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Computing's New Normal: The Impact of COVID-19 on IT

The COVID-19 pandemic created new models of computing almost overnight. This special report examines how IT organizations have adapted to this new paradigm and what the long-term effects will be.

When COVID-19 first emerged in China in late 2019, no one could have foreseen the massive changes that lay ahead for the entire global population. The United States’ mitigation efforts – which call for workers who can work from home to do so and for nonessential businesses across the country to close their physical doors – have had a drastic impact on how businesses function and how people work, which in turn has forced a monumental shift upon IT.

Businesses and schools that previously relied on face-to-face communications were suddenly mandated (and in many cases compelled by their own ethical codes) to immediately institute remote communications and operations for all. Those changes required IT to kick into high gear to support the shift.

Industries in which remote work was a normal practice before COVID-19 had an easier task to scale support for the full workforce than those that relied entirely on face-to-face interaction. But even companies with a partial remote workforce faced major obstacles. Issues as fundamental as whether all workers had computers to use from home stymied some companies. For others, the focus was on the collaboration tools, VPN access, security, bandwidth for corporate networks, and remote IT support tools.

Along with our colleagues from Informa Tech’s IT media and research brands – ITPro Today sister sites InformationWeek, Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, and Network Computing, and sister research organization Omdia – we have been asking what this new reality means for enterprise IT, cybersecurity, and data centers around the globe. Read on to learn what our reporting and analysis has uncovered about IT’s ability to not just keep the lights on during this trying time but also to help companies carve out a new “normal.”

In this special report on the effects of COVID-19 on IT, we explore:

  • Remote IT support tools on the market
  • The latest feature updates from Microsoft Teams and Slack, the two biggest players in the collaborative workspace market
  • How infrastructure teams behind some of the most popular online services have been weathering the unprecedented surge in demand
  • Security efforts during the pandemic, as cybersecurity pros brace themselves for a more-vulnerable security posture and plenty of attackers looking to take advantage
  • How to plan for the expanded use of cloud services without compromising security
  • How artificial intelligence is being used to fight the spread of COVID-19
  • How tech vendors are stepping up to help in the fight against COVID-19 and how data scientists are contributing predictive models for the track that the virus will take