Emerson Network Power has released “The Most Always-On IT Jobs,” a report on the most demanding IT jobs. The report is based on a survey of nearly 800 IT professionals in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States that sought to determine the degree to which they have to be always available, always working at peak capacity and always accurate.
It is expected that technology, like smart phones and websites, will be Always-On and available, 24/7, in this hyper-speed, hyper-connected world. But what about the people who support that technology? Do they have to be Always-On as well? Are some more Always-On than others? These questions inspired Emerson Network Power to survey IT professionals worldwide in search of answers.
Survey respondents confirmed the hunch that IT professionals must be as Always-On as the data center. When asked to describe an aIways-on situation, typical comments included “I have to be on, the same way the system is required to run 24 hours every day,” and “There are strict timelines to finish projects while still working to put out fires.”
“IT is a hugely demanding profession,” said Blake Carlson, vice president of the IT Business Segment, Avocent Products & Services, Emerson Network Power. “They need to be smart, flexible and quick – a lot like the technology they work to support. And, they must be able to handle multiple tasks at once and figure out how to get things done with limited or inadequate resources. In my experience, IT professionals are a breed apart.”
Overall, the Emerson Network Power survey found:
• All IT jobs are highly Always-On, averaging a score of 71 on a 0- to 100-point Always-On scale.
• On average, IT professionals are required to be available to work 119 hours in each 168-hour week.
• In general, the higher level the job, the more Always-On.
Respondents ranked the top 10 most Always-On IT jobs as:
1. Executive Director/Administrator
2. IT Procurement
4. IT Manager/Director
5. IT Operations
6. Data Center Manager
8. IT Security
9. Applications/Software Development
10. Database Management
IT pros in the number one slot have the job titles administrator, leader, department head and director. All survey respondents performing this high-level role agree they work on many projects at once, and that their work requires a high level of intelligence. Only 25 percent agree or strongly agree that success depends on things out of their control. In other words, they are accountable for success, and that translates into taxing job demands. As one director put it, “I must always be available for any emergency, on alert and pushing the limit so we can deliver results to our clients.”
The requirement of continuous availability was common among the group. One respondent summed it up best: “Always there, always there, always there.”
The online survey was conducted during February 2012 with IT professionals selected randomly from a list provided by sample supplier EMI. The sample was balanced and weighted by industry and company size to represent the real population of IT professionals in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Responses were received from 792 individuals representing 17 work roles, 18 industries and businesses of every size.
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