Celebrating those who code, wire, protect and analyze
This week is National Coding Week and today marks National IT Professionals Day, the perfect time to recognize the challenges IT professionals face, the critical work they do, and their impact on modern organizations.
IT pros: The life blood of every organization
IT professionals of all stripes are being celebrated today for the critical role they play in every organization, as part of National IT Professionals Day. Despite its importance, the work that IT professionals do is often invisible to most users in the organization. On this occasion, Information Management gathered the thoughts of several IT leaders and technology experts on the debt of gratitude that all organizations owe these unsung heroes.
Staying one step ahead of the organization
“IT is critical to an organization's ability to compete in our fast paced, tech-centered 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 capitalize on emerging technologies, the role and organizational 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.”
- Neil Barton, CTO, WhereScape
Ensuring that systems are safe, sound and on always
"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 IT Professionals Day the best thing an organization 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 fueled by innovation to meet ever evolving needs."
- Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, technology evangelist, Zerto
Bringing a skilled eye to the security role
“No challenge is higher up the enterprise IT agenda than security. Security alerts are constantly being generated and the vast majority are little more than distractions and red herrings. It’s the IT Pro’s job to identify the real threats. It takes a truly skilled eye and the latest technology to detect a real threat as it forms amidst the clouds of uncertainty. In today’s business environment, IT Pros have their work cut out. They 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.”
- Stephen Gailey, solutions architect, Exabeam
Finding new efficiencies, cost savings and revenue sources
"IT professionals are crucial when it comes to innovation and technology, but their importance is often overlooked. For many of us we only encounter their services when IT is going wrong, but the reality is that every day they work fiercely to protect infrastructure, keep services running, and drive forwards with new and efficient ways to work. IT professionals need the correct tools in place in order to keep operations running smoothly, and forward-thinking organizations 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.”
- Gary Watson, CTO and founder, Nexsan
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Driven by the desire to have a real impact
“Job fatigue and stress can unfortunately be a common aspect of daily life for IT professionals, especially within the security industry where the pace of global cybercrime continues to grow and the demand is outpacing the supply of IT professionals. Many IT professionals desire to have a real impact on the world, becoming emotionally invested in their jobs, which consequently adds to stress levels. As a result, burnout is a real phenomenon among IT professionals, especially in security and software development. IT professionals can combat this dilemma and achieve a work-life balance through a variety of strategies: 1. Food, exercise and sleep; 2. Collaboration and delegate; 3. New hobbies.”
- Eric Sheridan, chief scientist, WhiteHat Security
The best tech is often invisible tech
“There are many functions within a business whose value can fall under the radar, and this is particularly true of the IT professional. Whether it’s the IT team or a solo expert, each IT professional spends their day working tirelessly to protect their organization from downtime, server failures, upgrade issues and capacity problems to name a few. Their role means the rest of the organization doesn’t even need to think about the business IT infrastructure at all. So today, on IT Professional’s Day, 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."
- Alan Conboy, office of the CTO, Scale Computing
Unsung heroes whose time for praise is due
“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 organizations. 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-optimizing 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 to transform workforce productivity and customer experiences by leveraging virtual and augmented reality, remote-controlled robotics, telemedicine, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.”
- Todd Krautkremer, CMO, Cradlepoint
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Tackling heroic tasks despite enormous burdens
“Sinequa regularly witnesses IT professionals accomplishing heroic tasks despite the immense cognitive burden they often face in their profession. By ‘cognitive burden’ I am referring to the extra thought and effort required to evaluate unclear options and make optimal decisions. In other words, when we load our minds with confusing choices and ambiguous terminology, we impose a cognitive burden. It's important to alleviate the cognitive burden for IT professionals, to the extent made possible by modern technology. In honor of National IT Professionals Day, we salute IT professionals across the country for their focus and dedication to the mission of their respective organizations.”
- Scott Parker, director of product marketing, Sinequa
The critical cog in the works of every organization
“From migrating your IT infrastructure to a new environment to implementing a comprehensive IT resilience strategy, IT professionals are behind the scenes, ensuring that networks are secure, up-to-date and efficient. In the modern world, it is clear that IT is increasingly essential to businesses in just about every industry. On National IT Professionals Day, it’s important to take a moment to thank technology professionals for their hard work, dedication and commitment to keeping the technology and IT infrastructure powering businesses running smoothly.”
- Derrin Rummelt, director of cloud engineering, US Signal
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Drivers of innovation and business success
“The ability to code is essential in today’s job market, especially in a world where one-size-fits-all IT infrastructure solutions seldom satisfy companies' unique business requirements. In the workplace, developers have the skillset to empower hybrid IT strategies, creating a diverse mix of IT environments and technologies through their code. During National Coding Week, it’s important to recognize the vitality of learning to code, and the valuable impact that coding has on fast-changing businesses. Coding is powerful, and in the future, it will continue to push our digital world to new levels of innovation.”
- Matt VanderZwaag, director of product development, US Signal
Creators of the building blocks for business processes
“Today, software drives business. So, if an organization wants to excel, it needs to become a software-powered juggernaut. To achieve this, companies can gain a competitive advantage by the speed, quality and efficiency of software releases. But it can’t be done without skilled development teams that are supported by strong and fluent coders. Code creates the foundation that developers build upon and create with; without it there’d be no structure. When I think of the basic skills any organization­–from startup to large enterprise–must have within its ranks, it’s the ability to write code that meets rapidly-changing software needs with speed and at scale. Coding is its own language but it’s no longer just the language of tech, it’s a language of all business.”
- Bob Davis, CMO, Plutora
Coding skills are critical now, and even more so in the future
"Employees with coding skills are now essential personnel in the modern enterprise. Good coders have a unique skillset. Yes, they’re technical, but they are also creative, innovative and incredibly good problem solvers. The demand for coding skills is already high, but this is only going to increase over the next few years. We’re at the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies are transforming the way we process and analyze data, offering incredible insight to inform sales and marketing, network security, and even product design. We need more people with the skills to manage these evolving technologies. National Coding Week is a great platform to highlight the importance of coding education; more should be done to help students – as well as those already in the workplace – learn and develop these high-priority skills.”
- Tim Matthews, CMO, Exabeam
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Coders are at the forefront of AL technologies
“The last two decades have been shaped by pervasive connectivity, the internet, and Web 2.0 technologies. We are now entering a new epoch driven by big data, semantic computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and 5G. So, what does this all mean for coders? First, software developers need to be bigger continuous learners than ever before as these new technologies bring with them new programming paradigms, new open source ecosystems and new tools. Secondly, data, algorithms, neural networks and natural language processing are becoming deeply intertwined in code, requiring more end-to-end systems knowledge than ever before. For those seeking a career in technology, the need for data scientists will continue to outstrip demand as the world is currently generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day.”
- Todd Krautkremer, CMO, Cradlepoint
Companies must act to reduce greatest challenge facing security pros: burnout
“As the pace of global cybercrime continues to grow, the demand is outpacing the supply of security professionals who can help combat the ever-increasing threat. With the problematic shortage in security, organizations are consistently operating understaffed, and team members don’t have time to train for advanced skills like security analytics. This forces more experienced team members to pick up slack, adding to job fatigue and stress. Moreover, many security professionals desire to have a real impact on the world, becoming emotionally invested in their jobs, which consequently adds to stress levels. As a result, burnout is a real phenomenon in security and software development.”
- Eric Sheridan, chief scientist, WhiteHat Security