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Thank You, IT Pros

Level 17

They work in mystery, toiling away at all hours. Nobody ever sees them working, but many are happy with the results. And if anyone tries to reproduce their work, they end up disappointed. No, I’m not talking about the Keebler® Elves, although I suppose there are some similarities between these two groups of workers. Both are overworked, underpaid, and no one understands how they do their job so well.

I am talking about IT professionals, the unsung heroes of modern corporate enterprises around the globe. Except they are no longer unsung because back in 2015, SolarWinds created IT Pro Day! Created by IT professionals for IT professionals, IT Pro Day happens on the third Tuesday of September each year. IT Pro Day serves as a great reminder about all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Here’s some data for you to think about this IT Pro Day:

  • IT pros spend 65% of their time managing IT and IT-related services
  • Nearly half of that time (47%) is dedicated to resolving technology issues for senior executives/chief officers

Let that sink in for a minute. Most of our time is spent catering to executives. You would think that the executives would appreciate all this effort, right? Maybe not:

  • 61% of IT pros are concerned about job security, with almost half (42%) suggesting the key reason is that company leadership does not understand the importance of IT

Okay, so maybe the executives appreciate the effort, but IT pros don’t believe that the executives understand the importance of IT. Which only seems odd when you find out everyone else does understand the importance:

  • 63% of end-users agree that IT has a greater impact on their daily work lives than the executives in the corner office

I’ve always thought most executives started out as regular employees. I guess I was wrong, because if that were true, then the above numbers would be different. And so would this one:

  • 91% of IT pros surveyed work overtime hours, and of those, 57% do so with no compensation for working overtime

Lots of overtime, for people who don’t understand the importance of quality IT staff. Overworked. Underpaid. And no one can explain what it is they do for work. But we are dedicated to making things better for others:

  • 25% of IT professionals agree that half of the time, end-users who try to solve their own IT problems ultimately make things worse

Okay, so making things better for others also makes things better for us. But IT pros aren’t just looking out for the people (or themselves). They’re also looking out for the business:

  • 89% of IT professionals most fear a security breach

Somehow, all this data makes sense to me. I understand each data point because I have lived each data point. I am an IT pro, and damn proud to say that to anyone who cares to listen. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll say it even to people who don’t care to listen.

IT pros don’t do this for money. We aren’t interested in that. (But it’s nice, don’t get me wrong, and here’s hoping someone in the corner office on the fourth floor sends me bacon for Christmas this year.) We truly love what we do for work:

  • 94% of IT pros say they love what they do

Here’s to you, IT pro. Enjoy your day. Walk with your head held high. Smile a few seconds longer when an executive asks you to fix their kid’s iPad®.

You’ve earned this day, and many more.

Thank you.

bacon.png

29 Comments
Level 14

Thank you sir! Your post sums it all up very nicely!!!

Level 15

Awesome summation and I show my pride in being in IT as I have now for 34 years.  Lots of changes but the underlying passion is to solve the problem.  Kudos to you and to all of us who claim to be IT Professionals.

Level 13

unsung heroes... for sure

MVP
MVP

Super Cool.........................

It's challenging to imagine what would happen to the world if IT Pros suddenly were unavailable.

Better still, imagine societies that didn't evolve to use Information Technology at all.  I can't.  Even making charcoal marks on a rock (to count, to mark a direction or a path, etc.) is implementing a (primitive) technology for informational purposes.

Maybe imagine something in between--an agrarian or hunter-gatherer society.  Could they grow in population, feed their needs, manage disease and predators--without some kind of ever-increasing IT solution?

Level 15

Here's how users would react with no IT Pros....

itcrowd.gif

Naw, they'd do this;

Patrick-Spongebob-Freak-Out-Run-In-Circles.gif

MVP
MVP

Nice one rschroeder

Level 15

Is it me or did those old bud light "real men of genius" commercials come to mind....

realmenof.jpg

Level 21

I have found that you have put me in a very interesting situation; I am blown away by these numbers but at the same time I shouldn't be because I live this every day.  Thanks for sharing, this is some really cool data to see!

Level 12

Thank you sqlrockstar​ you really rocked this

MVP
MVP

Nice post with interesting statistics.

Level 17

Thanks!

Level 17

Thank you!

Level 17

Thanks! I like to bring the data when I can.

Level 12

Thank you,

pastedImage_0.png

Our former CIO used to call up the Network Analysts at 2 a.m. to demand his Internet speeds be increased.  This was in 2003, and we'd given him his own T1 between his home and work, and he was angry that his first-person-sh00ter game's latency time to a gaming site in St. Louis was higher than that of other gamers, who were defeating him simply because they were hundreds of miles closer to the server.

He believed this was a network emergency worth spoiling multiple IS staffers' sleep over.

"Appreciated" somehow never was part of that conversation, but I salute all who work with similar administrators who have a skewed sense of importance.

Keep on keeping on!

Level 20

And of course bacon!

Level 13

Owner wanted a dedicated hot spot for his new Tesla.

Level 20

lolol!

MVP
MVP

Level 12

Thank you

Level 13

Thanks.

Level 15

Thanks for the write up.

The Thwack store could use some bacon related goods.

Bacon socks for your little piggies?

Level 12

It's very easy to imagine what would happen. When I get really frustrated with users I sometimes wish every IT person in North America would take their lunch break at exactly the same time (adjusted for time zone so we're all gone at once) and leave our cell phones in the office. Of course people would just get upset at us instead of accepting how important we really are to the success of the businesses we work at.

MVP
MVP

Great writeup!! I too have lived all of them. These days though, I do very little for execs.And after getting made redundant last year, I no longer fear about loosing my job Been there done that.

Level 12

Love the post.

What's the stats source?

Level 12

So very true

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.