Australian Organisations Struggle to Keep Up with Needed IT Skills and Face Increased Complexity in Today’s Hybrid IT Reality, SolarWinds Study Shows

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SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organisation dives deeper into the effects hybrid IT has had on organisations, highlighting that hybrid IT organisations are:

  • Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud
  • Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud
  • Building and expanding cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals
  • Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure

SolarWinds has revealed that Australian organisations are facing an IT skills gap and increased complexity driven by today’s hybrid IT environments, even as they are working build and expand cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals. The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organisation, shows that nearly all (91 percent) Australian organisations have migrated critical applications and infrastructure to the cloud over the past year. However, this transition is increasing the complexity of IT roles, and introducing new challenges such as a lack of visibility between on-premises and cloud infrastructure, as well as the need to develop new skillsets among seasoned IT professionals and those now entering the workforce to keep pace with changing environments.

For instance, the majority (61 percent) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT has required them to acquire new skills, while 12 percent say it has altered their career path. Nearly half (49 percent) also reported their organisations have either hired/reassigned (or plan to) IT personnel for the specific purpose of managing increasingly complex hybrid IT environments. More than half (59 percent) also agreed that an IT skills gap was one of the five biggest challenges of managing cloud and hybrid IT, and 48 percent do not believe IT professionals entering the workforce now are equipped with the right skills to manage hybrid IT environments.

“No job is more affected by ongoing technology disruptions than the role of the IT professional, which is why we explore these dynamics year after year,” said Joe Kim, senior vice president and chief technology officer, SolarWinds. “By creating this portrait of today’s hybrid IT organisation, we get to the heart of the shifts occurring so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these unsung heroes of business. For today’s IT professionals, it’s absolutely critical not only to put the right solutions in place to best manage hybrid IT environments, but to prepare organisations—and themselves—for continued technology advancements, even as we move beyond cloud.”

2017 Key Findings

The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organisation explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals. Key findings show that today’s hybrid IT organisations are:

  1. Moving applications, storage, and databases further into the cloud.
    • In the past 12 months, IT professionals have migrated applications (71 percent), storage (45 percent), and databases (34 percent) to the cloud more than any other areas of IT.
    • By weighted rank, the top three reasons for prioritising these areas of their IT environments for migration were greatest potential for ROI/cost efficiency, availability, and lowest impact, respectively.
  2. Experiencing the cost efficiencies of the cloud.
    • Nearly all (91 percent) organisations have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year, yet nearly three-fifths (59 percent) spend less than 40 percent of their annual IT budgets on cloud technology.
    • One-third (33 percent) of organisations spend 70 percent or more of their annual IT budgets on on-premises (traditional) applications and infrastructure.
    • Over half (54 percent) organisations have received either most or all expected cloud benefits (i.e., cost efficiency, availability, and scalability).
    • Cost efficiency is at times not enough to justify migration to the cloud: 26 percent migrated areas to the cloud that were ultimately brought back on-premises due mostly to security/compliance issues and poor performance.
  3. Building and expanding cloud roles and skillsets for IT professionals.
    • Over three-fifths (61 percent) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT has required them to acquire new skills, while 12 percent say it has altered their career path.
    • Nearly half (49 percent) of organisations have already hired/reassigned IT personnel, or plan to do so, for the specific purpose of managing cloud technologies.
    • The top cloud-related skill IT professionals improved over the past 12 months was monitoring/management tools and metrics (37 percent).
    • Sixty-three percent said an IT staff skills gap was one of the five biggest hybrid IT challenges, while 47 percent said increased workload/responsibilities.
    • Nearly half (48 percent) do not believe that IT professionals entering the workforce now possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments.
  4. Increasing in complexity and lacking visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure.
    • Over half (63 percent) said their organisations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, with the largest percentage using two to three; however,  5 percent use 10 or more.
    • By weighted rank, the number one challenge created by hybrid IT is lack of control/visibility into the performance of cloud-based applications and infrastructure, followed by increased infrastructure complexity and an IT skills gap.

To explore and interact with all of the 2017 findings, please visit the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, a dynamic web experience that presents the study’s findings by region, including charts, graphs, socially shareable elements, and additional insights into the data.

The findings of this year’s Australia report are based on a survey fielded in December 2016, which yielded responses from 128 IT practitioners, managers, and directors in Australia from public and private sector small, mid-size, and enterprise companies whose organisations are leveraging cloud-based services for at least some IT infrastructure. All regions studied in 2017, as reported on the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, were North America, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, with 868 respondents across all geographies combined.

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About SolarWinds
SolarWinds provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide, from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses, managed service providers (MSPs), government agencies, and educational institutions. We are committed to focusing exclusively on IT, MSP, and DevOps professionals, and strive to eliminate the complexity that our customers have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. Regardless of where the IT asset or user sits, SolarWinds delivers products that are easy to find, buy, use, maintain, and scale while providing the power to address key areas of the infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud. This focus and commitment to excellence in end-to-end hybrid IT performance management has established SolarWinds as the worldwide leader in both network management software and MSP solutions, and is driving similar growth across the full spectrum of IT management software. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our THWACK online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at www.solarwinds.com.

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