Security Risks Replace Remote/Hybrid Work as Top SME IT Concern

JumpCloud announces today the findings from its Q2 2022 SME IT Trends Report, “IT Evolution: How IT Is Securing the Next Stage of Small and Medium-Sized (SME) Workplace Models.” The report provides updated survey results and findings to its biannual SME IT Trends Report. Now two years into the transition to hybrid-remote workplaces, IT teams report employees are becoming better partners in securing company data and their organizations are investing in IT.

JumpCloud commissioned the survey of SME IT admins to gain insights into the day-to-day experiences of IT professionals who power and secure operations without enterprise-level budget and staff. The survey results highlight that while IT teams are managing hybrid-remote work successfully, they still are burdened with a glut of tools despite a strong preference for more centralized IT management. According to the survey, 43.7 percent of employees require six or more tools to get their job done, but 74.6 percent of respondents preferred a single tool.

External events like the war in Ukraine and uncertainty in financial markets introduce more complexity, adding another layer of operational concern for SME IT teams. Despite these challenges, SME IT admins remain dedicated to their jobs and responsibilities even while feeling overwhelmed by them.

“From complicated tech stacks to the downstream impact of global events, IT admins are working to secure and simplify workflows in less-than-ideal circumstances,” said Rajat Bhargava, co-founder and CEO, JumpCloud. “As IT teams sound the alarm about increased threats, SMEs should acknowledge these professionals are needlessly juggling a sprawling tech stack that isn’t efficient or cost-effective and that introduces unnecessary risk. While SMEs look to invest more heavily in IT infrastructure, a platform approach can improve employee experience and productivity, and provide safe access to critical applications and data — all for a lower TCO than bespoke point solutions.”

The results of the JumpCloud Q2 2022 SME IT Trends Report are available in JumpCloud’s ebook, “IT Evolution: How IT Is Securing the Next Stage of SME Workplace Models,” which can be downloaded for free here.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly half of workers are back in the office – Forty-seven percent of workers are in the office full time in 2022 versus 40.1 percent in 2021. Remote workers are 24.8 percent today versus 22.6 percent in 2021, and hybrid workers are down to 32.5 percent compared to 42.5 percent a year ago.
  • World economic issues are impacting business – 4 percent report that supply chain disruptions or product shortages have hurt their business (30.5 percent significantly, and 2.8 percent disastrously). 57.6 percent say labor shortages have been an issue for their business (26.3 percent significantly, and 5.1 percent say it’s been a serious business limiter).
  • Labor shortages impact the United States more than the United Kingdom –1 percent of U.S. respondents report that labor shortages have been significant or a serious business limiter versus 25 percent in the U.K.
  • War in Ukraine also impacts business – 5 percent of all respondents say the war in Ukraine has impacted their organization. 58.6 percent agree the war has increased their organization’s focus on security.
  • Migrating workers to remote or hybrid work continue to be a challenge –8 percent report it’s one of the biggest challenges for their IT team over the last year, versus 41.6 percent reporting the same in 2021.
  • IT admins are a little happier and not as overwhelmed – 4 percent report being happier in their job than a year ago versus 56.5 percent reporting the same in 2021.
  • Recession and inflation concerns loom – 2 percent report they are actively doing recession planning, while 57.4 percent are either considering recession planning or think it’s a good idea. Only 5.1 percent say inflation worries them “not at all,” and 70.4 percent report some concern (31.2 percent consider it a big worry, and 8.1 percent consider it an existential threat).
  • MSPs on the rise – 87.5 percent say they use an MSP or are considering one, up from 84 percent a year ago. Most use MSPs to support their internal IT team (37.9 percent), though almost one-third (27.1 percent) use one to completely manage the IT program.
  • Knowledge, cost, and user experience are seen as MSP benefits – The top three reasons IT teams turn to MSPs are that MSPs are up to date on the latest technologies (61.2 percent), they can provide a better user experience (52.5 percent), and they are cost-effective (52.4 percent).
  • Security is the biggest concern in 2022 – 4 percent said security was their number one concern, followed by device management (48.1 percent) and migrating all workers to fully or partially remote (47.8 percent).
  • Outside threats loom large – The three biggest security concerns are network attacks (39.7 percent), ransomware (30.9 percent), and software vulnerability exploits (30.6 percent).

JumpCloud surveyed 1,007 U.S. and U.K. IT decision-makers across a variety of industries. The survey was conducted via Propeller Insights Complete findings and more key results can be found in the JumpCloud Q2 2022 SME IT Trends Report, “IT Evolution: How IT Is Securing the Next Stage of SME Workplace Models,” here.