Syntax, multi-cloud and multi-ERP managed cloud provider for mission-critical applications, 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. The survey shows 89% of respondents report 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 pandemic has presented unparalleled challenges for businesses of all industries and sizes,” said Marc Caruso, Chief Architect of Syntax. “Despite the issues of accelerated digital transformation timelines, 2020 provided many lessons for IT and business leaders and optimized best management and security practices for our cloud-native future of working-from-anywhere.”

Report key findings:

  • Outsourcing cybersecurity is an increasingly attractive solution. 83% of IT leaders with in-house security teams are now considering outsourcing their security efforts to an MSP in 2021.
  • Major budget and headcount cuts in IT despite increased cyberattacks and demands on IT. 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.
  • 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 to an MSP, 45% cited a lack of strategic counsel from existing tools.
  • Increase in cybersecurity spending with 2020 spike in cyberattacks. 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.
  • A neglect of cloud security. 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 (BC/DR) with actual cybersecurity.
  • Data / business analytics to substantially increase in 2021. Data analytics took the 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.

The Syntax IT Trends survey was completed in October 2020. All respondents 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 US. For more details and a comprehensive analysis of the findings, download Syntax’s 2021 IT Trends Report Survey here, or visit