Kaseya released its 2021 IT Operations Report, which surveyed nearly 1,000 IT professionals worldwide between April and May 2021 about their top priorities and challenges.

Key findings from this year’s survey include: 

  • The top three priorities for IT professionals are improvement of IT security, cloud migration and automation to increase IT productivity.
  • The main three challenges are cybersecurity and data protection, lack of IT budgets and resources to meet demands, and legacy systems hampering growth and innovation.

The survey found that 30% of respondents felt that there was not enough IT budget or resources to meet demands, making it one of the top three biggest challenges for IT professionals surveyed. Furthermore, 62% of participants stated that their IT budgets were cut, remained the same or that they were unsure of what their budget would be in 2021.

Improving IT security remains top priority amidst rise in cyberattacks
Organizations across the globe have experienced crippling cyberattacks over the past year that have significantly impacted the global supply chain. Due to the growing number of threats, 61% of respondents said that improving security measures continues to be the dominant priority. Cybersecurity solutions topped the list of what IT professionals plan to invest in for 2022, with 53% of respondents planning to budget for email security tools like phishing prevention and 33% of respondents investing in ransomware protection. Cloud technologies were also top of mind this year, with 54% saying their IaaS cloud spending will increase and 36% anticipating growth in spending on SaaS applications. Cloud migration was also a high priority for respondents in 2021, which accounted for migrations across PaaS, IaaS and SaaS solutions. IT professionals also want to increase their productivity through automation, which ranked second in top technologies for investment. Almost half of respondents stated that they will allocate funds for this in 2021.

More resources needed to meet demands, including cybersecurity and data protection challenges
Cybersecurity and data protection are a significant challenge for 54% of IT professionals surveyed. When it comes to data protection, misconceptions still linger. While 82% understand SaaS applications like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and Salesforce need to be backed up, 60% of respondents stated that they believe SaaS providers are responsible for data protection. Typically, the SaaS customer is responsible for their application data backups to ensure recovery in the event of a cyberattack or user/admin error.

The importance of integration and automation

Time-saving automation and integrations between key software solutions are crucial for IT professionals' continued productivity and success. Half of respondents rated automation of IT processes through their endpoint management solution as important, and 47% rated the ability to run automation scripts through their IT documentation tool as critical to their success. Additionally, more than half of respondents stated that access to IT documentation through their service desk was crucial to their work.

“The results of the 2021 survey demonstrate that security continues to be a top priority for IT professionals and will remain a major challenge as the surge in cyberattacks continues. Kaseya anticipated this trend and has structured its IT Complete suite of solutions to provide comprehensive protection for SMBs to stop threats like credential compromise and phishing,” said Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer at Kaseya. “Budget constraints are also a constant concern for internal IT teams. Kaseya’s workflow integrations and automation allow IT professionals to free up resources, enabling them to spend time on more impactful activities and better anticipate organizational needs.”

For seven years, Kaseya has surveyed IT professionals from small and mid-sized companies to gauge the trends and capabilities of SMB IT teams, to share this knowledge with the greater IT community and to better understand customer needs. 

Click here to download the full 2021 IT Operations Report.