to office" programs, the typical IT services environment will evolve rapidly as they continue to support employees that adopt fully remote and hybrid work modalities.

As a direct result of the ongoing shift to distributed workforce scenarios, more CIOs and CTOs will increase the use of cloud computing apps, particularly online collaboration tools. Moreover, savvy line of business leaders will seek guidance from vendors that can assist them to develop a compelling business case for the expansion of more secure digital workspace solutions.

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