Those with even a passing familiarity with pop culture will recognise the quote adapted for this article’s headline.
This description of an unsung hero whose actions are necessary for others to cope with pressing day-to-day demands may sound familiar to IT pros, whose heroic efforts often go unnoticed by the masses.
Equating IT pros to Batman may seem a little overblown, and this would be right (though Bruce Wayne coping with an overly complex app stack would be a sight to see).
However, there is method to the madness. A new survey, released for IT Professionals Day, has illustrated the increased ubiquity of IT and, as a result, the growing level of demand placed upon our IT pros.
With consumers and businesses alike growing increasingly reliant on technology, and demanding 24/7, around-the-clock availability, the tireless efforts of IT pros to ensure this happens now go unnoticed. How did this happen?
Unsurprisingly, IT is playing a more prominent part in the lives of businesses and consumers than ever before, with an enormous variety of smart devices used for everything from shoe shopping, to getting from A to B, to the enablement of remote working for an enterprise.
Indeed, the survey found that 52% of employed end users in the UK say they connect more devices – at an average of two more per user – to corporate networks than they did 10 years ago.
This plethora of new technologies now used is placing a greater strain on IT pros, so much so that a modicum of understanding from users should be a-given – right?
Wrong. Nearly two thirds (62%) of IT pros say the expectation to support these devices is significantly greater than it was 10 years ago.
Likely caused by the increased sophistication of this technology – where easy, instant access is assumed – users now demand this level of convenience from all devices, with the strain placed upon IT pros an irrelevance.
If this all sounds like a ploy to make the end user guilty, it’s not. IT is now so ingrained into everyday lives that its ubiquity is taken for granted. But what does it mean for the IT pros?
Addressing the IT pro – blem
IT pros face a great deal more pressure than ever before, mainly thanks to the increased demands of the end user.
Illustrating this is the fact that 89% of end users expect their employers’ IT pros to ensure the performance of cloud-based applications used at work.
If this feels unfair, that’s because it is – the majority of these cloud applications don’t even fall under the remit of the IT pro, and instead are minded by the vendor themselves.
This level of expectation exists across the enterprise, with employees working remotely expecting the same level of care and attention as those based on-premises.
So, not only is the IT pro expected to provide ongoing support for a growing number of increasingly complex devices, as well as cloud applications that aren’t necessarily their responsibility, they must also care for end users’ needs when working remotely.
In fact, the survey found that 73% of end users expect work-related applications used outside the office to perform at the same level as in the office, and also expect the same level of support from their employers’ IT professionals.
Unbelievably, 83% of IT pros say they occasionally provide such support.
Indeed, while the proliferation of increasingly advanced IT solutions and devices has affected every industry, it is those working in IT who have perhaps most keenly felt its impact.
Not the heroes we deserve
If people want to enjoy both the technology they are used to, and the ones which they are looking forward to adopting, IT pros will have to continue to work extremely hard to very little fanfare.
From system administrators to network engineers, now is the perfect time for employees to show their appreciation to those who will be there the next time DropBox for mobile doesn’t work, and whose expertise they’ll undoubtedly take for granted.
IT Professionals Day is a rare time in which those responsible for keeping the gremlins from overrunning the IT department are celebrated, and employees can say thanks to the unsung heroes that are keeping the IT lights on.
Sourced by Joe Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds