Based on our past research we know that IT leads the tech purchase process, and more individuals are becoming involved throughout the process. Insight from the 2017 State of the Network research shows that one growing influencer is the network professional. As technology evolves, 87% of network professionals agree that their role is becoming more challenging. And why is this? It could have something to do with the fact that 70% also say they are becoming more involved in shaping IT strategy, and this comes at a time of digital disruption where integrating new technologies can be vital for organizational growth. The time has passed when the network team solely manages data centers and infrastructure; their skill sets have expanded with business demands and they are now working with emerging technologies such as network security solutions, architecture tools and cloud services.
In addition to shaping IT strategy, network professionals also seem to have a steady grasp on their organization’s IT budget, which helps them evaluate which technologies to invest in. Forty-seven percent expect their IT budget to increase in 2017, and 41% expect their budget to remain the same. This growth shows that network professionals expect tech advancement in the year to come. To meet business demands, cloud services (69%), network security (55%) and application development (50%) technologies will see an increase in budget this year.
With expanded skill sets and responsibilities, it is not surprising that network professionals report to IT and business leaders. Over one-third (37%) of enterprise network pros (those at organizations with 1,000+ employees) report to IT management and 36% report to business management. In terms of research, adoption and the purchase of technologies, network professionals have responsibility in an average of 6 tech areas including network/systems management, network security and IT operations. You’ll also find network professionals highly involved in determining technical requirements and evaluating products/services. In addition, 82% of network professionals agree that the network team is involved in security initiatives to a greater degree than in the past.
Technology touches everyone and the respondents of this year’s State of the Network are taking a collaborative approach to their tech strategy. On a daily/weekly basis, these individuals are meeting with IT operations, systems administration, IT security and IT services/help desk. This collaboration aligns with the statement that 78% of organizations agree that the network team is becoming more important to IT’s mission.
It is no doubt that these highly skilled individuals are key contributors throughout technology purchase and business decisions. Their authority in emerging technologies and security practices shines across this 2017 research.
To learn more at the network professional, download the State of the Network Executive Summary.