The results emerged from a survey of over 150 UK IT professionals, which was conducted in May and June 2013, in an effort to understand the driving forces behind growing network complexity and the corresponding measures IT professionals need to take to develop their skills if they are to remain ahead of the industry.
· Over 80 per cent of IT professionals said network complexity has either somewhat affected or greatly affected their role/responsibilities within the last three to five years
· Respondents indicated that the top factors driving network complexity across technology, IT operations and business operations were:
o Technology – compute virtualisation, smarter/more complex equipment, and video conferencing/telepresence
o IT operations – BYOD, mobility and the distributed workforce
o Business operations – security
‘Over the past few years enterprise networks have become vastly more complex due to the adoption of new technologies as well as changing business practices. The impact of popular new technologies – like compute virtualisation and unified communications – has been dramatic. However, at the same time new business practices have forced network changes – none more so than the growth of more mobile and flexible working,’ said Sanjay Castelino, VP and market leader, SolarWinds.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents surveyed reported that the main measure companies need to take to prepare for growing network complexity is training IT staff – this was comfortably the leading suggestion. However 25 per cent said that budget restrictions are hindering the appropriate training from taking place.
The survey also asked IT Pros to rank the most important skillset needed to combat network complexity today and in five years.
· The network complexity skillsets ranked most important today:
o Nearly one third of IT professionals surveyed said understanding the business is the single most important skillset needed to combat the challenges of network complexity, followed by information security and network engineering.
· The network complexity skillsets needed in five years:
o When IT professionals look five years into the future, the single most important skillset was found to be cloud/SaaS followed closely by understanding of the business and then information security. Notably, mobile applications and device management is also high on the skillset radar.
‘The role of IT professionals is undergoing dramatic change as they not only need to understand an ever expanding number of technologies; they also need an in-depth understanding of the business,’ said Sanjay Castelino.
‘This is exemplified in the skillsets IT pros report as being essential for the business today and in the future. Currently, an understanding of the business is the top priority as it helps them choose the network complexities they need to live with and those they can live without. In the future, the shadow of game changing technologies like the cloud loom large as they transform how enterprise networks are used.’