IT – we’re still the heroes that made work from home happen almost overnight in 2019. We’ve been the technology lifeline that connects all our employees. Our work has always been stressful, but more so without the camaraderie that our team shared in the office.
Yet we’ve coped with everything: user error, wonky home networks, inadequate internet access, the occasional overloaded hardware, performance issues from applications that never expected so many simultaneous full-time remote users.
We’re tired. Who isn’t? Too much isolation, too much family, too much anxiety, and for some of us, too much sickness. Even when things are looking better, it’s hard to rally our enthusiasm after coping for such a long time with all that’s happened.
But we’ve stayed busy. We’ve been slowly starting new projects or, in some cases, reviewing project plans to improve them so we’re ready for a quick start when we get budget. In some cases, the wait time was beneficial, buying us the opportunity to refine and tweak our plans.
The First Era of SaaS Ends
We expect to be even busier. Business units have rallied and are making plans to move forward. The organization still needs to take care of customers, generate revenue, comply with regulations, etc. Most of these efforts involve IT, so we may need to prioritize projects or bring in outside help. That could be tough, though, as budgets are tight and technical personnel don’t come cheap. We’ve adjusted our budgets in a cautious way, but we’re still watching spending very carefully.
And there’s more expected of us. The collaboration tools that we all embraced like life preservers as a way to maintain human contact – we expect more of those and for them to operate at a higher level, with more features. That will take more IT labor to select, implement, fine-tune, etc. But those tools are needed to support new business models, like less time in office and less travel to customer sites.
Part of that new business model is also moving faster: faster product development, faster to market with new product, faster to find out which new ideas don’t work.
Expect more demand for data analysis – lots more. And all that number-crunching requires computing horsepower and storage. That may live on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both. But whatever the venue, all that data will have to be organized and integrated and stored. That’s part of our jobs.
And we’re still keeping our organizations safe. Ransomware and phishing and malware are getting worse all the time. No one would believe how many thousands of attacks we’re fending off. The hackers don’t give up, and we can’t either, but it’s a constant battle.
All in a day’s work – or rather, a year’s work. Bring on 2022!
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