Global enterprises are incorporating remote and flexible working arrangements, in order to obtain the needed skill sets for their operation.

This is according to new research from managed network solutions provider Expereo, which found that remote work is the key to obtaining talent and skills, with almost half (48 percent) of CIOs believing that flexible working is the key driver for retaining and recruiting the most skilled employees.

The new findings come after previous Expereo research in the summer found that a clear majority of businesses have a positive outlook for the next 12 months, despite global macroeconomic, geopolitical and environmental challenges.

Flexible working

But the growth ambitions of large global enterprises is being hampered due to a skills shortage, with one third of global CIOs admitting they struggle to hire high-value knowledge workers that will drive forward their expansion plans.

As a result, the new research from Expereo has found that enterprises are having to get creative in order to secure the needed talent and skills for their organisation, amid increasing competition for that talent and skills.

One of the most startling findings was that enterprises are increasingly hiring people they have never met. Almost a third (32 percent) of global CIOs have had no choice but to hire someone they have never met in person, the Expereo research found.

The Expereo research had gathered the feedback and views from 650 CIOs with large and mid-sized enterprises across Asia, Europe, and North America.

It found that 43 percent of global CIOs believe that having a flexible working policy has opened the door to a wider pool of highly skilled individuals.

Indeed, 38 percent say their team is now based in different countries/markets.

However, a third of global CIOs expect to see an increase in the number of days they expect people to work from the office, due to some nagging concerns about remote working.

According to 32 percent of respondents, this is due to productivity concerns with employees working from home; 31 percent of global CIOs said home connectivity issues for their employees has a consistent impact on productivity.

And while hybrid working is here to stay, it isn’t without some other challenges after 41 percent of global CIOs admitting that hybrid and remote working has placed pressure on IT teams to ensure application performance across multiple locations.

This pressure on IT teams can include ensuring application performance across multiple locations (41 percent), and providing 24/7 support across multiple time zones (37 percent).

But the pressure on the global economy seems to be also playing a role here, after the Expereo research found that the cost of living is driving remote working.

Its research found that working three days in the office or less is now the new normal for almost three-quarters (72 percent) of businesses, with almost half (44 percent) of global CIOs believing the increased demand for hybrid/remote working is being driven by cost-of-living pressures.

Growth challenges

Digging down into the data, the Expereo research revealed that skills and resource retention (35 percent) is currently amongst the top three barriers to their business delivering global growth, alongside challenging security environments (35 percent) and complicated physical and geo-political infrastructure (33 percent).

More specifically, finding the right mix of business and technology skills was revealed to be the most challenging thing for 40 percent of CIOs to recruit for.

Almost a third (31 percent) of CIOs say that finding the right competencies for their team in governance and regulatory compliance is a challenge, while expertise in growth technologies such as cyber security (49 percent), AI/ML (41 percent), and data analytics (38 percent) tops the list as the most challenging skills to recruit for.

“As organisations focus on driving growth through global expansion, there are clearly complexities and challenges to overcome in supporting the evolving needs of a global workforce,” said Ben Elms, chief revenue officer at Expereo.

Ben Elms, chief revenue officer at Expereo.
Image credit Expereo.

“With more people working from different locations, the ability to change the dynamics of the network to meet diverse connectivity needs at a moment’s notice is vital,” said Elms.

“The key is having the technology in place that enables connectivity and collaboration in a remote world,” said Elms. “In the end, hybrid working is all about staying connected, and enabling interaction with colleagues and customers – wherever you are in the world.”

The full Expereo report, ‘Enterprise Enterprise Horizons’, can be found here.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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