IT Pros to Acquire New Skillsets and Improve Business Insight in Today's Complex Environment
March 07, 2014

Patrick Hubbard
SolarWinds

Share this

To remain relevant to business' overall goals, today's IT professionals must adopt new skillsets and be prepared to help their companies make informed, strategic business decisions, according to the New IT Survey conducted by SolarWinds.

The New IT Survey found that despite the increased sophistication and complexity of corporate technology, Australian businesses still do not consider IT as a vital role in the critical business decision-making process – while almost every IT professional surveyed (99 percent) said they are given the opportunity to provide the guidance and expertise necessary to help their company make critical business decisions, the majority (70%) only have the opportunity to do so occasionally or rarely.

Furthermore, 96% of respondents said they feel at least somewhat confident in their ability to provide such advice – with nearly half (44%) of those feeling completely confident in doing so – suggesting that businesses are underutilizing the IT department, only seeking their guidance when ‘disaster strikes’.

In addition, the survey revealed the technology and IT skillsets IT professionals must invest in today to effectively manage networks and systems, while still remaining relevant to the overall business. In particular, cloud computing was identified as the top IT skillset that will grow in demand over the next three to five years, followed by information security and business analytics.

The days of IT's limited impact on business are long gone, replaced by the modern era of almost complete reliance on technology and the incredibly complex infrastructure it brings with it.

As a result, more businesses are now recognizing that IT holds an important key to success. Likewise, IT professionals can no longer operate within the bounds of their traditional role. Instead, IT professionals and businesses alike must create opportunities for IT to take on a leadership position within strategic business initiatives, rather than just seeking IT's counsel on a reactive basis.

Fielded in November 2013, the survey yielded responses from 109 IT practitioners, managers and directors in Australia from public and private sector small, mid-size and enterprise companies.

Survey Findings

IT's role in strategic business decisions:

- 99% of respondents said they are given the opportunity to provide the guidance and expertise necessary to help their company make informed, strategic business decisions in this area; however, the majority (70%) only have the opportunity to do so occasionally or rarely

- 96% of survey-takers said they feel at least somewhat confident in their ability to provide such advice, with 44% of those reporting that they are completely confident in doing so

- To feel more empowered to provide such advice, almost half of respondents said they need more training in their area(s) of responsibility, and nearly 44% said they need a better understanding of their company’s overall business

Demand for new skillsets:

- More than 50% of those surveyed said cloud computing and information security top the list of IT skillsets that will grow in demand over the next three to five years, followed by business analytics

- Respondents said information security is the IT role that will need to adapt the most to evolving technology over the next three to five years

- Cloud computing ranked as the most important technology for businesses to invest in today to remain competitive for the next three to five years, followed closely by mobility, data analytics, virtualisation (server or desktop), self-service automation and BYOx, respectively

Other findings:

- Over half of all IT departments now manage virtualisation, mobility, compliance, cloud computing, BYOx, SDN/virtual networks, data analytics and self-service automation

- 47% of respondents said increasing complexity has greatly affected their responsibilities over the past three to five years, and an additional 42% said it has somewhat affected their role

About the survey: The survey was conducted from November 12-18, 2013, resulting in 109 survey responses from IT practitioners, managers and directors in Australian small, mid-size and enterprise companies. SolarWinds will be releasing additional survey data in the coming weeks on IT professionals in the UK, US, Germany and Brazil.

Patrick Hubbard is a Head Geek and Technical Product Marketing Manager at SolarWinds.

Share this

The Latest

April 24, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly present in our daily lives, at work, in the home and in the public sphere, making the world a more connected place. In fact, 2020 will see at least 20 billion connected devices across the globe. So, let's take a look at the most common iterations of the IoT at the moment, and what we can expect to see in the IoT landscape over the next 5 years ...

April 21, 2017

In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...

April 20, 2017

Almost One-Third (28 percent) of IT workers surveyed fear that cloud adoption is putting their job at risk, according to a survey conducted by ScienceLogic ...

April 19, 2017

A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...

April 18, 2017

The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...

April 17, 2017

One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...

April 12, 2017

Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...

April 11, 2017

What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today ...

April 10, 2017

As companies adopt new hardware and applications, their networks grow larger and become harder to manage. For network engineers and administrators, the continued emergence of integrated technology has forced them to reconfigure and manage networks in a more dynamic way ...

April 07, 2017

The complexity of data in motion is growing and risks undermining the success of the modern data-driven enterprise. A recent survey of data engineers and architects, conducted by StreamSets, sought to bring some perspective to the new reality in the enterprise, leading to some interesting insights about the enterprise data landscape ...