IT Management Challenges During COVID-19
April 01, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting every sector of organizations. An increase in the remote workforce has created capacity and skillset challenges in mid-market organizations’ IT departments, inhibiting their ability to deliver and support rapidly changing organizational needs. The escalation of telecommuting has brought on an increase demand on its core network infrastructure, a significant surge in user support requirements and new security threat management obstacles.
Who is managing this additional work, and at what expense? Here is a deeper look at three common challenges IT teams are facing due to the rise in the remote workforce brought on by COVID-19:
Connectivity outside the office
Ensuring a stable connection between the end-users and the network, data, and/or apps, is becoming significantly more challenging. Now that organizations are outside the office and potentially across the globe, there are simply more layers to manage and more points of failure to cover. In many cases, IT departments have been scrambling to maintain a reliable and optimal network infrastructure to facilitate the increased load and new demands. They are not properly staffed in house to effectively manage these needs; nor should they be.
Providing end-user support
COVID-19 has forced many organizations to rapidly deploy new tools to help collaborate and communicate throughout their organization, with their customers and partners. With the unfamiliarity and lack of experience with these new tools and capabilities, end-users are being left frustrated and inevitability on the phone with the service desk. This influx of user support requests has internal IT departments spread extremely thin; especially true for IT organizations who share responsibilities between teams... Remember, we still have the expanded infrastructure needs to manage. This problem isn’t getting any easier.
Now that data is no longer kept within business walls, it poses additional risk of data leakage and loss. Further, employees’ minds are on the COVID-19 outbreak, the new collaboration software IT just force fed to them and even the changes they have had to make in their daily routine. Let’s face it, our guards are down and we’re susceptible to attacks, at the time when security should be of the upmost priority. Many mid-market IT organizations are currently dealing with an increase in security incidents as their users are falling victim to the increased phishing and malware threats. So, now we have an already strained IT department who is left holding the bag to deal with the increased infrastructure, user support, AND security needs? How do we do this? There must be a more effective way.
Managing the additional security risks of COVID-19
Hiring internally to fill these dynamic gaps is impractical, burdensome and costly. It is also difficult to maintain a balance between the skills and resources required to deliver these services in house. On the other side of the coin, organizations, who are forced to downsize internal IT, are still faced with the fact that their technology ecosystems and associated operations need to continue to function.
The organizations who will come out ahead and be in a position to pursue the next big opportunity post COVID-19, are those who are partnering with an MSP to offload infrastructure, user support and security operations and management. At the same time, their internal IT team and IT leadership will keep a pulse on their business' visions and values, and continue to afford resources to work toward aligning technical capabilities to achieve business goals.
Mid-market businesses look to MSPs to solve capacity and skillset challenges, and to supplement parts of their IT operations to support today’s unique needs. This allows their IT team the opportunity to elevate their organizational impact by focusing on projects that enable their business to thrive. MSPs also provide the foundation that allows mid-market businesses to capture and support the full power of technology, ensures business continuity, helps to strengthen alignment with the business, and creates an exceptional end user experience.