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      IT Pros Pick the Household Pets Most Representative of Their Work Styles in New INAP Survey


      Millions of us who have shifted to work from home situations during this challenging time find ourselves adjusting to new “coworkers”—some of whom are of the four-legged variety. Are the personalities of your new office colleagues affecting your work style? Do your pets remind you of any of your actual coworkers?

      It just so happens that INAP polled 500 IT pros to determine which household pets best replicate their on-the-job personas. Respondents were asked to choose their primary from a list of household and exotic pets and corresponding characteristics. Since most people don’t fit perfectly in a box, participants were given the option to select a secondary persona, as well. The results aren’t very scientific but are revealing, nevertheless.

      Pet Personality Types

      It’s easy for those outside of IT to lump the entire profession into one persona. Pop culture tropes are likely to blame. (Thanks, Jimmy Fallon.) But we know, like any discipline, there’s a spectrum.

      Have you ever met a sysadmin whose go-it-alone attitude is suspiciously cat-like? Or a network engineer who is as loyal and enthusiastic as a golden retriever? How about a hot-aisle-loving D.C. tech who can camouflage their emotions with iguana-like deflection?

      Check out the descriptions for the eight pets featured in the survey below and consider where you and your coworkers might fall.

      • Dogs

        IT dogs always appear happy. They thrive off positive feedback and incentives. They are loyal, but oftentimes to a fault.

      • Cats

        IT cats need little direction and prefer to work independently. They often come across as aloof or standoffish, despite a hidden soft side.

      • IGUANAS

        IT iguanas are experts at adapting to whatever the work environment throws at them. However, they often camouflage their true opinions during conflict, making them tough to pin down.

      • Fish

        IT fish are experts at swimming through the backlog. However, they tend to always sleep with their eyes open in anticipation of the next problem at work.

      • TARANTULAS

        IT tarantulas, with eyes on everything, never miss a chance to seize an opportunity at work. They are respected, but often intimidate colleagues and subordinates.

      • PARROTS

        IT parrots are highly intelligent and absorb knowledge fast. But they’re also commonly viewed as arrogant and are prone to occasionally sh***ing all over colleagues.

      • TURTLES

        IT turtles work slow and steady, but often get the job done better than anyone at the office. However, they would rather hide in their shell than engage in a workplace conflict.

      • HEDGEHOGS

        IT hedgehogs work diligently through the night. However, they can become reclusive and prickly if not managed to their liking.

      Results: Pet Personas in the Workplace

      The IT pros participating in the survey reviewed the choices and selected their primary and secondary pet personality types.

      Pet Persona Primary Secondary Table

      Dog took the No. 1 spot, with 34 percent of survey takers choosing it as their primary persona. In fact, 31 pros selected this as their only pet persona. Interestingly, senior IT leaders are 17 percent more likely to be dogs than non-senior leaders. Perhaps that loyal streak took them a long way.

      Optimism also abounds with these IT pros. IT Dogs are 41 percent more likely than IT Cats to think their infrastructure strategy deserves an “A” grade.

      Cat finished second, with 26 percent of IT pros selecting it as a primary persona. With an ability to work independently with little direction, 14 percent of respondents selected cat as their secondary persona, a statistic that might be heartening to managers.

      With dogs and cats ranking as the No. 1 and No. 2 “most popular pets in America,” it shouldn’t be surprising that we identify their traits in ourselves.

      Iguana took the No. 3 spot, with 12 percent of IT professionals identifying with the ability to adapt to whatever their work environments throw at them. That’s a terrific trait to have in an ever-shifting tech landscape where it’s challenging to predict what might come next.

      IT iguanas tied for the most common secondary persona, with 16 percent of respondents selecting it. Interestingly, non-senior IT leaders are 70 percent more likely to be Iguana primaries than senior leaders.

      Fish claimed the No. 4 spot overall, with 9 percent of IT professionals selecting it as their primary persona. And as a secondary persona, fish tied for No. 1 with 16 percent. It was also the most common secondary persona for non-senior IT infrastructure pros. This is good news, as the field needs pros who are experts at swimming through the backlog in order to move forward.

