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How IT professionals keep the tech world functioning

Have you ever considered how much IT professionals do for the tech world to keep itgoing? It could take weeks to list, but not a minute goes by that businesses don’t benefit from their contributions.

This IT Professionals Day (which is today for the uninitiated) five IT experts shared their thoughts on how the role of the IT pro has changed, the current challenges they face, and how to make the most of IT during this age of digital transformation:

Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, technology evangelist, Zerto:

“IT professionals 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 business have experienced a tech-related disruption in the last two years. Organisations reported that in around half of these cases, employees had to work overtime (53% of occasions) and there was a loss of productivity (50% of such instances).

“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.”

Jan van Vliet, VP and GM EMEA, Digital Guardian:

“Modern IT professionals must be aware of the three cornerstones of IT security; people, process and technology. Many automated tools discussed in security strategy are widely available to businesses today, but we still come back to the issue of ensuring that the proper processes are in place and people are provided with the right skill sets and training. Faced with a constantly changing business landscape and changes in staff, it is very difficult for businesses to ensure security processes are well applied and that a strong foundational security culture exists.

“Most organisations already accept that it is not if, but when, they will be breached. This expectation may well reflect the fact that malicious parties are now more likely to extort the victim, or release the data to forums or even the public. Time and the security skills shortage are the enemies in this situation and they make it hard to ensure the three cornerstones are kept current and relevant.”

Alan Conboy, office of the CTO, Scale Computing:

“Whether it’s the IT team or a solo expert, each IT professional spends their day working tirelessly to protect their organisation from downtime, server failures, upgrade issues and capacity problems to name a few. Their role means the rest of the organisation doesn’t even need to think about the business IT infrastructure at all.

We are all guilty of not always remembering to thank the IT team for the work they do, and instead, more often than not, only recognising them when a problem arises. Today we should all take the time to appreciate the IT professionals around us, and thank them for the time they spend making sure our working day is not impacted by IT challenges.”

Neil Barton, CTO, WhereScape:

“IT is critical to an organisation’s ability to compete in our fast paced, tech-centred world. Every day IT professionals face the daunting task of ensuring IT infrastructure is primed and ready to deliver crucial and timely business insight. As companies require more frequent updates to their data infrastructure to match business needs and capitalise on emerging technologies, the role and organisational impact of the IT professional continues to expand.

“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.”

Stephen Gailey, solutions architect, Exabeam:

“No challenge is higher up the enterprise IT agenda than security. The IT Pros tasked with ensuring security in a modern enterprise require a Sherlock Holmes-esque persona – sifting through a slew of false positives and negatives that are part and parcel of the modern security environment.

“Thousands of logs are created every day and some are much more dangerous than others. To the untrained eye, each individual log may seem fine. As the Consulting Detective once said, there is a clear distinction between seeing and observing. It’s only when all of this activity is linked together that the real picture begins to emerge.

“It takes a truly skilled eye and the latest technology to detect a real threat as it forms amidst the clouds of uncertainty. IT pros know there are hundreds of adversaries out there, but with so many distractions, spotting the real threats takes skill: ‘The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance observes.’”

It’s hard to overstate the role IT pros play in keeping businesses running across a broad range of remits including security, data processing and digital transformation. Hats off to all IT pros this IT Pro Day!

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