Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 10 - Page 44

business ‘‘ TALKING “ //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// THE BEST THING AN ORGANISATION CAN DO TO SUPPORT ITS IT PROS IS TO INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS TO HELP THEM COMBAT DOWNTIME AND ENABLE RESILIENCE. “That's why IT professionals must leverage tools such as data infrastructure automation to ensure the solutions they design, develop, deploy and operate will offer the fastest time to value possible. By eliminating the unnecessary hand-coding traditionally associated with data infrastructure projects for example, IT professionals can save time, lower costs and limit project risk – and in the process, increase their own bandwidth and contributions to the business." to transform workforce productivity and customer experiences by leveraging virtual and augmented reality, remote-controlled robotics, telemedicine and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.” Krautkremer concluded: “IT Pros have always been unsung heroes, but with such significant technology developments on the horizon, it’s time we start singing their praises." New threats and challenges And new technology is not limited to the infrastructure used to store and manage data, but also to how it is moved around. Todd Krautkremer, CMO at Cradlepoint, explained: “The IT Pro’s role is ever- changing, but over the last few years, they have been responsible for enabling huge transformation in the technology domains that comprise modern IT organisations. In today’s hyper-connected enterprise, IT Pros are often responsible for managing a network which extends well beyond the traditional fixed location boundaries and across the public Internet – connecting everything from vehicles, kiosks, sensors, cameras and digital signage. “This expanded scope of connecting people, places and things everywhere means that 4G LTE and soon 5G, has become an essential wide-area network (WAN) infrastructure. To enable more agility, especially for lean IT shops, they are also harnessing the power of software-defined networking (SDN) to accelerate provisioning times, increase availability and create a more intelligent and self-optimising network edge that seamlessly blends wired and wireless connections. “Just around the corner, IT Pros will have another tool in their toolbox – 5G, which promises to deliver gigabit speeds, low latencies and low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. 5G will enable a new generation of business applications poised 44 INTELLIGENTCIO However, against this backdrop of new technology and the stress that this can cause, another factor that became apparent is the rise in threats involving IT. Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, Technology Evangelist, Zerto, explained how these threats can be a cause of stress for IT teams: “IT professionals are under tremendous pressure to ensure that business technology services are protected and available 24/7, regardless of the level of risk. They are charged with maintaining IT resilience in the wake of any disruption. This can be a daunting task, which was reinforced in a recent survey where 93% of IT professionals said their businesses have experienced a tech-related disruption in the last two years. Following these disruptions, organisations reported that in around half of the cases, employees had to work overtime (53% of occasions) and there was a loss of productivity (50% of such instances).” A need for support and recognition The clear theme between all of the leaders opinions was the need for more recognition for IT team members. Zerto’s Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, commented: “The best thing an organisation can do to support its IT pros is to invest in the right tools to help them combat downtime and enable resilience. This means tools that are multi- purpose, easy to use, integrate simply, work across clouds and on-premises, and are constantly fuelled by innovation to meet ever-evolving needs. Tools like this are critical to ensure IT professionals can focus on IT transformation and not have to burn the midnight oil recovering from downtime that could have been prevented.” Gary Watson, CTO and Founder of Nexsan, said: “In today’s technology-driven age, IT professionals are faced with increasing pressure and with supporting technology that can help make their lives easier, such as secure storage, easier management and high-performance, they can focus their time elsewhere. Forward-thinking organisations that take the time to rethink their infrastructure and support IT professionals with their daily role stand in better stead to deal with new IT challenges.” These are challenges felt in both the public and private sector, as Paul Parker, Chief Technologist of Federal and National Government at SolarWinds, explained: “Today’s public sector technology professionals face a tremendous amount of responsibility at work, from strategic technology evaluations and IT modernisation, to the more onerous tasks, such as helpdesk tickets and end-user requests. As a result, they have very little time to dedicate to being Tech PROactive. “However, tech pros are taking the initiative to go above and beyond their responsibilities to explore how new technology can benefit their organisations, with automation, cloud and AI/Machine Learning topping the list of advancements that could solve problems within their IT environments. Additionally, there is a large desire to continue their education, with 44% saying they would focus on developing their IT skillset with one extra hour in the work day.” The pace of change isn’t going to slow any time soon, so as IT professionals bear the strain of making Digital Transformation a reality for a business – in a secure, compliant, flexible way – the onus is on the C-suite and business leaders to provide them with the support and encouragement they need. This support extends across budgets and investments in the right tools and technologies, through to simply recognising the hard work IT professionals do to keep a business always-on. n