The Great Resignation and What it Means for Software Development and Data Security

January 19, 2022
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The Great Resignation – Productivity & Data Loss Prevention during the Pandemic

The phrase, ‘The Great Resignation’ has entered the lexicon of our post-pandemic world, but what does it mean? This new catchphrase describes the now, widely observed, phenomena of software developers (and others) deciding they no longer want to work from a corporate office. This leaves employers with many challenges including security, insider theft, and productivity…

…Read on to discover more about these challenges and how to solve them.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2021 saw 4.5 million Americans quit their job voluntarily, leading to the phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation”.

In 2020, everyone hoped that the pandemic would be over quickly; but here we are, two years on and the Omicron strain is taking the world by storm. This disruption has impacted our health, our wealth, and the way we work. The work from home movement, a result of social distancing regulations, has created a shift in the minds of the populace.

Across the world, workers, including software developers, are slamming the corporate door on their way out. This talent exodus is changing the dynamics of work and businesses need to respond appropriately to attract and retain talent.

But what does this “Great Resignation” mean for companies that use software developers? And how has remote working impacted the security of companies that allow software developers to work from home?

This exploration of the “Great Resignation” and the associated “Great Relocation” explains how to keep software developers happy whilst maintaining a secure home environment.

The Great Resignation and what it means for employers of software developers

Throughout history, there have been paradigm shifts in the way human beings think and act. Often, these changes follow pandemics. Back in 1348, the Black Death resulted in massive social and economic upheaval. The ‘peasants’ who worked the land, suddenly had all of the cards in their favor and they played them well, demanding increased wages and better working conditions. If they didn’t get them, they moved on to city life.

The Covid Pandemic of the early 2020s has some parallels with the Black Death in terms of the shift of power into the hands of workers. Remote working and freelancing were already starting to blossom when the pandemic occurred. The enforcement of home working has created a tipping point and software developers are demanding more remote work and better work-life balance choices.

This has created a dial-position in terms of home working held by software developers on the one hand, and employers on the other:

The software developer’s viewpoint: Software developers are quitting their jobs. In a Hackajob survey, “The Great Disconnect” 72% of technology workers said that working remotely was an important perk. The Hackajob survey interviewed over 2000 software developers and related roles and found that 60% of employers lost talent during the last 12-24 months because of global competition. Lack of flexibility from companies and developers wanting to work from home are creating a squeeze on employers to make remote working happen.

The employer’s perspective: A survey from TalentLMS has found that 72% of US-based tech employees may quit their job in the next 12 months. The skills gap in the tech sector was already hurting businesses before the pandemic, and any further hemorrhaging of talent could send some companies over the edge. But employers need to feel confident that home-based software developers are productive and working securely.

This conflict of views has led to a divide that requires a bridge.

The Great Compromise: Keeping the home security fires burning

Software development companies are under increasing pressure to offer perks to attract and retain developer talent. The TalentLMS study shows a cocktail of ‘wants’ from software developers. This includes 56% requiring a remote position where they can work from home with 1 in 3 stating they would quit their job if they were not offered a remote position.

Competition to attract and retain software developers is stiff as the “Great Rehiring” takes place. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 11 million job openings in the USA in July 2021. Globally, Tech Nation estimates that the number of available tech jobs in H1 2021 was 42% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Employers have a conflict to solve. They must attract talent by offering great working conditions, including home working, but they must balance this by ensuring continued productivity and enforcing secure home working.

Just as technology helped bridge the communications gap with home working, technology can come to the rescue again, bridging the gap of productivity and security that can come with home working. By enabling employers to feel confident that the software developer can do their job securely and productively, employers can offer the ‘perks’ expected by the modern post-pandemic workforce.

Making work from home, work, for your software developers

Technology came to the rescue when the order to ‘work from home’ came out across the world. It is again the turn of technology to provide the tools to create workable home environments that software developers feel comfortable working in.

Working from home may be a great attraction but it comes with certain risks, risks that an employer needs to take seriously.

The Pandemic has been a success for cybercriminals with an increase in cyber-attacks over the last two years. Soon into the Pandemic, Interpol recorded a surge in cyber-attacks, specifically social engineering-related attacks. The World Economic Forum predicts that this level of cyber-attacks will continue into 2022. Remote working is facilitating cybercrime and according to Check Point, 97% of companies have faced mobile-device related cyber-threats as employees increasingly use mobile devices for corporate account access.

An HP survey found that 91% of IT teams feel pressure to compromise security for business continuity. And a staggering 83% see home working as a “ticking time bomb” that leads to a security breach.

With software developers working from home, security measures must be tightened. But this tightening of measures must not affect employee morale, and in turn, their productivity.

An elegant solution to this conundrum is to deploy cloud-based employee behavior monitoring software.

Benefits of cloud-based employee behavior monitoring software

Software developers want to work from home, but employers need to make sure this environment is secure and productive. This conflicting position requires a mediator in the form of a software system that can unobtrusively monitor employees and apps to ensure that insider threats are minimized, and productivity is maintained.

Insider threats are a core concern of companies who allow home working, with 90% of companies feeling vulnerable to threats emanating at the desk of an employee.

Because home working can mean that the desk is outside the reach of corporate security measures, there needs to be a solution that pulls the work desk back into the corporate security fold. Cloud-based employee behavior monitoring software offers features that can prevent insider threats and maintain productivity:

  • Collate intelligence and data on application and website use
  • Track and trace patterns of file upload and downloads
  • Track print jobs
  • Monitor network activity, including threat detection
  • Track instant messaging apps and other communication apps
  • Track employee productivity

Employee behavior monitoring, alongside Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions, bridges the gap between home working and security. KnowIT delivers all the benefits of intelligent cloud-based employee monitoring on both desktops and mobile devices. KnowIT works across operating systems providing peace of mind for employers and enabling software developers to work securely from a home environment.

KnowIT helps turn the Great Resignation into the Great Relocation. To find out how your company can square the round of home working, security, and continued productivity, check out KnowIT’s cloud-based employee behavior monitoring software.



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The Great Resignation and What it Means for Software Development and Data Security
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