SolarFocus

You Were Built for This: Celebrating IT Pro Day 2020

September 9, 2020

You Were Built for This: Celebrating IT Pro Day 2020

The year 2020 has been a rollercoaster. With nearly every aspect of our daily lives flipped on its head, it’s hard to think of a single thing that went as planned or any of us were prepared for. That is, until it comes to our IT teams.

The success of organizations during the reality of an unprecedented global pandemic is due in large part to IT pros’ preparedness and ability to adapt and manage through substantial change. We didn’t know it at the time, but all your training, ideas, and skillsets were leading up to this year’s events, which saw entire organizations rely on IT teams to keep their business up and running. The global community of IT pros rose to the occasion to ensure we’ve all been able to remain connected and productive while working from home.

With the IT Pro Day 2020 holiday just around the corner (mark your calendars: Tuesday, September 15, 2020), we asked our THWACK® community of IT pros to share their experiences in supporting their organizations through the impact of COVID-19—including how their responsibilities evolved, skills gained or revealed as necessary, their perception of what the future of IT might look like, and any other insights they had to share.

Most importantly, the 2020 survey revealed nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents were instilled with a new sense of confidence, despite contending with challenges such as reduced budgets, greater decision-making responsibilities, and longer hours caused by their organizations’ response to the pandemic. Likewise, just under half (46%) feel empowered to bring more ideas to the table, while 58% say they now feel more prepared to succeed in similar unexpected situations.

This response is due in no small part to IT pros’ inherent sense of preparedness and experience in adapting and managing through substantial change. And IT pros expect their achievements to pay off down the road: IT may earn a more prominent voice in the C-suite, as 40% of IT pros believe they’ll now be involved in more business-level meetings.

This elevated stature in the modern business is likely to be supplemented by IT pros’ ongoing efforts to upskill in critical competencies, such as systems management, network management, and security policy and compliance. More than a quarter (26%) of IT pros underwent vast upskilling over the last several months—diversifying their capabilities and opening the door to an up-leveled role in their organization.

But the work isn’t done. First, 31% of survey respondents admitted their experiences during the pandemic revealed a need to rethink internal processes to better accommodate the rapid change of pace required post-COVID.

IT pros will still be critical assets in helping businesses undergo those key digital transformations to accommodate the “next normal.” IT teams will need to capitalize on their recent successes and new alignment with the C-suite work to rethink internal processes, accommodate the more rapid pace of change, and begin to consolidate existing solution suites to simplify management, maintenance, and cost of upkeep.

Still, the future of our work as technology professionals looks bright: 51% expect to see greater collaboration across teams; 41% anticipate IT will be included in more business-level meetings and decision making; and 25% look forward to greater opportunity to upskill and attend trainings.

Since 2015, IT Pro Day has been held to show gratitude towards all those who keep the wheels of IT turning. This sentiment rings truer than ever this year. Changes brought about by COVID-19 have impacted not just our health concerns but our lifestyle considerations—from sharing workspace with family and pets, to learning how to homeschool our kids, and many other things in between. Many of the lifestyle shifts we’ve had to make couldn’t have happened without modern technology.

But if we’ve learned anything from our IT pros this year, it’s they’re ready, willing, and able to tackle any challenge head-on.

So, from all of us at SolarWinds, thank you for all you do. Happy IT Pro Day!


Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, VMware® vExpert, and former Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry as a programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator. LaRock has spent much of his career focused on data and database administration, which led to his being chosen as a Technical Evangelist for Confio Software in 2010, where his research and experience helped to create the initial versions of the software now known as SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer. LaRock has served on the board of directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server® (PASS), and is an avid blogger, author, and technical reviewer for numerous books about SQL Server management. He now focuses on working with customers to help resolve problems and answer questions regarding database performance tuning and virtualization for SQL Server, Oracle®, MySQL®, SAP®, and DB2®. He’s made it his mission to give IT and data professionals longer weekends.