39% of UK Organisations Have the Infrastructure to Support Hybrid Work, but a Seamless Hybrid Employee Experience is Necessary to Retain Talent

39% of UK Organisations Have the Infrastructure to Support Hybrid Work, but a Seamless Hybrid Employee Experience is Necessary to Retain Talent

Faced with a challenging global job market, companies are looking for ways to both retain and attract new talent – providing the ability to work from anywhere, ensuring seamless connectivity, enabling personalised digital experiences and much more. But only 39% of businesses have the infrastructure in place (zero trust-based or VPN) to support a secure hybrid working environment and a further 41% either haven’t started implementing one or have no plans to. This is according to the latest research from Zscaler on the State of Zero Trust Transformation, which surveyed 1,900 senior IT decision makers at organisations that have already begun migrating applications and services to the cloud. 

“Employees, especially the younger workforce, have a growing expectation that their digital experience while at work should be seamless, with frictionless application access at their fingertips,” said Ismail Elmas, GVP International Zscaler. “The potential of zero trust is starting to become apparent to both IT and business decision makers. But there is still room to educate organisations on its value beyond security and as an enabler for the workplace of the future. Implementing a zero trust platform will allow organisations to easily adapt and evolve its hybrid working to alleviate security hurdles for staff and deliver powerful, trusted employee experiences.” 

Recent research from LinkedIn found that 93% of organisations globally are concerned about employee retention. As businesses grapple to stay in profit, stability is key and talent retention has never been more necessary. In fact, of the IT decision makers Zscaler surveyed, attracting and retaining top talent was considered a top four driver of digital transformation (21%) – above revenue growth (21%) and supporting new business strategies (21%).

Employees expect seamless experiences 

While businesses understand that retaining talent is crucial, many IT decision makers acknowledge that employees are suffering poor digital experiences due to their legacy security infrastructure not being able to cope with hybrid work. According to the research, 39% cite inconsistent access experiences for applications and data as one of the main reasons they are looking to implement a zero trust-based hybrid work infrastructure. A further 44% felt that using zero trust would allow employees smoother, direct access to applications and data from personal devices. 

Also Read: Securing Tomorrow: What Will Matter in Cybersecurity by 2030

User experience wasn’t the only concern. Respondents also expressed that their current infrastructure may be impacting staff productivity. Almost one half (47%) of IT decision makers that are implementing or planning to implement zero trust-based hybrid work infrastructure were doing so due to their employees facing access issues with current security, and 24% reported wanting to improve secure connectivity for the hybrid workforce. 

Ash Surti, Executive Vice President,Technology and Security for Colt Technology Services said, “Flexible working is a major win in the drive to attract talent but at the same time, remote work widens the attack surface, presenting risk and complexity for IT teams tasked with delivering a seamless, consistent experience across their digital infrastructure. Zscaler’s research recognises this, and highlights growing demand for zero trust platforms as businesses challenge the traditional office model to create the workplace of the future.”

VPNs add insecurity

Many organisations have previously turned to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in order to maintain a secure business network while allowing personal devices to access secure folders. While this may once have appeared to be a quick and safe route to securing an organisation’s network, 55% of IT leaders now believe VPNs or perimeter firewalls are both ineffective at protecting against cyberattacks and provide poor visibility into application traffic and attacks. From an employee experience perspective, evidence suggests that VPNs are also not the answer. Two-fifths (44%) of those IT leaders whose organisation uses a VPN say employees experience slow app performance and a third (37%) say employees experience unstable connections. 

Zscaler’s research shows that IT leaders are looking to zero trust – the principle that no user or application should be inherently trusted and to connect users and applications, not the corporate network – as the necessary framework to secure enterprise users, workloads and devices in a highly distributed cloud and mobile-centric world, while also enabling more seamless employee engagement and experiences, no matter where they are based. 

For more such updates follow us on Google News ITsecuritywire News. Please subscribe to our Newsletter for more updates.