If IT professionals wanted an easy job, they would’ve chosen another career. The people we collaborate with love their work because it’s challenging and rewarding. They enjoy solving technical and business problems, and that often requires long days, long nights, and multiple deliveries of meals and coffee.
No problem. All the hard work is worth it, both for personal satisfaction and career development.
But lately IT professionals have been tired – extremely tired. That’s part of the findings of recent report from Cisco AppDynamic, which found that 56% of 1,150 respondents feel “disillusioned and burnt out.” And over 75% believe feel immense pressure to deliver innovative solutions faster than ever.
Given today’s business and social climate, those numbers shouldn’t be so surprising. With enterprises adapting to COVID, plus the ongoing race to reach complete digital transformation, nearly 90% of technologists admit that their roles – and the expectations that have been placed upon them – have dramatically shifted. Being an IT leader involves much more complexity in 2022 than it did way back in early 2020.
The survey names IT pros who play this new role as “agents of transformation.” They’re people with the vision and skills to transform enterprises and foster business goals, for which they have a successful track record. But 66% of them believe it’s more challenging to deliver these types of high-level results than it was in 2017.
The factors that have hindered them: either they don’t have enough time to focus on strategic initiatives, or they’re spending too much time putting out small, unpredictable fires. In addition, their teams lack the necessary skills or technical tools, or company structures and processes are still stuck in the last part of the 20th century – even the early part of 21st century.
There’s much to contend with. Nearly 90% of survey respondents think they must constantly re-invent their professional attributes to remain viable and valuable to their organizations. Over 60% simply feel like they’re drowning in organizational complexity and mountains of data. As such, they’re unable to make informed decisions, which only magnifies the feeling that they’re becoming out of touch with today’s standards.
Interestingly, there’s a flip side to all of the bleak perspectives being shared by IT professionals. Despite the extreme pressure they faced during the global pandemic, despite the unprecedented pace of innovation they were forced to deliver, despite the seemingly overnight shift from in-office to remote work, IT professionals executed digital transformation projects three times faster than before anyone ever heard the term “COVID.”
Today, according to the survey, 53% of IT professionals claim that their IT department is becoming more strategic and less reactive. By being more proactive, they’re making decisions that accelerate business objectives, which in turn increases confidence among entire teams. Individual workers have a renewed sense of empowerment, propelling them to seek mentors to develop new skills and carve new steps in their career paths.
Much has been discussed in technology publications about how COVID changed the way IT professionals work. Despite the chaos, they still did what they’ve always done: supply access to applications and data, support multiple platforms and operating systems, manage functions and features from remote cloud servers, and provide real-time movement of information across networks of companies, suppliers, and customers.
This is why business, for the most part, kept moving in a smooth fashion through the lockdowns, closures, and sky-is-falling declarations from certain sectors of society. The IT workers of the world came through. And I suspect that’s why 90% of them feel proud about what they’ve accomplished since the pandemic began. I also think that’s why 74% feel that their COVID-related experiences have put them in prime positions to advance in their careers.