People and processesDigital SkillsViews of IT professionals in the public sector revealed by new survey

Views of IT professionals in the public sector revealed by new survey

Annual global survey reveals an ambition to be ‘Tech PROactive:’ end users and up-skilling in new technologies are top priorities for public sector tech professionals

 The SolarWinds Global Public Sector IT Pro Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros survey explores a world where technology professionals have the opportunity to be ‘Tech PROactive’. Or, in other words, what they would do if they had the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do anything—from improving IT environments, to addressing global societal challenges, and even taking care of their personal lives.

The survey supports IT Professionals Day, which is observed on the third Tuesday of every September, and intends to emphasise appreciation for IT professionals, the critical role they play in end users’ lives, and in operating a successful, modern business.

“Today’s public sector technology professionals face a tremendous amount of responsibility at work, from strategic technology evaluations and IT modernisation, to the more onerous tasks, such as help desk tickets and end-user requests,” said Paul Parker, chief technologist, federal and national government, SolarWinds. “As a result, they have very little time to dedicate to being Tech PROactive. This year, in recognition of the fourth annual IT Professionals Day, we asked public sector tech pros to imagine how they could improve both their work environments and personal lives with enhanced technology and more time.”

Regardless of the time of day, environment, or their physical location, technology professionals are often the unsung, solutions-based heroes. In honour of all the work they take on to help us, we want to celebrate the fourth annual IT Professionals Day by sharing insight into what inspires and interests them—including outside of the office.

Key Findings

The survey explores a world where public sector technology professionals have the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do anything—from improving their IT environments, to addressing global societal challenges, and even taking care of their personal lives. In support of IT Professionals Day, global public sector technology professionals in North America and the UK were polled through a series of studies to provide unique insight into what a world powered by tech pros looks like.

End users are the top priority:

  • 75% of tech pros surveyed respond to one-off user requests on a daily basis, and over half (55%) of tech pros respond to help desk tickets daily.
  • When they do have time to be proactive at work, the number one priority for North American tech pros is researching new technologies that will benefit the end user, while UK tech pros prioritise automating repetitive manual tasks (by weighted rank).

Cloud computing, machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) would not only transform IT environments, but the greater good, according to respondents.

The top three new technology advancements that tech pros would use to solve challenges within their IT environment if they had more time would be:

  1. Automation (61%)
  2. Cloud (55%)
  3. AI/machine learning/deep learning (50%)

The top three technology advancements by weighted rank that tech pros would use to solve broader societal issues if they had more time to do so would be:

  1. AI/machine learning/deep learning
  2. Cloud
  3. Big data analytics

Personal development is top of mind, but requires a time commitment outside the traditional workday.

The top three work-related activities that tech pros would spend their time on if they had one extra hour in the workday:

  1. Developing their IT skillset (44%)
  2. Planning/strategising future technology innovation in the IT environment (24%)
  3. Researching new technologies (16%)

Their IT prowess would also power their personal lives:

The top three areas outside of work that tech pros in the UK would use technology to enhance (by weighted rank):

  1. Pursuing a new hobby (40%) such as watching online tutorials to improve woodworking skills or relying on cloud applications to securely share information and schedules with others in a music group.
  2. Home DIY projects (40%) such as relying on robotics to assist with DIY home improvement projects.
  3. Exercise/workout routine (36%) such as using wearable technology to improve personal mobility or motorised systems to assist with loading a kayak into a car.

“In 2017, we revealed that technology professionals are the backbone of our businesses,” said Joseph Kim, executive vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds. “This year, we’ve seen this trend continue, with tech pros going above and beyond their responsibilities to explore new technologies and educate themselves further.

“Forty-four percent of technology professionals shared that they’d continue developing their skillset if they had one more hour in the work day, and 16% shared that they’d spend it researching new technologies. We’re excited to celebrate this fourth annual IT Professionals Day by highlighting their interests—at work and at home—and their dedication to their field.”

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