Syntax has released its first-ever IT Trends Report, which surveyed 500 U.S. IT decision-makers on COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their businesses and strategic decisions in 2021.
2020 was a year of unexpected and rapid digital transformation for IT leaders across industries. Syntax reports that 89% of survey respondents said that the pandemic accelerated their enterprise’s digital transformation last year. As a result, IT teams are stretched even thinner implementing secure and collaborative work-from-home environments, onboarding new technologies, and managing their company’s digital transformation initiative.
The report found that outsourcing cybersecurity is an increasingly attractive solution. 83% of IT leaders with in-house security teams are now considering outsourcing their security efforts in 2021.
In 2020, 77% of IT leaders reported more frequent cyberattacks. However, many teams were ill-equipped to handle this increase in attacks, as 79% had to reduce their teams’ headcounts in response to the economic downturn.
Syntax found that IT leaders with internal security teams need more strategic counsel. 91% of respondents either employed their own security operations center (SOC) or in-house security talent. However, of the IT leaders with in-house security teams that are now considering outsourcing, 45% cited a lack of strategic counsel from existing tools.
The survey revealed that more than half (56%) of IT leaders said they will allocate more than 40% of their IT budgets to cybersecurity in 2021. Additionally, 37% listed “improving cybersecurity protections” as their top IT investment this year.
Although decision-makers ranked security as the No. 1 most challenging aspect of the cloud, it didn’t register in the top cloud investments in 2021. Instead, factors tied to business continuity, like increased storage and/or flexibility (62%), multi-cloud and/or hybrid cloud capabilities (48%) and system maintenance (47%), took precedence, pointing to a particularly dangerous emerging trend — IT leaders may be confusing business continuity & disaster recovery with actual cybersecurity.
Data analytics took a backseat last year because of the pandemic, with 42% of IT leaders reporting they deprioritized this and other business intelligence initiatives. But attitudes have shifted as more than half (55%) are planning to increase investments in this space in 2021 as they leverage growing repositories of data to drive business decisions.
All respondents to the survey were at the senior management level or above and worked at companies with 500+ employees and at least $500 million in total annual revenue in the U.S.