The United States is reaching the one-year anniversary of life under COVID-19 restrictions, and researchers have published study after study about the ongoing impacts on the lives of teachers, healthcare workers, frontline retail workers, women, and the service industry. Now, new research from AppDynamics indicates that the pandemic has been detrimental to in-house IT professionals as well.
IT administrators and engineers have been forced to implement entirely new systems at breakneck speeds. The overall IT strategy for a company operating with remote or hybrid work environments involves an unprecedented level of IT complexity.
Before the pandemic, IT staff worked alongside most of the office, onsite, where they could simply walk over to another workstation to demonstrate a workflow, update settings, or install routine security patches. IT careers before the pandemic ranked on nearly any list for employee satisfaction and career development opportunities. In fact, the Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report found that 72% of IT pros globally were satisfied with their careers in 2019, and 82% of IT pros globally considered their job security extremely good or somewhat good.
At the time of this writing, however, the AppDynamics findings present a very different outlook. A vast majority, 89%, of IT professionals surveyed report feeling under immense pressure at work, 81% report feeling frustrated about work, and 63% of those surveyed report increased levels of conflict with colleagues at work.
Ways to Support IT Staff in 2021
Increase New Training and Development
One of the biggest factors reported in job satisfaction is professional development, according to the Global Knowledge 2019 report. Professional development, it turns out, has more to do with building new skills than raking in promotions and raises. The Global Knowledge Report found that 81% of IT staff listed “build new skills” as their top reason for pursuing career development opportunities. Only 36% reported pursuing development primarily to increase their salary.
With the shift to remote workforce management, it is likely your IT staff has taken on new roles and challenges. There should be no shortage of skills to train on to help them level up. Microsoft offers training modules, learning paths, and even Microsoft certifications for Azure architects, data engineers, DevOps engineers, network administrators, security engineers, solutions architects, and more.
Tier III Managed Services
As Microsoft continues to expand and increase the complexity of its on-premise server products and Azure Cloud, maintaining Tier III engineers as full-time employees can become cost prohibitive. If you have a small IT team in-house, you might find their skills and time are better utilized fielding account-related support requests or providing training on the new Microsoft Teams environment. To ensure your small, hardworking IT team doesn’t burn out from an unrealistic burden of duties, consider signing up for Tier III Managed Services.
Windows Management Experts offers customized Tier III support packages to integrate seamlessly with your in-house team and support request processes. Your line employees won’t even know that their go-to IT pro isn’t the one on the other side of a tricky Azure Active Directory request, while the IT pro can spend their time building out the Microsoft Viva environment with colleagues in human resources.
Speaking of HR, another way you can ease the stress and burnout of your IT department is to provide them with more hands on deck for large deployments or migrations. Utilizing Staff Augmentation allows you to scale a team up or down as needed, and guarantees your contracted staff are truly seasoned experts in their field. That means no more awkward calls to that former employee to come in and help with a project after they already parted ways.
Project Management Services
If you want your IT team to be in the weeds of all the new changes to your server and network security architecture, you can take immense pressure off their shoulders using a Project Management plan to suit the scale of your project. Tiered PMO plans enable your IT department to deliver high-quality projects in a standardized, cost-effective, and visible way. Once the engagement is complete, your IT team is handed the keys with new processes and templates to utilize moving forward.
Businesses and academics alike agree that honoring the wellbeing of employees is fundamental to seeing a business through this global pandemic. While every department contributes something essential to the success of your business, IT professionals are critical to making sense of “the new normal.” Look after the wellbeing of your IT staff, and they’ll be able to better look after your crucial business systems.
Truly successful leaders know when to bootstrap and when to bring in an outside expert. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses and planning accordingly will help you retain employees and jobs through this transition, strengthen your employees’ trust and job satisfaction, and ultimately reduce IT spending.
By working with Windows Management Experts, you’ll have an industry partner and liaison to make sure every project is done right the first time, be it managed services, cloud migration, or managing your team through a new deployment. Contact us today to discuss how we can support your IT team in 2021 and beyond.