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SolarWinds Survey Reveals 99 Percent of IT Pros Given Opportunity to Provide Business Insight, One-Third Completely Confident Doing So

Today's IT Professionals Must Be Prepared to Not Only Manage an Increasing Array of Technologies, but Also Step Outside Their Traditional Role by Leading Strategic Business Initiatives

AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 01/22/14 -- SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today released the results of its New IT Survey*, which sheds light on the evolving role of the modern IT professional in today's technology-driven business environment. Specifically, the survey results reveal increasing infrastructure complexity has affected the role of nearly all IT professionals, creating the need for new skillsets, including the ability to help companies make informed, strategic business decisions. While most IT professionals are at least some degree confident in their ability to provide such advice, more preparation is needed to feel completely confident.

Click-to-Tweet: Increasing infrastructure complexity driving need for new IT skills and improved business insight: http://bit.ly/1mwl6Bt

"The days of IT's limited impact on business are long gone, replaced by the modern era of almost complete reliance on technology and the incredibly complex infrastructure it brings with it," said Suaad Sait, executive vice president, products and markets, SolarWinds. "Something as simple as an incorrect server configuration can lead to loss of access to cloud-based applications and data, email server outages and ecommerce site shutdowns. These and other IT issues can have tremendous negative impact on productivity and revenue generation. As a result, more businesses are starting to recognize that behind their success are teams of IT heroes that need to be involved in business-level decisions. Likewise, IT professionals need to be prepared to take on this new role."

Fielded in November 2013, the survey yielded responses from 298 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the U.S. and Canada from public and private sector small, mid-size and enterprise companies.

Survey Findings:

Technology's rise in importance as a core business component may have only been outpaced by the complexity it created. This increasing infrastructure complexity has affected the role of nearly all IT professionals.

  • Over half of all IT departments now manage virtualization, mobility, compliance, data analytics, SDN/virtual networks, BYOx, cloud computing and self-service automation
  • Fifty-two percent of respondents said increasing complexity has greatly affected their responsibilities over the past three to five years, and an additional 42 percent said it has somewhat affected their role

Foremost among the results of this evolution, modern IT professionals are now expected and must be prepared to help their companies make informed, strategic business decisions with regard to emerging technologies.

  • Ninety-nine percent of respondents said they are given the opportunity to at least occasionally provide guidance and expertise necessary to help their companies make such decisions
  • While 95 percent of survey-takers said they feel at least somewhat confident in their ability to provide such advice, only one-third of those are completely confident doing so
  • To feel more empowered to provide such advice, slightly more than half of respondents said they need more training in their area(s) of responsibility, and nearly 40 percent said they need a better understanding of their companies' overall business

In addition, this evolution of IT and the increasing infrastructure complexity behind it have also resulted in the need for new technology and IT skillsets to effectively manage networks and systems.

  • More than 50 percent of those surveyed said information security and cloud computing top the list of IT skillsets that will grow in demand over the next three to five years, followed by virtualization
  • Respondents said information security is the IT role that will need to adapt the most to evolving technology over the next three to five years
  • Cloud computing ranked as the most important technology for businesses to invest in today to remain competitive for the next three to five years, followed closely by mobility, virtualization (server or desktop), data analytics and BYOx, respectively

*The survey was conducted from November 12-18, 2013, resulting in 298 survey responses from IT practitioners, managers and directors in the U.S. and Canada from public- and private-sector small, mid-size and enterprise companies. SolarWinds will be releasing additional survey data in the coming weeks on IT professionals in the UK, Australia, Germany and Brazil.

Additional Resources
Blog Post: New IT Survey: The Times They Are a-Changin'
SlideShare: New IT Survey: North America

Connect with SolarWinds

About SolarWinds
SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses. In all of our market areas, our approach is consistent. We focus exclusively on IT pros and strive to eliminate the complexity that they have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. SolarWinds delivers on this commitment with unexpected simplicity through products that are easy to find, buy, use and maintain while providing the power to address any IT management problem on any scale. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our online community, thwack, to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at www.solarwinds.com.

SolarWinds, SolarWinds.com and thwack are registered trademarks of SolarWinds. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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Media Contacts
Jessie Barrett
Phone: 212.331.8426
[email protected]

Aaron Searle
SolarWinds, Inc.
Phone: 385.374.7749
[email protected]

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