Industry Report:

Characterizing Post-COVID “New Normal” Operating Patterns for Organizations

This survey was conducted in early July of 2021. Responses to a similar survey conducted in October 2020 indicated that network architectures and security have evolved to meet the challenge of a work-from-home (WFH) world during the pandemic. This survey was conducted to gain insights into how organizations were planning for a post-COVID world. 

Post-COVID, the trend to pull back on geographic footprints continues with 42% reducing the size and number of offices while others explore changing to smaller localized hubs. 

IT spending is expected to increase across the board for 63% of organizations and stay about the same at 11% of organizations. 26% expect lower IT budgets, probably reflecting the increased spending in 2020 thanks to the move to WFH. 

Security architects are in high demand as organizations continue to revamp both cloud strategies and their access controls. 

Speaking of cloud, every respondent reported plans for new investments in cloud: either public, private, or hybrid.

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Author of the Report

Richard Stiennon is a founding member of The Analyst Syndicate and Chief Research Analyst for IT-Harvest, the firm he founded in 2005 to cover the 3,000+ vendors that make up the IT security industry. He has presented on the topic of cybersecurity in 31 countries on six continents. He was a lecturer at Charles Sturt University in Australia. He is the author of Surviving Cyberwar (Government Institutes, 2010) and Washington Post Best Seller, There Will Be Cyberwar. He writes for Forbes and The Analyst Syndicate. He is a member of the advisory board at the Information Governance Initiative. Stiennon was Chief Strategy Officer for Blancco Technology Group, the Chief Marketing Officer for Fortinet, Inc. and
VP Threat Research at Webroot Software. Prior to that he was VP Research at Gartner, Inc. He has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and his MA in War in the Modern World from King’s College, London. His latest book Security Yearbook 2020 is available on Amazon.

Commissioned by

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) secures the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organizations around the world. Fortinet empowers our customers with complete visibility and control across the expanding attack surface and the power to take on ever-increasing performance requirements today and into the future. Only the Fortinet Security Fabric platform can address the most critical security challenges and protect data across the entire digital infrastructure, whether in networked, application, multi-cloud or edge environments. Fortinet ranks #1 in the most security appliances shipped worldwide and more than 480,000 customers trust Fortinet to protect their businesses. Both a technology company and a learning organization, the Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Training Institute has one of the largest and broadest cybersecurity training programs in the industry. Learn more at, the Fortinet Blog, or FortiGuard Labs.