IT departments have never been more influential. Bigger budgets, increased security threats and the proliferation of devices have meant that IT professionals play a pivotal role in balancing strategic thinking and daily operational realities. This responsibility sees them taking charge of the evaluation and deployment of emerging technologies, with issues around BYOD, cloud computing and device management at the top of the agenda. In collaboration with Spiceworks Voice, we conducted a survey of IT professionals in the US and UK to assess the top IT trends for 2016.

Earlier posts in this series looked at the changing role of the IT professional and strategic priorities for 2016. This post explores another pivotal aspect of the IT professional’s role, the use and introduction of technology to increase productivity.

Popular Productivity Solutions

The range of tools for increasing workplace productivity continues to grow. From individual workstation accessories to upgraded systems and processes, the survey showed that businesses are implementing a wide variety of productivity solutions. One of the most popular was multi-screening: of those surveyed, 69% said they had implemented multiple displays across their organization. Two popular trends, hot desking and cloud-based infrastructure were also popular, with 36% and 32% of those surveyed saying they had implemented measures in their business.

3.3

Influencing Improvements in Productivity

The main influences behind these changes can vary. How decision-making is structured depends on a number of factors, with some decisions tending to be employee-led and others being management-led. IT departments play a consistently influential role. The implementation of multi-screening for instance is more often than not driven by employees, with 53% of respondents saying implementation in their organization was driven by end-users.  BYOD was another employee-led policy (60%), with IT departments apparently less of a driving force (49%). In the case of some productivity strategies, the gap between IT departments on the one hand and management and employees on the other was striking. For cloud-based infrastructure, 67% of those surveyed said IT departments had been the main advocates.

3.2

OS Deployment

Our survey also looked at the most common operating systems, and how many IT departments have plans to deploy new OSS in 2016. It may not come as much of a surprise to see that Windows 7 remains the most popular operating system, with 60% of respondents saying it was fully deployed in their organization. Possibly more surprising is the fact that a quarter of those surveyed said they had no plans to deploy Windows 10 in 2016. Languishing at the bottom of the heap, the days of Windows 8/8.1 appear to be numbered, with fewer deployments than Linux and Android.

3.1

If you’d to find out more about our SpiceWorks survey, you can download a full summary of the findings on our website shortly. Let us know whether you agree with the findings over on LinkedIn.