The realm of IT is expanding beyond the traditional borders of company-owned devices and on-premises technology, thereby placing greater demand on IT professionals to manage technology outside their traditional scope of control, according to SolarWinds’ IT is Everywhere surveys.
The surveys are connected to IT Professionals Day—observed the third Tuesday of every September (September 20, 2016)—to emphasise the need for greater appreciation towards IT professionals and the critical role they play in modern business and in the lives of nearly all technology end users.
“The importance of technology and the IT professionals who support it is a well-known fact of business success,” said Joseph Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds.
“Our surveys reveal that more than ever, end users are connecting more devices, including those personally-owned, to corporate networks; relying on cloud-based applications; and working outside the four walls of traditional offices.
“These are all trends that take direct control out of the hands of IT departments, yet as the surveys also demonstrate, the demands on IT professionals to support and ensure the performance of related technologies are just as high.”
End users’ perspectives
The study shows that 60 percent of employed end users in Singapore say they connect more devices, whether company- or personally-owned, to corporate networks than they did 10 years ago, at an average of two more per user. The same percentage of end users say they connect more personally-owned devices to corporate networks than they did 10 years ago, at an average of two more per user.
A majority or 77 percent of end users say they connect a laptop/desktop computer to corporate networks, 65 percent a smartphone and 22 percent a tablet computer.
Twenty-one percent of end users say they connect a less expected form of electronic device to corporate networks, such as Bluetooth speakers, streaming media players, wearable technology and eReaders.
Beyond the office
The study also shows that the technology end users rely on is increasingly outside their employers’ on-premises infrastructure, including cloud-based applications and work-related resources leveraged beyond the office.
Sixty-percent of of IT professionals globally say their organisations permit/facilitate the use of cloud-based applications; 71 percent also estimate that end users at least occasionally use non-IT-sanctioned cloud-based applications.
Seventy-nine percent of end users say they leverage these cloud-based applications—both IT-facilitated and non-IT-sanctioned—while at work. Meanwhile, 77 percent of end users say they regularly use work-related applications outside the office, on either company-owned or personally-owned devices.
Despite the increase in end users’ reliance on technology often outside the control of their employers’ IT professionals, they still hold them accountable for its performance.
Sixty-two percent of IT professionals say the expectation to support end users’ personally-owned devices connected to corporate networks is significantly greater than it was 10 years ago, while 80 percent of end users say they expect their employers’ IT professionals to ensure the performance these devices.
Forty-three percent of IT professionals say end users expect the same time to resolution for issues with both personally- and company-owned owned devices and technology.
Almost all or 90 percent of end users say they expect their employers’ IT professionals to ensure the performance of cloud-based applications used at work, with 77 percent going so far to say it is their employers’ IT professionals’ fault if they do not perform as expected.
Sixty-four percent of IT professionals say end users expect the same time to resolution for issues with both cloud-based applications and local applications (those managed directly by IT).
Meanwhile, a majority or 80 percent of end users expect work-related applications used outside the office to perform at the same level and to receive the same level of support from their employers’ IT professionals, while 83 percent of IT professionals say they at least occasionally provide such support.
“The key findings show that end users are now more than ever pushing the boundaries of traditional IT beyond the four walls of their organisations,” Kim added. “IT is truly everywhere, and as a result, IT professionals are increasingly expected to ensure always-on availability and performance for any and all devices and applications, many of which they likely do not control. Every industry has felt the impact of increased reliance on technology, but none more than the IT industry itself.”