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7 Habits of IT Pros That Might Surprise You

  • More than ever before, IT professionals are tasked with the management and oversight of complex IT environments that continue to rapidly evolve alongside a business landscape that’s transforming the industry as we know it. In addition to acting as the backbone of an organization, today’s IT professionals donate time for end-user education and troubleshooting, protect businesses from security breaches and productivity-killing downtime, spend hours texting with their monitoring systems, and work countless hours of overtime -- often without additional compensation. Despite it all, they love their jobs.

    In 2015, SolarWinds launched IT Professionals Day, which is celebrated every third Tuesday of September. To celebrate the holiday this year, SolarWinds developed the Little-Known Facts survey about IT pros, which provides a glimpse into the often-overlooked aspects of IT pros and the jobs they do, and ultimately allows us to better understand, and in turn, appreciate them. These results, based on a survey of 161 IT pros in the US and Canada, spotlight the hard work they do to keep businesses running smoothly and the critical role they play in the lives of nearly all technology users. Continue on to see what the survey revealed.

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  • IT pros spend a lot of time solving end-user and business problems

    IT professionals spend just over two-thirds of their time (65%) actually managing IT and IT-related services. The remainder of their time is spent on a myriad of other office responsibilities, starting with educating business leaders and end users about IT/technology, which demands nearly one-fifth of their time (18%). During the course of a regular work day, IT pros also fix office equipment not related to IT (9%) and perform admin duties not related to IT (8%).

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  • IT pros dedicate most of their problem solving to senior executives

    It’s not surprising that IT pros spend most of their time helping end users with problem solving, but of the 65% of time IT professionals spend on core IT responsibilities, nearly half of that time (47%) is dedicated to resolving technology issues flagged by senior executives specifically.

    Forty-three percent of those polled list finance/accounting/procurement as having the most technology issues that require an IT pro to solve, followed by sales/business development personnel at 39%.

    Who gets the least amount of IT’s time? The marketing and PR departments require the least IT support, coming in at just 7%.

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  • IT pros sometimes communicate with technology more than humans.

    In any given week, nearly one-third of IT pros surveyed spend more time communicating with their IT monitoring systems than people close to them: 30% say they receive more texts each week from their IT monitoring systems, like system alert texts, than they do from their friends, family, and loved ones.

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  • IT pros want to connect on social media

    Techies at heart, IT pros are constantly connected, and it shows in the results of this year’s IT Pro Day survey, which also explores their preferred social media platforms. LinkedIn claimed the top spot at 57%, offering IT pros a quick and easy way to network and connect with peers online.

    Close behind LinkedIn is Facebook, which half of all IT professionals (45%) use as their social media platform of choice, followed by Twitter (29%) and Instagram (9%). Only 3% of IT pros feel compelled to share face-filtered selfies on Snapchat.

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  • IT pros don’t fear the machine

    Despite industry hype that AI and machine learning are threatening their jobs, IT pros’ greatest concern is actually keeping their organizations secure: the biggest fear for 89% of IT professionals is a security breach. Just 9% fear AI will take their jobs, a finding that is echoed by a recent McKinsey report on AI’s nuances.

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  • IT pros want you to ask for help

    One-fourth of IT professionals agree that half of the time, end users who try to solve their own IT problems ultimately make things worse. If you don’t know what to do, ask a professional!

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  • IT pros are chronically overworked, but still love what they do

    Just because the workday has ended doesn’t mean an IT pro’s responsibilities do. Keeping a data center’s lights on is a monumental, 24/7 task, and modern IT pros pay the price: 91% of IT pros surveyed said they work overtime hours. Of those, 57% receive no compensation for working overtime. Over half of IT pros work at least 10 overtime hours per month, and one in five works 20 or more overtime hours per month. Yet 94% of those polled said they enjoy being an IT pro, and more than half love what they do.

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