      At No. 5 overall, tarantula was selected as a primary persona by 8 percent of IT pros, and it tied with fish for the No. 1 spot as a secondary persona. With eyes on everything, ready to seize opportunities, Senior IT leaders are twice as likely to be tarantulas than non-senior leaders.

      Parrot claimed the No. 6 spot, with 5 percent of IT pros willing to admit that, at times, and despite their high intelligence, they can have a tendency to s**t all over their colleagues. That’s some high-level introspection and honesty in our book. As secondary personas go, 12 percent of survey takers selected parrot. Parrots are equally likely to be leaders as non-leaders.

      Known for quality work output at a slow and steady pace, turtle was selected as a primary persona by 4 percent of IT professionals, bringing it to the No. 7 spot. Only 6 percent selected turtle as their secondary persona, which ranks 8 out of 8. Interestingly, non-senior leaders were twice as likely to be turtles as non-senior leaders, which begs the question: Is conflict required to lead? Based on these survey results, it seems likely.

      And finally, hedgehog secured the last spot, at No. 8, with 2 percent of IT professionals selecting it as their primary persona. Hedgehog came in 7 out of 8 for secondary personas. These IT third-shifters work diligently through the night.

      Top Animal Persona Pairings

      Below is a breakdown of the top pet persona pairings across the entire sample. The primary persona is listed first in each pairing.

      Pet Persona Pairing Table

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      IT Pros Predict What Infrastructure and Data Centers Will Look Like by 2025


      Predicting the future of tech is astonishingly hard. Human foresight is derailed by a host of cognitive biases that lead us to overreact to an exciting development or completely miss what in hindsight seems obvious (like these tech titans who scoffed at the iPhone’s introduction).

      We still love to try our hands at prognosticating though—especially on trends and issues that hit close to home.

      That’s why INAP surveyed 500 IT leaders and infrastructure managers about the near-term future of their profession and the industry landscape. Participants were asked to agree or disagree with the likelihood of eight predictions becoming reality by 2025.

      The representative survey was conducted in U.S. and Canada among businesses with more than 100 employees and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.

      Check out the results below, as well as some color commentary from INAP’s data center, cloud and network experts.

      By 2025, due to the advancements of AI and machine learning, most common data center and network tasks will be completely automated.

      Prediction 1

      The case for agree.

      “For the most basic of tasks, technology advancements like AI, Machine Learning, workflow management and others are quickly rising to a place of ‘hands off’ for those currently managing these tasks,” said TJ Waldorf, CMO and Head of Inside Sales and Customer Success at INAP. “In five years, we’ll see the pace of these advancements increase and the value seen by IT leaders also increase.”

      The case for disagree.

      It’s difficult to say how many of data center and network advancements will truly be driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning as opposed to already-proven software defined automation. The market for technologies like AIOPs (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) is still nascent, despite rising interest. Regardless of their source, automation developments will benefit infrastructure and operations professionals, according to Waldorf.

      “The reality is that these developments will give them time back to spend more time on business driving, revenue accelerating tasks,” he said. “The more we safely automate, the less risk of human caused errors which top the list of problems in the data center.”

      By 2025, on-premise data centers will be virtually non-existent.

      Prediction 2

      The case for agree.

      Workloads are leaving on-prem data centers for cloud and colocation at an incredible rate. In a study published late last year, we found that infrastructure managers anticipate a 38 percent reduction in on-premise workloads by 2022, driven by a need for greater network performance, application scalability and data center resiliency.

      The case for disagree.

      Interestingly, 48 percent of non-senior infrastructure managers surveyed disagree with the prediction.  INAP’s Josh Williams, Vice President of Channel and Solutions Engineering, thinks this group will likely prove right, despite the current migration trends.

      “Virtually non-existent is a bit of an overstatement,” said Williams. “The majority of workloads are still on prem today and it’s unlikely ‘virtually’ all of them will make it out for a variety of reasons. However, the trend is unmistakable: IT practitioners are abandoning data center management in huge numbers to help their applications perform and scale and allow them to focus on more than just keeping the lights on.”

      By 2025, most applications will be deployed using “serverless” models.

      Prediction 3

      The case for agree.

