IT Professionals Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros
September 18, 2018

Leon Adato
SolarWinds

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As our world grows increasingly complex, and digital transformation remains top of mind for businesses in every industry, technology professionals are working around the clock. Tech pros work tirelessly to solve any problem thrown their way, no matter the issue's size — from helping an individual send a large file, to patching critical enterprise vulnerabilities, to solving latency issues beyond the firewall, or fixing application performance problems, technology professionals are often the unsung heroes of modern business.

While we certainly appreciate IT pros year-round, there is often a lack of understanding by business leaders and end users as to just how critical their responsibilities are, and the complexities associated with their day-to-day roles. The problem is, the job is never done. In fact, tech professionals have so much on their plates that the 2018 SolarWinds IT Trends Report: The Intersection of Hype & Performance found that over half of all tech pros surveyed spend less than 25 percent of their time on proactive optimization of their environments. But, what if that wasn't the case? 

Make sure to thank a tech pro on September 18 to acknowledge the ways that they make your day-to-day life better

To celebrate IT Professionals Day 2018 (this year on September 18), SolarWinds commissioned its fourth annual survey to empower technology professionals with the freedom to think bigger than their day-to-day tasks. The SolarWinds IT Pro Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros survey explores a "Tech PROactive" world where technology professionals have the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do absolutely anything — from improving their IT environments, to addressing global societal challenges, and even enhancing their personal lives (turns out, virtual reality can work magic at work and at home).

A comprehensive look at the findings show us a glimpse into technology professionals' biggest IT ambitions. In a world powered by technology professionals ...

End users are the top priority

■ Nearly 70% of tech pros surveyed respond to one-off user requests on a daily basis.

■ Over half (51%) of tech pros respond to help desk tickets on a daily basis.

■ Even when they have time to be proactive at work, researching new technologies that will benefit the end user is still the number one priority (by weighted rank).

AI, machine learning, deep learning, and cloud transform IT environments

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, deep learning, and cloud computing would not only transform IT environments, but the greater good, according to respondents.

■ The top three new technology advancements that tech pros would use to solve challenges within their IT environment, if they had more time, would be:

1. AI/machine learning/deep learning
2. Automation
3. Cloud (by weighted rank, respectively)

■ Technology professionals say they would use these technologies to:

1. Uncover more actionable insights for business leadership
2. Make repeatable tasks quicker and more accurate
3. Scale easily and cost effectively by using the public cloud

■ The top three technology advancements that tech pros would use to solve broader societal issues, if they had more time to do so, would be:

1. AI/machine learning/deep learning
2. Big data analysis
3. Cloud (by weighted rank, respectively)

■ Technology professionals say they would use these technologies to pursue two main societal challenges:

1. Affordable education, housing, and healthcare for all
2. Environmental and sustainability initiatives

Personal development is top of mind

Personal development is top of mind but requires a time commitment outside the traditional workday.

The top three work-related activities that tech pros would spend their time on if they had one extra hour in the workday:

■ Developing a skillset (41%)

■ Researching new technologies (21%)

■ Planning/strategizing future technology innovation in your IT environment (19%)

IT prowess would also power personal lives

The top three areas outside of work that tech pros would use technology to enhance (by weighted rank):

1. Home DIY projects: Such as using virtual reality (VR) to visualize a kitchen remodel before implementing changes.

2. Managing finances: By using machine learning (ML) to grow investments and diversify their portfolio.

3. Vacation planning: Such as utilizing cloud-based services to store and link travel data, and using IoT-based devices to generate real-time insights while on the go.

In our IT Professionals Day 2017 survey, Little-Known IT Pro Facts, it became clear that technology professionals are the backbone of our businesses. The 2018 survey shows that this trend has continued, and envisions technology pros' ambition to better the workplace, the world, and their personal lives through the use of technology.

Make sure to thank a tech pro on September 18, or any day, to acknowledge the ways that they make your day-to-day life better.

Leon Adato is a Head Geek at SolarWinds
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