Press Release

Smartsheet and 451 Research Find IT Leaders Not Fully Equipped to Handle Post-Pandemic Requirements

Predicted rise in spending on technology as decision makers focus on digital collaboration tools


BELLEVUE, Wash., July 21, 2020 – Over half of IT leaders (55%) say their current IT systems are not fully equipped to handle the new post-pandemic requirements, according to a survey of enterprise professionals conducted by 451 Research and commissioned by Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR), the enterprise platform for dynamic work. As a result, many decision makers expect technology spending to increase across the board over the next six months, with top areas of focus being team collaboration tools, digital workspace, content storage and sharing tools.

Digital transformation has been top of mind for many IT leaders but the pandemic is pushing many of these leaders to jumpstart their efforts by re-evaluating the tools they currently use to meet the needs of a distributed workforce. This “new work norm” is revealing the struggles many companies are facing due to technologies and apps that do not seamlessly integrate, or the use of a platform that requires IT support in order to run effectively. 

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues and the shift to remote work lasts longer than many leaders anticipated, executives are finding that they need better technology to fuel employee productivity,” said Gene Farrell, Chief Product Officer of Smartsheet. “As IT leaders think of how to remedy this in the long-term, many will invest in no-code collaboration tools that integrate with other widely used solutions to provide their employees with a single platform to get work done.”

The survey also looked to identify some of the blockers that IT leaders feel are impeding workforce productivity and uncovered the following:

  • Integration is key to centralized collaboration and productivity: With 82% of employees feeling less productive since going remote, more than three-fourths (80%) of respondents say employee productivity and collaboration is a higher priority than pre-pandemic. Nearly half (43%) of leaders believe integrations across their key systems would strongly improve productivity.
  • Capabilities are becoming increasingly critical: Decision makers see the following becoming more important going forward: tools supporting cross-functional collaboration (37%), tools that easily and widely integrate with other apps (35%), and tools to quickly build and adapt a new business workflow or project design (34%). These are followed by visibility around workloads to more effectively manage resources (30%) and better reporting of the status and progress of important projects and work (30%).

“Whether it's in no-code workflow automation, easier synthesis of data across different business systems by nontechnical users, new and more flexible digital workspace canvases, or other capabilities, one of the key consequences of the pandemic will be more empowerment at the edge of the workforce,” said Chris Marsh, a research director at 451 Research. “As businesses adjust to the impacts of the pandemic, having more employees more empowered than they traditionally have been to create increased agility across the long tail of their workforce processes will be critical to getting on the front foot.”

Read more about how organizations that move to digitally immersive workspaces will thrive here.

*Survey methodology

The survey was conducted by 451 Research among a sample of 800 U.S. workers at enterprise companies with 1,500+ full time employees and three or more office locations. It was live from April 16 to May 1, 2020.

About Smartsheet

Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the enterprise platform for dynamic work. By aligning people and technology so organizations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its millions of users to achieve more. Visit to learn more.


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