      The introduction of AWS Lambda in 2014 made waves for its promise of deploying apps without any consideration to resource provisioning or server management. Adoption for serverless is growing, and as Microsoft and Google continue to develop their Amazon alternatives, we can expect more even organizations to test it out.

      The case for disagree.

      Notably, 43 percent of non-senior infrastructure managers disagree with this statement. INAP’s Jennifer Curry, Senior Vice President of Global Cloud Services, agrees with them:

      “Serverless models have compelling use cases for ‘born in the cloud’ apps that have sporadic resource usage,” she said. “The tech, however, has a very long way to go before it’s the environment best suited for most workloads. The economics and performance calculus will favor other IaaS models for the foreseeable future, specifically for steady-state workloads and applications that require visibility for security and compliance.”

      Curry also notes that serverless is still a new and somewhat nebulous term that’s often misused as a synonym for any cloud or IaaS service, which could be skewing the optimism. Most public cloud usage still involves compute and storage services that require time-intensive, hands on monitoring and resource management.

      By 2025, virtually all companies will have a multicloud presence.

      Prediction 4

      The case for agree.

      “We’re already in a multicloud world,” said Curry, noting surveys that suggest wide-spread adoption at the enterprise level. “The more interesting question to me is: How many enterprises have a coherent multicloud strategy? Deploying in multiple environments is easy. Adopting a management and monitoring apparatus that mitigates vulnerabilities, ensures peak performance, and optimizes costs across infrastructure platforms is a challenge many enterprises struggle with.”

      The case for disagree.

      Outside of small businesses (who were not polled in this survey), INAP experts didn’t see a much of case for ‘disagree’ here. A certain percentage of businesses may attempt to achieve efficiencies by going all in on a single platform, but issues with lock-in and performance will likely deter that. Add SaaS platforms to your definition of multicloud, which our experts believe you should, and it’s hard to see anything but a multicloud world by 2025.

      By 2025, due to increasing demands for hyper-low latency service, most enterprises will adopt “edge” networking strategies.

      Prediction 5

      The case for agree.

      “Depending on your definition of edge networking, this prediction is already on its way to being true,” said Williams. “An edge networking strategy is about reaching customers and end-users as quickly as possible. Whether it is achieved through geographically distributed cloud, CDN or network route optimizations, cutting latency will be a pre-requisite for the success of any mission-critical application.”

      The case for disagree.

      Waldorf echoes the notion that most companies will pursue latency-reduction in the coming years but suggests that just like the introduction of cloud in the mid-2000s, a full embrace of “edge” as an established concept may take longer.

      “Edge use cases are still evolving,” he said. “The idea has been around a lot longer, but in the context of today’s IT landscape it’s only recently become something more leaders are starting to research and think about why it matters to them.”

      By 2025, Chief Security Officers or Chief Information Security Officers will be considered the second most important role at most enterprises.

      Prediction 6

      The case for agree.

      Cybersecurity is among the most pressing challenges faced day in, day out, according to IT pros, and this is unlikely to change as attacks grow more intense and unpredictable. CSOs and CISOs are key to staying one step ahead of vulnerabilities and require the authority to make necessary investments.

      The case for disagree.

      “It makes sense IT pros would largely agree with this proposition, as security leaders, along with CIOs, will be responsible for managing extreme amounts of risk critical to revenue,” said Williams. “The issue with this prediction, however, is that the CSO’s role is typically only widely visible when things go very wrong. So it’s unlikely stakeholders internally or externally will view them second to the CEO, whether or not the distinction is deserved.”

      By 2025, IT and product development teams at most companies will be fully integrated.

      Prediction 7

      The case for agree.

      In a 2018 survey, nearly 90 percent of IT infrastructure managers said they want to take a leading role in their company’s digital transformation initiatives. And that makes perfect sense. The success of any digital product or service ultimately depends just as much on its infrastructure performance as its coding, design and marketing. Integrating infrastructure operations with product teams could accelerate that goal.

      The case for disagree.

      Curry thinks integration may be the wrong goal, and that IT can grow its influence within organizations and lead digital transformation through stronger partnerships.

