IT Professionals Day 2017 - Going Above and Beyond
September 19, 2017
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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, according to the Little-Known Facts survey conducted by SolarWinds.

The survey supports IT Professionals Day, which is observed the third Tuesday of every September (September 19, 2017), to emphasize 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, EVP and CTO, SolarWinds. "This year, to celebrate the third annual IT Professionals Day, we wanted to draw attention not only to the data center's growing complexity and end-user demands that IT professionals must manage, but more personal facts, like their favorite social media platforms and how they feel about end-users. By understanding and knowing our own IT professionals, we can better appreciate them."

The 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:

Extend beyond the call of duty to solve end-user and business problems

IT pros spend just over two-thirds of their time (65 percent) actually managing IT and IT-related services. What are they doing with the rest?

■ Educating business leaders and end-users about IT/technology (18 percent)

■ Fixing office equipment that is NOT related to IT (9 percent)

■ Performing admin duties unrelated to IT (8 percent)

Dedicate most of their problem-solving to senior executives

■ Of the 65 percent of time IT professionals spend on core responsibilities, nearly half of that time (47 percent) is dedicated to resolving technology issues from senior executives/chief officers.

■ Rounding out the top three users who take most of IT's time, 43 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 39 percent

■ Marketing and PR required the least support, at 7 percent

At times communicate more with technology than humans

In any given week, nearly one-third of IT pros surveyed spend more time communicating with their IT monitoring systems than the people close to them: 30 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 organizations secure is IT pros' greatest concern: 89 percent of IT professionals most fear a security breach. Just nine 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

One-fourth of IT professionals agree that 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

■ 91 percent of IT pros surveyed work overtime hours – and of those, 57 percent do so with no compensation for working overtime.

■ Over half of IT pros work at least 10 overtime hours per month, and one in five IT pros works 20 or more overtime hours per month.

■ Of the 44 percent who do receive compensation for working overtime, the majority receive something other than monetary compensation, such as comp days.

■ 94 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 organizations," 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 organizations 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."

Methodology: Fielded in July 2017, the survey was conducted by C. White Consulting on behalf of SolarWinds and yielded responses from 161 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in the U.S. and Canada.

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