9 in 10 IT pros now see themselves as business leaders

A new class of technology experts is stepping up to meet critical challenges that are blurring the lines between business strategy and IT operations in the wake of the pandemic, according to the Agents of Transformation 2022 report from Cisco unit AppDynamics.

Conducted by Insight Avenue in April and May 2022, this research entailed interviews with 1,150 IT professionals in organisations with a turnover of at least $500 million except in Colombia(at least $100 million.).

Aside from Colombia, interviewees are based in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

According to the report, 74% believe that their experiences in recent years— particularly during the pandemic—have accelerated their careers, and 88% now consider themselves to be business leaders.

However, just 10% of technology experts have reached the elite status of “Agents of Transformation” — which are top-flight leaders who are reimagining and delivering high-value applications and services that create the always-on, secure, and exceptional user experiences now demanded by end users and customers. 

Respondents cite a fundamental change in the role of technologists, including the skills and resources required to operate effectively and proficiently. 

At the same time, they say they now contend with soaring complexity and volumes of data from across the technology stack and must integrate a massively expanding set of cloud-native services with existing on-premises systems and tools.

Among them, 88% believe that what it means to be a technologist has changed and 84% say the skills and qualities that define an Agent of Transformation have evolved.

Also, 66% indicate that it is now more difficult to be an Agent of Transformation and 75% say their organisation remains stuck in reactive, “fire-fighting mode.” 

“The new Agents of Transformation recognise a need to reimagine applications not just in response to post-pandemic challenges, but also, to create flawless, reliable digital experiences that address some of the world’s greatest problems—from meeting critical human needs to giving people the skills and resources to succeed in the digital economy,” said Liz Centoni, chief strategy officer and GM of Applications at Cisco.

Respondents are looking for unified visibility into their IT environments to better manage and optimise application availability and performance.

Among them, 77% believe it will be important to invest in application security over the next 12 months to meet customer and employee needs, and 71% think their organisation will need to invest in observing cloud-native applications and infrastructure.

Also, 84% say that the need to maintain the performance of business applications is now more important than ever, and 85% state that full stack observability is core to sustainable transformation and innovation in their organisation.