Among the other lines COVID-19 has drawn in the sand is between jobs that can be done remotely and those that require hands-on attention.
Medical professionals and first responders have garnered plenty of attention. So have “essential workers” in retail and transportation and industry.
Now, add to that list enterprise IT pros. While their colleagues have scattered to home offices, many tech professionals are keeping the engines running on site. That’s the finding of a new survey of Petri.com readers that focuses on changes to their tech priorities in the wake of the pandemic.
They report an interesting dichotomy: While their organizations’ tech needs have pivoted to require more support for distributed technology, these technology decision-makers find themselves committed to physical work sites.
Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said their technology plans have changed since the beginning of the year, primarily to support a remote workforce. At the same time, however, only 10% of IT pros reported that their operations are primarily cloud based. Fifty-one percent of them said their operations are a hybrid of cloud and on-premises computing — and a whopping 39% said their systems are primarily on premises.
“[IT] has to be on site,” one Petri reader said. “That is the biggest take away from COVID-19.”
“Most other office workers have the option to work from home,” the respondent said, “but IT has to be there in case the servers go down (physically), something breaks,” and systems like firewalls and telephones need to be reset. Basically, “a host of … vital components … can’t be managed remotely — or if they go down, you need physical access to get them going again.”
The front-line role of IT teams within enterprise workplaces during COVID-19 demands empathy from marketers who need to support these decision-makers. Even if you’re working from home yourself, the chances are good that your technology clients are keeping the lights on at the office.
It’s more relevant than ever to bear in mind the physical demands of IT work and the unusual pressure they’re under to keep an organization of unseen colleagues up and running. Put your best foot forward to offer support, respect the time constraints of these essential workers, and think about ways your products can bridge the gap between a remote workforce and on-site tech support.
In an extraordinary period of change, the best partners will rise to the occasion and help their customers adapt.