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How COVID-19 Increased Enterprise Device Usage and Its Effects on IT Professionals

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COVID impacted more than just our health. Businesses and schools have adjusted to hybrid models while consumers spend more time shopping virtually. It’s as if the entire world has shifted. The common phrase, “these are unprecedented times” rings true. 

This shift has landed us deeper into the world of technology. As organizations change the way they interact with consumers and employees, businesses have increased their device usage drastically. People have decided to adopt new business practices that emerged out of necessity during the lockdown. 

The need for hybrid models has increased stress and pressure on IT staff to keep up. Unfortunately, many businesses have increased their device count without increasing their IT staff. 

This side of the labor shortage has left IT staff feeling a strain on their mental and emotional health. Beyond managing more devices, IT staff have increased the complexity of technology after COVID-19. Complex systems take time to learn, implement, and manage. 

Our information technology teams are essential aspects of businesses of all sizes. Their mental health and well-being should be a priority. Sadly, many times this is overlooked in order to meet a deadline or get ahead of the technological curve. 

IT staff are imperative to running any organization. This is why it’s important to be strategic about how we approach easing their stress without decreasing efficiency. There has to be a way to successfully manage the increased device load without exasperating the already stressful job. IT personnel are too essential to lose in a time when the entire world has moved online. 

Post-Pandemic Digitization 

The pandemic created a need for virtual business practices. With people unable to meet in person, schools, healthcare facilities, and companies turned to virtual meetings. Any switch to a virtual model has given IT staff more work. Not only are there new systems at play, but new devices to manage. 

Although much of the world has gone “back to normal,” many prefer meeting virtually. Companies save money and time by switching to virtual conferencing and working remotely. 

In fact, the market for video conferencing is projected to grow globally from $6.87 billion this year to  $14.58 billion by 2029. Virtual meeting technology is advancing and platforms are increasing their services. Artificial intelligence, IoT, and cloud tech are being integrated, moving the market forward. 

This projected market increase implies an increase in hardware to keep up. The rising demand for meeting virtually will only grow. Technology will advance to provide better virtual experiences, requiring enterprises to invest in more tech. Information technology professionals are the ones responsible for managing these devices. 

Video conferencing is also used by teachers and professors for hybrid learning. Therapists and doctors are using telehealth video platforms to meet with patients. The increased video communication across industries implies a continued increase of technology to support these systems. 

Working remotely has also become increasingly popular post-pandemic. According to Pew Research Center, the majority of workers who are able to work from home, prefer to. In order to protect cybersecurity, it is essential to provide employees with company-approved technology appropriate for working remotely. 

Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner said, “The pandemic significantly changed business and consumer PC user behavior, as people had to adapt to new ways of working and living. Post-pandemic, some of the newly established ways of using PCs will remain regular practice, such as remote or hybrid workstyles, taking online courses and communicating with friends and family online.”

The technology needed to work remotely includes cloud computing, business applications, mobile tools, unified communications, project management tools, and of course, video conferencing. Not to mention the computer equipment necessary to support these systems. 

IT staff are often required to oversee the hardware and software used in an enterprise. The digitization of business will continue to increase. The popularity of hybrid learning, telehealth, and working remotely continues to rise with the promise of decreased expenses and convenience. 

IT employees are being asked to manage these changes, adapt to new technology, and fix current issues, all while maintaining data security. The task load is large and growing. 

The Effects on IT 

During quarantine, IT staff had to scramble to transfer business to remote platforms. The future of business was put on the backs of IT. If they didn’t figure it out and figure it out quickly, businesses would experience a financial loss. 

As the pandemic continued, mental health awareness soared in the corporate world. This forced corporate America to look inward and evaluate the correlation between work culture and mental health issues. Unforatenly, IT professionals are understudied regarding mental health. 

However, the information technology profession has a reputation for being a high-stress job with late nights and heavy workloads. A study done in 2015 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that 54% of the 1,000 IT professionals studied had depression, anxiety, and insomnia. 

There are several health problems associated with IT professionals due to their sedentary job, staring at a computer screen, and high-stress situations. People who work in this profession are prone to back and vision problems, carpal tunnel, weight gain, and mental health issues. 

Increased device management and software integration add to the health problems already experienced in the industry. The labor shortage has put extra pressure on staff to do more work with less, resulting in burnout, increased anxiety, and depression. 

A big part of this issue lies with the size of the IT support team. Increasing hardware and software with the changing times does not mean companies are increasing IT support. The labor shortage doesn’t make this easier. IT-to-user ratios are coming out of balance. 

IT support teams are required to take on more work with less help.  The average turnover rate in the IT support field is 40%. That’s quite high and can be detrimental to any company. 

The increased number of devices has caused IT personnel to experience an incredible amount of stress. Stressed employees are unable to give their best. Stress leads to anxiety and depression and other health problems. These stressors need to be mitigated to retain our valuable IT staff. 

What’s the solution?

With the labor shortage and the Great Resignation at hand, it’s important now more than ever to take care of our IT professionals. This means bending the curve and creating strategic partnerships to ease the workload. 

First, start by becoming aware of your enterprise’s IT staffing needs. Figure out your IT-to-user ratio and whether it is appropriate for the size of your operation. Check-in with your IT manager on their workload, device numbers, and software management. 

If you discover your staff is overwhelmed, and you can’t increase IT staff, call v-TECH io

At  v-TECH io, we offer DellEMC Solutions. Dell EMC Solutions will equip your infrastructure across industries. 

Make it easy for your company to adopt a hybrid working model or go fully remote with our workload solutions. You can secure your network and save time with end-point security. We even offer desktops, laptops, and displays for optimal performance. Optimize device numbers by having efficient hardware that can handle the workload. 

We will optimize your infrastructure to create streamlined and secure systems curated for your needs. It’s time to take the pressure off your IT support team and let us handle the workload. Our on-call team will walk with you every step of the way. 

Setting up a consultation is quick and easy. All you have to do is click HERE and you are one step closer to a stress-free integration! 

Creating a strategic partnership with v-TECH io will help ease the strain on your IT staff while keeping efficiency high. 

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