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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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      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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      Survey: The Top Challenges Facing IT Departments in 2020


      There will be no shortage of strategic challenges confronting IT leaders and infrastructure managers in 2020, but one issue rises above the pack: Migrating applications to the cloud. That’s according to new survey data published this week by INAP at Gartner’s IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference in Las Vegas.

      This is the second year INAP asked 500 IT professionals with cloud, server or data center management responsibilities to select their top three challenges from a list of perennial issues.

      The results showcase a reshuffling of the leading challenges, with cloud migrations supplanting 2019’s No. 1 answer—“protecting the organization from cyberattacks”—for the top spot in 2020. Take a look at the full list here and read on for analysis and commentary from INAP experts.

      Top Challenges
      Click to view full-size image.

      “Migrating applications to the cloud” sits six points above the rest of the list, and “adopting and/or managing a multicloud strategy” will be a top challenge for 28 percent, tying for third. A simple look at market trends may explain why, according to Jennifer Curry, senior vice president of Global Cloud Services at INAP.

      Overcoming Cloud Adoption Challenges

      “We shouldn’t be surprised by the survey given the current forecasts around growth in the public cloud services market and infrastructure as a service spending,” said Curry, pointing to 12.6 percent CAGR and 27.5 percent CAGR in those respective areas between 2018-2022. “Cloud and IaaS are becoming easier to consume with container-based solutions and more applications that are born in the cloud or are cloud-ready. This also makes it easier to put your workloads in the environment where they work best – businesses don’t have to subscribe to an all-in or all-out strategy.”

      But that doesn’t mean making the journey to the cloud is without its hurdles.

      “Cost overruns are the biggest consequences of migrations gone awry,” said Curry. “Delays caused by application performance issues, downtime caused by botched migrations, unexpected security and compliance issues—all of these issues cost money.”

      Once new cloud environments come online, the work is far from over, as each need to be monitored and optimized on an ongoing basis. The key to overcoming all of these challenges is a mix of people and prep work, according Curry.

      “Ensure you have all the right skills inside of your organization or the right third-party partners to get the most value out of your multicloud strategy,” she said. “It’s also critical to understand where all of your workloads belong and what your true goals are. Is it to move everything off premise in a lift and shift, or is the real goal to optimize and transform with a combination of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS? Being able to define the business value is key to designing the multicloud environment.”

      Cybersecurity Challenges Still Paramount

      Although it dropped five points from last year’s poll, protecting against cyberattacks is the only other challenge selected by greater than 30 percent of IT leaders and infrastructure managers.

      “Cyber attacks are no longer just system or nuisance attacks,” said Jeff Atkinson, Chief Information Officer of INAP. “They’ve gotten much more sophisticated and, in some ways, easier for perpetrators to conduct. This has opened up a much larger world of potential threats and targets—putting organizations of all shapes and sizes in the crosshairs. Given that almost all industries are reliant on some form of digital footprint, it has to be a primary concern to the business and by extension, IT.”

      Most IT Pros Agree Budget Shouldn’t Be an Issue in 2020

      Budget or headcount constraints is a challenge for 24 percent of IT pros, dropping slightly from 26 percent last year. Separately, respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the following statement:

      IT Budget

      Despite a strong majority agreeing that IT budgets will be in a good spot for 2020, the confidence waned slightly for non-senior leaders. Of this group, 1 in 4 disagreed with the statement and only 14% strongly feel their budget will be optimal.  

      Biggest Movers: Skills Shortage Concerns Mount; Disaster Recovery Challenges Wane

      The biggest movers in this year’s list of challenges are “skills shortages hindering key initiatives” (+7) and “adopting and/or implementing a disaster recovery or business continuity strategy” (-7).

      While disaster recovery may simply be less of roadblock as more economically viable and cloud-enabled replication solutions gain popularity, skills shortages in specialty areas may be an issue to watch due to the growing scope of the IT function, according to Atkinson.

      “Every company has some need for IT talent and thus are all competing for the same people,” he said. “This challenge is increased if the skills needed are specialized. Because of this, the IT industry will continue to move to outsourced solutions, allowing companies to put more toward attracting and retaining the specialized talent needed.”

      About the Data

      The data reflected in this report was derived from a survey of 508 IT professionals with data center, server and cloud infrastructure responsibilities who work at businesses and enterprises in the United States and Canada with greater than 100 employees. The survey, commissioned by INAP and facilitated by Precision Sample, was conducted in October 2019. The margin of error is ±5 percent at the 90 percent confidence level.

      Ryan Hunt
      • Director of Content & Communications


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



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