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IT spending priorities for CIOs in India changing due to COVID-19

How the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a complete shift in IT priorities and impacted their tech investments now and in coming years. Let’s discuss together on IT Spending Priorities for CIOs in India changing due to COVID-19.

The world’s biggest coronavirus lockdown in India just got extended by an additional 19 days. With no definite endpoint in sight for the extension, CIOs are focused on ensuring business continuity; remote working or work from home (WFH) is the new norm and technologies associated with remote operations are taking center stage.

In a survey on COVID-19’s impact on IT jobs and investments conducted in April captures how it has changed IT spending priorities and tech investments across India.

Survey reveals that 56 percent of CIOs found security is the topic for most investments and collaboration closed to 52 percent, followed by mobility and cloud with 49 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

IT spending changes in terms of priorities is not typical to the Indian enterprise alone. Survey shows that while the IT spending growth forecast has been pegged down from 5.1 percent to 2.7 percent in a span of in just three months, cloud and security identified as key areas for sustained crisis responses.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics and Business Transformation are the topics where CIOs are slashing investments in technologies. Also, in data center infrastructure will be reducing spending 30 percent by CIOs — a direct consequence of a heightened focus on the cloud priority. For technologies pertaining to remote working saved from investments in these areas can allow CIOs to carve a larger slice of the pie, which has now proven to be the new norm in this time.

We talk to CIOs from different industries to share their insights on the rationale behind increasing investments in security, collaboration, mobility, and cloud.

Security is the top priority now

CIOs explains that investments will be made bearing in mind virtual conferences, online meetings, and cloud security. We’ll have to select tools which are highly secure and not vulnerable — like what we’ve seen with the Zoom exploit.

Online presence Increased and makes for a good playground for hackers. Although no experienced an incident yet, one must be prepared for unforeseen events.

Specifically, with respect to cloud security, there will be an increased focus on Casbin (an open-source access control library). There is also a possibility of hackers misusing a company’s cloud space.

CIOs stresses on the importance of patch management and the looming threat from Shadow IT.

Beyond the office workspace has gone, covering multiple networks which have varying degrees of precautions — some are open networks while others are partly covered and will create many problems.

Bringing to light the perils of shadow IT, people working out of their homes and using unprotected devices that could be infected.

Organizations will need to invest in tools and technologies to ensure that critical networks, critical servers, and infrastructure are not impacted to enable employees to work seamlessly from their homes.

When the lockdown is lifted and people start returning to offices, their devices may not be patched. This may introduce unknown vulnerabilities in the office networks too.

We’ll be investing more in perimeter security, endpoint security, continual monitoring of devices — the whole gamut. As a workaround, CIOs is evaluating a solution, among many others, to patch devices remotely but many problems due to different kind of solutions at home.

Collaboration is the Second priority after Security

Collaboration Technologies sole objective is to empower your workforce to operate from anywhere. CIOs believes ‘triple play’ will be a front runner for facilitating remote work. Simply put, ‘triple play’ is voice and video with integrated data.

Furthermore, Extension mobility — a feature that enables users to roam between multiple devices — must be provided to employees. Employees will be able to connect to their work desks and enjoy the same accessibility and features as if they had been working from the office to ensures, irrespective of the location,

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, resolution passed by the Department of Telecom (DoT) that relaxes work-from-home norms for BPO & IT employees. On the same lines, CIOs advocates that organizations will also have to liberalize their security policies to enable remote access.

WebEx used by one of the companies as cloud services but is now gunning for increased capacity to serve its end users. On being asked about his take on enterprise-grade services versus freeware (like Hangouts). Although the underlying technology can be the same, in addition enterprise-grade solutions give us centralized control and policy management for real-time reports from thousands of users. Moreover, with my existing tech investments and IT infra, the setup can be integrated

Mobility Investments is beneficial for long-term

To rent laptops to provide mobility to its desktop users — primarily back-office workers is the new possibilities now. Estimated by of the CIO.

This has been ensured that customer service personnel and those responsible for processing customers’ transactions were able to carry on with their duties. Delayed lead times, the company has decided to provide all its new joiners with laptops to avoid a comparable situation arising in the future.

One of the CIO told that we already had mobility solutions in place, because of that we were saved that investments in mobility we had made a year and a half back.

Declared investment by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) are exempt from the mandatory work-from-home norms, Investment is following a 100 percent WFH policy to keep its employees safe.

The Office 365 E3 Suite, the company can access everything it needs to work remotely and ensure business continuity. We can conduct virtual meetings with our clients and colleagues and collaborate on the move. In fact, we will be conducting our next town hall virtually using Microsoft Teams

Cloud First – a smarter investment for long term perspective

Corporate-IT at Vibracoustic, says increasing cloud spending can avoid problems by reducing the need for capital investment in new hardware now — and in the future, once existing on-prem hardware reaches the end of its life.

Capital investment is possible said by Management — postpone the procurement now, a wise CIO, instead of taking a risk with out-of-support hardware, will look to move to the cloud solutions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the extended lockdown has undoubtedly forced CIOs and IT Leaders to improvise numerous challenges. However, technology deployments and with new investments, organizations are better poised to take on unforeseen disruptions in the future. It will be top priority now for crisis management initiatives.

So please let us know what you think now, what is your feedback and what you want to add?

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