SolarWinds IT Professionals Day 2017 Survey Reveals Depth of IT Pro Responsibilities in the Enterprise

SolarWinds’ Little-Known Facts survey reveals that C-suite and senior executives are amongst the top three personnel creating the most issues for IT pros

CORK, Ireland – September 12, 2017 – SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today announced the findings of its Little-Known Facts survey. The results reveal that IT professionals tend to go above and beyond the scope of their core responsibilities as the changing business landscape demands more of their attention, both inside and outside of the office. 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.

“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. “This year, to celebrate the third annual IT Professionals Day, we wanted to draw attention not only to the data centre’s growing complexity and end-user demands that IT professionals must manage, but more personal facts, like their favourite social media platforms and how they feel about end-users. By understanding and knowing our own IT professionals, we can better appreciate them.” 

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
    • Nearly half of all IT pros (48 percent) surveyed indicate that senior executives/chief officers (regardless of area) are one of their top three personnel who create the most IT/technology issues that require an IT pro to resolve
      • Rounding out the top three users who take most of IT’s time, 46 percent list finance/accounting/procurement as having the most technology issues that require an IT pro to solve, followed by sales/business development personnel at 44 percent
      • Legal required the least support, at four percent
  • At times communicate more with technology than humans
    • In any given week, over one-fourth of IT pros surveyed spend more time communicating with their IT monitoring systems than the people close to them: 27 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.
  • Don’t fear the machine
    • Despite industry hype that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are threatening their jobs, keeping their organisations secure is IT pros’ greatest concern: 90 percent of IT professionals most fear a security breach. Just 14 percent fear AI will take their jobs, a finding that is echoed by a recent McKinsey report on AI’s nuances. 
  • Want you to ask for help
    • Almost one-fifth of IT professionals stated that more than half the time, end-users who try to solve their own IT problems ultimately make things worse.
  • Extend beyond the call of duty to solve end-user and business problems
    • IT pros spend just over two-thirds of their time (61 percent) actually managing IT and IT-related services. What are they doing with the rest?
      • Educating business leaders and end-users about IT/technology (20 percent)
      • Performing admin duties unrelated to IT (12 percent)
      • Performing admin duties related to IT (8 percent)
  • Want to connect on social media
    • Facebook® is the preferred method to network and connect with peers, according to 56 percent of IT pros surveyed.
    • Over half of all IT professionals (52 percent) use LinkedIn® as their preferred social media platform, followed by Twitter (26 percent) and Instagram (10 percent)
    • Just four percent, however, feel compelled to share face-filtered selfies on Snapchat®.
  • Chronically overwork, but still love being an IT professional
    • 91 percent of IT pros surveyed work overtime hours – and of those, 64 percent do so with no compensation for working overtime.
      • 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 36 percent who do receive compensation for working overtime, the majority receive something other than monetary compensation, such as time in lieu
    • 91 percent of IT pros surveyed enjoy being an IT pro, and nearly 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,” Kim added. “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.”

Fielded in July 2017, the survey was conducted by C. White Consulting on behalf of SolarWinds and yielded responses from 162 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in the U.K. 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 start-ups 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.

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