Australian IT Professionals Not Threatened by Artificial Intelligence, SolarWinds IT Professional Day 2017 Survey Finds

Only 18 percent fear artificial intelligence will replace them, security remains a paramount concern

SYDNEY, Australia – September 13, 2017 – SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today announced the findings of its Little-Known Facts survey exploring the daily lives of Australian IT professionals and the demands they’re facing. The results reveal that despite ongoing industry hype, Australian IT professionals don’t fear artificial intelligence (AI) will take their jobs anytime soon, instead their greatest concern (91 percent) is a security breach.

The survey supports IT Professionals Day, which is observed the third Tuesday of every September (September 19, 2017), to emphasise the need for greater appreciation for IT professionals and the critical role they play in modern business and the lives of nearly all technology end-users. The results also reveal IT professionals are closer to machines than ever before, spending more time communicating with their IT monitoring systems than people. Thirty-four percent say they receive more texts from their IT monitoring systems (for example, system alerts) each week than they do from their friends/family/loved ones.

 “Without a doubt, today’s IT professionals are the backbone of the modern enterprise,” said Joseph Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds. “It’s great to see that Australian IT professionals don’t fear the machine. However, it’s also important to note that the more we rely on technology, the more we need to upgrade our skills accordingly. Today’s IT professional should prepare themselves and their systems for human-machine partnerships to fully reap the benefits of AI and be empowered rather than displaced by the technology.”

Key Findings

SolarWinds’ Little-Known Facts survey provides a glimpse into the often-overlooked aspects of IT pros and the jobs they do, ultimately allowing us to better understand, and in turn, appreciate them.  IT professionals:

  • Dedicate most of their problem-solving to senior executives.
    • Over half of all IT pros surveyed (54 percent) indicate that finance/accounting/procurement personnel are one of their top 3 personnel who create the most IT/technology issues
      • By weighted rank, information technology (42 percent) and sales/business development (43 percent) are also the top ranked personnel who create the most IT/technology issues
      • Legal required the least support, at 10 percent.
  • Want to connect on social media.
    • LinkedIn is by far the preferred method to network and connect with peers, according to 70 percent of IT pros surveyed.
    • More than half of all IT professionals (52 percent) use Facebook as their preferred social media platform, followed by Twitter (30 percent) and Instagram (16 percent). Just six percent, however, feel compelled to share face-filtered selfies on Snapchat.
  • Want you to ask for help.
    • More than one-third of IT professionals agree that up to half of the time, end-users who try to solve their own IT problems ultimately make things worse.
  • Chronically overwork, but still love being an IT professional.
    • 88 percent of IT pros surveyed work overtime hours – and of those, 57 percent do so with no compensation for working overtime.
      • Nearly half of IT pros work at least 10 overtime hours per month, and one in four IT pros works 20 or more overtime hours per month.
      • Of the 43 percent who do receive compensation for working overtime, the majority receive something other than monetary compensation, such as comp days.
    • 90 percent of IT pros surveyed enjoy being an IT pro, and over half of all IT pros love what they do.

“In 2016, we found that IT is everywhere, and end-users were expanding IT beyond the traditional four walls of their organisations. This required IT professionals to adopt an ‘always-on’ mentality; this year’s key findings highlight that the trend continues, with IT pros performing their core IT responsibilities, in addition to dedicating time to educate end-users and business leaders, problem-solving for senior executives, and keeping their organisations secure from the threat of security breaches. In recognition of IT professionals everywhere, we are thrilled to be celebrating the third annual IT Professionals Day and spotlighting the hard work they do to keep businesses running smoothly,” said Kim. 

Fielded in July 2017, the survey was conducted by C. White Consulting on behalf of SolarWinds and yielded responses from 93 IT practitioners, managers and directors in Australia. Full survey results are available here.

Girls in Tech

In honour of IT Pro Day, SolarWinds is proudly donating to Girls in Tech in support of their inspiring vision. We hope you’ll contribute too!

Girls in Tech (GIT) is a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of girls and women who are passionate about technology. With headquarters in San Francisco, and more than 50,000 members around the globe, GIT aims to accelerate the growth of women entering high-tech careers and provide a support framework for successful startups and advancement in STEM fields.

“Girls in Tech is utilising the power of technology to bring women together to shape their future and democratise the world,” said Rani Johnson, CIO, SolarWinds. “SolarWinds is proud to support the vision of Girls in Tech with a donation to help further their mission. Technology has become more complex than ever, impacting both IT professionals and end users in a variety of ways, and we’re thrilled to contribute to GIT to facilitate learning and skills building within the STEM fields.”

Visit girlsintech.org for more information.

IT Professionals Day

IT Professionals Day is designed to annually celebrate all IT professionals regardless of discipline. Whereas holidays such as System Administrator Appreciation Day do well at recognising one category of the profession, IT Professionals Day honours not only system administrators, but network engineers, database administrators, information security professionals, developers, IT support technicians and all other professionals serving in IT-related roles.

Please visit ITProDay.org to learn more.

Additional Resources

Connect with SolarWinds

About SolarWinds

SolarWinds provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide, from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses, managed service providers (MSPs), government agencies, and educational institutions. We are committed to focusing exclusively on IT, MSP, and DevOps professionals, and strive to eliminate the complexity that our customers have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. Regardless of where the IT asset or user sits, SolarWinds delivers products that are easy to find, buy, use, maintain, and scale while providing the power to address key areas of the infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud. This focus and commitment to excellence in end-to-end hybrid IT performance management has established SolarWinds as the worldwide leader in both network management software and MSP solutions, and is driving similar growth across the full spectrum of IT management software. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our THWACK online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at www.solarwinds.com.

The SolarWinds, SolarWinds & Design, Orion, and THWACK trademarks are the exclusive property of SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC or its affiliates, are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other SolarWinds trademarks, service marks, and logos may be common law marks or are registered or pending registration. All other trademarks mentioned herein are used for identification purposes only and are trademarks of (and may be registered trademarks of) their respective companies.

© 2017 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.

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