SolarWinds has announced the findings of its Little-Known Facts survey. The results reveal that IT professionals tend to go above and beyond the scope of their core responsibilities as the changing business landscape demands more of their attention, both inside and outside of the office. The survey supports IT Professionals Day, which is observed the third Tuesday of every September (September 19, 2017), to emphasize the need for greater appreciation for IT professionals and the critical role they play in modern business and the lives of nearly all technology endusers.

“Without a doubt, today’s IT professionals are the backbone of the modern enterprise,” said Joseph Kim, executive vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds. “This year, to celebrate the third annual IT Professionals Day, we wanted to draw attention not only to the data center’s growing complexity and enduser demands that IT professionals must manage, but more personal facts, like their favorite social media platforms and how they feel about endusers. By understanding and knowing our own IT professionals, we can better appreciate them.”

Key Findings

SolarWinds’ Little-Known Facts survey provides a glimpse into the often-overlooked aspects of IT pros and the jobs they do, ultimately allowing us to better understand, and in turn, appreciate them. IT professionals:

  • Extend beyond the call of duty to solve enduser and business problems

  • IT pros spend just over two-thirds of their time (65%) actually managing IT and IT-related services. What are they doing with the rest?

  • Educating business leaders and endusers about IT/technology (18%)

  • Fixing office equipment that is NOT related to IT (9%)

  • Performing admin duties unrelated to IT (8%)

Dedicate most of their problem-solving to senior executives

  • Of the 65% of time IT professionals spend on core responsibilities, nearly half of that time (47%) is dedicated to resolving technology issues from senior executives/chief officers.

  • Rounding out the top three users who take most of IT’s time, 43% list finance/accounting/procurement as having the most technology issues that require an IT pro to solve, followed by sales/business development personnel at 39%

  • Marketing and PR required the least support, at 7%

At times communicate more with technology than humans

  • In any given week, nearly one-third of IT pros surveyed spend more time communicating with their IT monitoring systems than the people close to them: 30% say they receive more texts from their IT monitoring systems (for example, system alerts) each week than they do from their friends/family/loved ones.

Want to connect on social media

  • LinkedIn® is the preferred method to network and connect with peers, according to 57% of IT pros surveyed.

  • Nearly half of all IT professionals (45%) use Facebook® as their preferred social media platform, followed by Twitter® (29%) and Instagram® (9%). Just 3%, however, feel compelled to share face-filtered selfies on Snapchat®.

Don’t fear the machine

Despite industry hype that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are threatening their jobs, keeping their organizations secure is IT pros’ greatest concern: 89% of IT professionals most fear a security breach. Just 9% fear AI will take their jobs, a finding that is echoed by a recent McKinsey report on AI’s nuances.

Want you to ask for help

  • One-fourth of IT professionals agree that half of the time, endusers who try to solve their own IT problems ultimately make things worse.

Chronically overwork, but still love being an IT professional

  • Ninety-one percent of IT pros surveyed work overtime hours — and of those, 57% do so with no compensation for working overtime

  • Over half of IT pros work at least 10 overtime hours per month, and one in five IT pros works 20 or more overtime hours per month

  • Of the 44% who do receive compensation for working overtime, the majority receive something other than monetary compensation, such as comp days

  • Ninety-four percent of IT pros surveyed enjoy being an IT pro, and over half of all IT pros love what they do

“In 2016, we found that IT is everywhere, and end-users were expanding IT beyond the traditional four walls of their organizations,” Kim added. “This required IT professionals to adopt an ‘always-on’ mentality; this year’s key findings highlight that the trend continues, with IT pros performing their core IT responsibilities, in addition to dedicating time to educate endusers and business leaders, problem-solving for senior executives, and keeping their organizations secure from the threat of security breaches. In recognition of IT professionals everywhere, we are thrilled to be celebrating the third annual IT Professionals Day and spotlighting the hard work they do to keep businesses running smoothly.”

Fielded in July 2017, the survey was conducted by C. White Consulting on behalf of SolarWinds and yielded responses from 161 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in the U.S. and Canada. Full survey results are available here.

Girls in Tech

In honor of IT Pro Day, SolarWinds is proudly donating to Girls in Tech in support of their inspiring vision. 

Girls in Tech (GIT) is a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of girls and women who are passionate about technology. With headquarters in San Francisco, and more than 50,000 members around the globe, GIT aims to accelerate the growth of women entering high-tech careers and provide a support framework for successful startups and advancement in STEM fields.

“Girls in Tech is utilizing the power of technology to bring women together to shape their future and democratize the world,” said Rani Johnson, CIO, SolarWinds. “SolarWinds is proud to support the vision of Girls in Tech with a donation to help further their mission. Technology has become more complex than ever, impacting both IT professionals and end users in a variety of ways, and we’re thrilled to contribute to GIT to facilitate learning and skills building within the STEM fields.”

IT Professionals Day

IT Professionals Day is designed to annually celebrate all IT professionals regardless of discipline. Whereas holidays such as System Administrator Appreciation Day do well at recognizing one category of the profession, IT Professionals Day honors not only system administrators, but network engineers, database administrators, information security professionals, developers, IT support technicians, and all other professionals serving in IT-related roles.

Please visit to learn more.