IT workers in Middle East more 'confident' about handling hybrid systems than elsewhere

Rising intricacies as a result of more remote working are a significant challenge, says SolarWinds report

IT teams are facing the rising challenge of providing a robust and secure infrastructure to handle work-from-anywhere requirements. EPA
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Companies' hybrid IT systems, which grew in parallel with the rise of the work-from-anywhere model, are creating challenges for technology professionals, but those in the Middle East are more confident of dealing with them, according to a SolarWinds report.

Overall, the continued expansion of these set-ups is causing a lack of confidence for IT professionals, citing the rising complexity, the lack of proper tools to manage them and increased technology requirements from departments as some of the biggest challenges, the Texas-based IT management solutions provider said in its Getting IT Right report this month.

In the Middle East, however, 24 per cent of respondents said they felt “extremely confident” to handle hybrid IT complexities, compared to the world figure of 16 per cent. More than a third in both categories admitted they were not fully equipped to manage complexity and felt only “somewhat confident”.

Those who “weren't confident at all” in the Middle East was at 10 per cent, higher than the global figure of 6 per cent.

“In managing hybrid IT complexity, tech pros should always consider the size of their organisation because resource needs and capabilities play essential roles in knowing the best direction to take,” Brandon Shopp, vice president for product at SolarWinds, told The National.

“Large organisations are often faced with maintaining and upgrading big legacy tech stacks. Tackling complexity at this scale requires investment, which can run a higher percentage of spending than it would for a small business.”

Hybrid IT is the process of combining in-house and cloud-based services to satisfy an organisation's requirements.

The work-from-home — and, subsequently, work-from-anywhere — model grew during the Covid-19 pandemic, and remains popular. Offering flexibility to employees is also key for companies to attract and retain talent in a post-Covid-19 working environment.

Globally, hybrid work is the most preferred model across all ages, with about 70 per cent of Generation Z, millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers all preferring the flexibility it offered, US technology firm Cisco said in a study last month.

Those who want a fully remote set-up are a distant second at about 20 per cent, it said.

Technology roles are also rapidly increasing, particularly in the UAE, due to companies digitising their processes to enable, among others, flexible working, according to a report from UK-based recruitment firm Michael Page.

In-demand technology roles include front end and full stack developers, heads of software engineering, cloud architects and engineers, and IT project managers, it said.

The SolarWinds report said one in five of those surveyed said the acceleration of hybrid IT has increased the complexity of their organisation’s IT management, with 60 per cent saying inefficient change management processes was the top concern.

This was followed by outdated staff skill sets that are no longer aligned with new technologies (40 per cent), increased technology requirements from multiple departments (40 per cent) and new tools and/or technologies (35 per cent).

“Moving to the cloud could no longer be phased luxuriously for years in the future. It happened overnight, as workers everywhere went remote and were no longer within the office’s four walls,” Mr Shopp said, referring to how the pandemic forced a drastic change in working conditions.

“The move to the cloud, with distributed workforces, and the accelerated adoption of new technologies will invariably lead to a rise in IT complexity, and this is where observability can help organisations manage greater levels of complexity in diverse and distributed environments spanning on-premises, private and public clouds.”

Quote
Moving to the cloud could no longer be phased luxuriously for years in the future. It happened overnight, as workers everywhere went remote and were no longer within the the office’s four walls
Brandon Shopp, vice president for product at SolarWinds

The lack of insight into networks also affects returns on investment, the SolarWinds report showed, with 84 per cent of respondents in the Middle East agreeing that ROI was hit during an IT project they oversaw in the past 12 to 18 months because of increased hybrid IT complexity, compared to the global figure of 75 per cent.

Investing in improving hybrid IT infrastructure is seen to be key in boosting an organisation's overall performance, with 42 per cent of Middle East respondents saying the best solution to manage increased complexity is to adopt IT management tools — almost at par with the 44 per cent global average.

“As organisations look beyond the pandemic, they must re-examine their investments from the past few years,” Sudhakar Ramakrishna, president and chief executive of SolarWinds, said in a statement.

“Part of that requires organisations to have visibility into their IT environments to understand what’s working and not working, and where to prioritise their efforts to achieve the ROI targeted in their planned projects.”

The SolarWinds report was based on a survey from more than 100 technology practitioners, managers, directors and senior executives in the Middle East, and was part of the global study that spanned more than 1,100 respondents across geographies.

Updated: June 21, 2022, 5:30 PM
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