CFOtech Australia - Technology news for CFOs & financial decision-makers
Story image
Australia tops global IT investment for hybrid work
Thu, 17th Aug 2023

Australia has emerged as the global leader in IT investment to support mobile and hybrid work practices, according to a new report by SOTI. The research reveals that Australian organizations are most likely to have experienced an increase in the size of IT teams (63%) and have seen the biggest increase in employees working out of the office (48%) in the last twelve months.

"Australia is a unique market for work today. We are more mobile, often more remote - due to the vast distances between population centres and since the pandemic – and benefit from more flexible working conditions compared to other global markets. IT professionals are challenged in such an environment to provide technologies and training that support the work while ensuring staff are connected and as efficient as possible," said Michael Dyson, VP of Sales, Asia Pacific, at SOTI.

The research further highlights that flexible employment in Australia extends beyond the ability to work from home. It includes varying start and finish times and the option of a four-day-week, most likely to be in place in Australia (56%), ahead of other global markets like the USA (48%), France (30%), or Mexico.

To support effective remote and flexible workforces, Australian IT professionals commonly provide talk, text, and video support to remote workers (62%). The adoption of diverse applications and tools used for team collaboration was highest in Australia (60%), while lower usage rates were seen in countries such as France (37%), Sweden (35%), and Canada (33%).

However, the report also points out areas where improvements are needed. While 38% of Australian organizations are prioritizing investment in device security, there are concerns around device management. Only 30% of Australian IT workers feel that their organizations can effectively track and manage all company-provided devices remotely, and just 26% believe the same for employee-owned devices.

"While many Australian organisations have taken impressive strides to embrace flexible and remote work, without first establishing a strong foundation for effective device management, implementing numerous technologies to support hybrid environments can place a real strain on businesses,” Dyson warned.

He further emphasized the importance of investing in the right technology and processes to ensure remote work is seamless and secure, cautioning that failure to do so could lead to potential cybersecurity risks, compliance issues, and a complete loss of productivity.

SOTI's research also highlighted a concern for IT professionals in Australia, who are increasingly reliant on outdated practices such as managing business workflows manually using paper or email. Australia ranks second highest in this aspect, with 44% of workflows managed manually on paper and nearly half through email (49%).

“To have a successful work environment, time and efficiency serve as the core components for productivity. With communications and approval processes occupying the time of employees, particularly the head of departments that are already stretched thin – reducing manual and paper-based processes is a must for modern businesses,” Dyson explained.

He concluded by emphasizing the role of innovation in streamlining internal processes, citing mobile app development platforms like SOTI Snap as a way for organizations to digitize data collection and approval processes, making work faster and more efficient.

SOTI's report, titled "When Work is Anywhere: Managing Technology’s Role in the Distributed Workforce," provides a comprehensive look at the current state of mobile and hybrid work practices, and offers insights into the tools and strategies that organizations need to optimize their mobility investments.