IT and security professionals demand more workplace flexibility

The concept of Everywhere Work is now much broader, encompassing where, when, and how professionals get their work done — and flexibility has become a key workplace priority, according to Ivanti.

workplace flexibility

Ivanti surveyed over 7,700 executive leaders, IT and cybersecurity professionals‌‌ , and office workers to explore the profound challenges and opportunities employers face when they empower their employees to work everywhere — with no limitations on place and time.

“Employers seeking to hire top talent should prioritize workplace flexibility, as it has a clear business advantage,” said Jeff Abbott, Ivanti CEO. “To effectively implement flexible work arrangements, it’s essential to provide employees with the necessary resources, support and secure infrastructure to ensure their success. Neglecting these factors may lead to higher turnover rates and dissatisfaction among valuable employees you are trying to keep engaged.” 

Flexible work options rank higher than remote work

According to the research, 80% of professionals say flexible work is highly valuable compared to the ability to work anywhere (70%). Yet just 25% of professionals say their jobs afford them high flexibility, and at least 40% would change jobs to gain flexibility.

36% of women consider flexible work essential compared to 22% of men. Additionally, 28% of women view being able to work anywhere as essential, compared to 18% of men. Organizations that take a more rigid approach may be undermining a critical segment of their workforce.

Ivanti’s research clearly shows that flexible and remote working has a direct impact on IT workloads. 56% of IT workers say helpdesk ticket volume is up — a finding consistent with previous years’ results — and 78% blame flexible/remote working for the upward trend. Some of the specific factors driving higher ticket volumes include software deployments, network reliability and security incidents.

Leaders are out of touch with IT and security needs

Although over 90% of leaders surveyed say employees have the tools to be productive in a remote or hybrid work environment, that’s not the case for IT and security teams. Just 46% say it’s easy to access tech tools when working remotely. This disconnect has weighty implications for employers — 23% of IT professionals say a colleague has resigned due to burnout.

76% of respondents say AI and automation can help decrease ticket volume and provide better service. However, research shows adoption rates for AI and automation solutions are low. How come? AI can’t deliver useful insights based on inaccurate data, and long-standing data silos prevent organizations from deploying AI and automation at scale.

If leaders want to empower employees to work flexibly, deploy AI and automation at scale and address IT and security needs, then CIOs and CISOs need to align priorities. Research shows that 52% of IT and security professionals say security data and IT data are siloed inside their organizations.

Of those, 84% say silos have a negative impact on security, and 82% say silos drive down productivity. This has a domino effect on how employees work both productively and securely … anytime and anywhere.

66% of IT workers say they use publicly available generative AI tools like ChatGPT, but oversight of these tools is often missing or incomplete. Nearly one in three organizations has no documented strategy in place to address generative AI risks — a serious oversight, given that IT professionals work with sensitive data and systems.

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