2 in 3 IT pros upskilled amid pandemic

Photo by Dimitri Karastelev

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of IT pros 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 organisations’ response to the pandemic. 

Also, 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.

These are based on a survey fielded in July 2020, yielding responses from 122 IT practitioners, managers, and directors from public- and private-sector small, mid-size, and enterprise companies who participate in the SolarWinds THWACK user community.

Respondents said longer work hours due to stretched teams (29%), more responsibility (28%) and decision-making requirements (28%), and a general increase in job-related stress (22%) were the leading ways in which day-to-day roles evolved in response to the impact of COVID-19.

Still, almost two-thirds (64%) agreed this experience—including changes to their day-to-day tasks—has given them a new sense of confidence in managing unprecedented change.

“What’s particularly encouraging is IT pros’ perception and expectation IT will be included in more business-level decision-making moving forward,” said Rani Johnson, CIO of SolarWinds. “The dedication of IT pros around the world to ensuring business resiliency and continuity over the past several months serves to elevate and empower the IT community to work alongside business leaders to meet bigger organisational goals.”

IT may earn a more prominent voice in the C-suite, as 40% of surveyed IT pros believe they will now be involved in more business-level meetings. Likewise, IT’s role will be up-leveled due to the vast upskilling more than a quarter (26%) of IT pros underwent during this experience. 

With 31% admitting there’s a need to rethink internal processes to better accommodate the rapid change of pace required post-COVID, it’s highly likely a focus on IT pros’ upskilling will continue into the future.

The top skills IT pros reported as the most important for development — systems management (55%); network management (50%); security policy and compliance (43%); and hybrid IT monitoring/management tools and metrics (28%).

Also, 47% said they received the training they needed to learn these new skills; however, a quarter (25%) are still waiting for those training resources to be made available.