What skills do IT pros need now, and what skills will be required in the future to tame complex networks? Channel pros explain.
By Cecilia Galvin
July 31, 2013
Pop quiz: What do virtualization, software-defined networking (SDN), BYOD, mobility, and security have in common? According to a recent survey by marketing and research firm C White Consulting on behalf of SolarWinds, an Austin, Texas-based IT management software provider, they are the biggest drivers of network complexity during the past three to five years.
When asked what skills are needed today to meet the challenges of a complex network, more than a quarter of IT pros in the survey group say understanding the business, followed closely by network engineering and information security. Interestingly, survey respondents rank cloud expertise as the seventh most important skill set needed to overcome network complexity issues.
What a difference five years make. When asked about the skill sets that will be required five years from today, respondents put the highest emphasis on information security, moving it up from third place. Understanding the business dropped to second place and, perhaps not surprisingly, cloud jumped from number seven into the third place slot.
“Just as networks become more dynamic, so does the role of the IT professional,” says Sanjay Castelino, vice president and market leader at SolarWinds. “Wide-ranging network complexity drivers like BYOD, mobility, and security are making a real impact on how IT pros manage their environments, suggesting that the IT pro with the broadest, most comprehensive set of skills will be better equipped than an IT specialist to tackle growing network complexity.”
The survey of 225 IT professionals in the United States and Canada was conducted in May 2013 to try to better understand both the influences on growing network complexity and determine the skills IT pros need to stay competitive.