Could 2020 Be the Year of the IT Professional?
IT professionals are used to change and disruption. From dealing with unexpected hardware malfunctions to troubleshooting dodgy Wi-Fi, IT pros are some of the most resilient employees in any organization. This is not to mention the constant cadence of technical evolution. What’s an industry best practice one minute is outdated the next, and IT pros are expected to have all the answers.
However, the past few months have thrown an unexpectedly large curveball at IT teams. From accelerating digital transformation plans to supporting a new or larger remote workforce, IT professionals have had to adapt to change like never before.
Though this has been a challenging time, it’s also created a significant opportunity for IT pros to come out of the shadows as the unsung heroes of the business and become a visible and critical cog in maintaining business continuity.
I recently spoke with some of our customers to hear their firsthand experiences from the past few months and uncover the pain points, challenges, and important opportunities at the end of the tunnel. Here are the key takeaways I found.
The Impact Is Relative
When speaking to customers, I was expecting cries of despair and stress about the significant impact on their day-to-day workload. However, many IT professionals said although there has been some impact, it’s been manageable. Of course, this is coming from a select source, but it showed the impact of the pandemic on an IT department—and the business as a whole—is relative to their starting point when this all began.
A huge determining factor of this impact depends on the industry. For example, due to the nature of our software products, we don’t have to be concerned with the delivery of hardware or the supply chain to our customers; our delivery engine is the network, so the impact of our service to customers is minimal. Of course, for industries relying on service or hardware products, this has been an entirely different story.
Regardless of industry, if an organization was already well set up in terms of tools, solutions, and infrastructure (such as cloud, remote IT management software, and modern apps), then the past few months have likely been a stress test of whether they could withstand the scalability needed to virtually support the business. The real challenge would have arisen if this wasn’t the case, and the technology needed to be adopted quickly to plug gaps and efficiently aligned with people and processes.
A Changing Mindset
Whether the past few months have been a baptism of fire as digital transformation has been put on overdrive or you had the tech in place to seamlessly manage the transition, now is the time to settle into the new normal.
It’s time for IT teams to take a step back. With sound remote working infrastructure, potentially accelerated moves to a cloud environment, and up-levelled endpoint security firmly established, IT pros can take stock of their successes over the last few months and explore what this newfound tech ability could mean for their team and the overall business.
When discussing this with our customers, we realized many of them are seeing newfound opportunities due to the change in mindset they’ve witnessed from business leaders. Technology and IT will be a critical focus area for any business moving forward (if it wasn’t already). For example, we’ll likely see many organizations start—or rapidly accelerate—their journey to the cloud, whether this means fully migrating all infrastructure to the cloud or exploring a hybrid environment. We’ll also see business leaders prioritize and appreciate the value of monitoring and automation, as they play key roles in the resilience and reactivity of a business, particularly upon return to the office.
It’s safe to say 2020 has been a challenging year on many levels, but as IT pros take a step back and look at how far we’ve come, this could potentially be our year. The once unsung hero of the office has now been established as a business-critical element of the ongoing success of any organization. Here’s to learning from the last few months and grasping the opportunities yet to come.