      “IT teams will have more success focusing on alignment with product teams, as opposed to pursuing complex reorganizations,” said Curry. “Senior IT leadership will still need to make a strong case as to why they need to be at the table earlier rather than later in the product development lifecycle. We’re seeing many of our most successful customers achieve alignment, but it’s a process that can take time and patience.”

      By 2025, despite technological development, the IT function will essentially look the same as it did in 2020.

      Prediction 8

      The case for agree.

      New tools and platforms can be implemented without changing the overall function of IT—e.g., infrastructure deployments and application delivery, preventing downtime, supporting end-users, etc.

      The case for disagree.

      With the decline of on-premise data centers and the rise of multicloud and hybrid platforms, the function of IT will inevitably evolve. As IT pros spend less time on routine infrastructure upkeep and maintenance, more time can be allocated to projects that drive innovation and efficiency. In INAP’s recent State of IT Infrastructure Management report, we got a preview of how IT teams would spend that time.

      Ryan Hunt
      • Director of Content & Communications


      Ryan Hunt is the Director of Content & Communications. READ MORE



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      Survey: Monitoring and OS Maintenance are IT Pros Biggest Infrastructure Time Wasters


      If time is considered a finite resource, IT pros are feeling a shortage.

      For INAP’s second annual State of IT Infrastructure Management report, we asked IT professionals to list the routine infrastructure activities taking too much and too little of their time. Once again, monitoring topped the “too much time” list, while designing and implementing new solutions ranked No. 1 in the “not enough time” category.

      Overall, 59 percent of IT pros are frustrated by the time spent on routine infrastructure activities and 84 percent agreed that they “could bring more value to their organization if they spent less time on routine tasks”—up 7 points from 2018.

      The survey was conducted late last year among 500 IT senior leaders and infrastructure managers in the United States and Canada. The margin of error was +/- 5 percent.

      Participants also shared how often their personal time is interrupted and how they would spend their time if they were given 16 hours back to use as they please.

      Check out the results below and download a copy of the full report here.

      How IT Pros Spend (And Don’t Spend) Their Time

      Here’s the full list of routine infrastructure activities alongside IT’s assessment of whether each is getting the attention it deserves.

      IT's Time

      Only 23 percent of participants said they don’t spend enough time monitoring infrastructure, which is less than half the rate of those who consider this routine activity to be something that is eating into time that could be spent elsewhere (48 percent).

      Operating system and hardware maintenance came in second and third, at 42 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

      Nearly half (47 percent) of IT pros want to spend more time on designing and implementing new solutions, compared to 28 percent who already spend too much time.

      IT pros remain polarized, as they were in the 2018 report, as to whether the amount of time spent securing their infrastructure is hitting the mark, with 39 percent saying it’s too much and 42 percent saying it’s not enough. Information security management/vulnerability migration is also the activity where the highest percentage of IT pros went one way or another on the issue, as only 19 percent fell into the “neither” category.

      Senior leaders were far more likely to say they spend too much time on security compared to non-senior infrastructure managers—30 percent vs. 13 percent. They were also more likely to say they don’t focus enough on OS maintenance—20 percent vs 6 percent of non-leaders.

      How IT Pros Would Like to Spend Their Time

      Survey respondents say their personal time is disrupted by work responsibilities related to server and/or cloud infrastructure an average of 6.24 times per month—up slightly from 5.9 times in 2018’s report.

      With so much time—on and off the clock—being dedicated to upkeep and maintenance, we once again asked, “What would you do if we gave you 16 hours back in your week?”

      16 hours

      Application related answers make up three of the top four activities this year, with “enhancing existing applications” and “optimizing existing environments for application performance” coming in third and fourth, respectively. Reclaiming work-life balance fell to second, after claiming the top spot in 2018.

      In the first annual State of IT Infrastructure Management report, IT pros noted that their departments are the key driver of their organization’s digital transformation initiatives, but they are spending too much time on routine tasks, focusing on functions that are “just keeping the lights on.” This sentiment continued in 2019. The list of activities noted in the chart above can be considered the opportunity costs of these routine tasks.

      Have you read checked out our second annual State of IT Infrastructure Management report yet? If not, download a free copy and get your report card for the hybrid IT and multicloud era:

      Laura Vietmeyer


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