IT Pros Don’t Get Much of a Holiday Break

The Grinch doesn't give IT pros holidaysWhile much of the working world basks in the lull between Christmas and New Year’s, most IT professionals keep plugging away, responding to calls for service that increasingly knows no holiday respite.

Nearly half (46 percent) of IT pros say they’ll be on call through the holidays, and about one in three say they’ve experienced a major network outage during past yuletide seasons, according to a new survey from Ipswitch Inc.’s Network Management division.

Respondents to the remote IT management specialist’s survey say the holiday season typically brings its own set of problems.  Fifty-one percent said inability to access the network remotely is the most common problem. Poor application performance accounts for 26 percent of trouble calls, while 17 percent take time away from friends and family to help clients recover forgotten passwords.

More than half of the IT pros surveyed (56 percent) say they’ll be thinking about work even when off the clock this holiday season.

“Even the holidays don’t provide a brief respite for many hardworking IT pros,” said Ennio Carboni, president and general manager in Ipswitch’s Network Management unit. “Networks are like Ebenezer Scrooge — they just don’t care if it’s Christmas. Be sure to thank your hardworking IT pro this holiday season, as they may be giving up downtime with friends and family to make sure your networks have uptime.”

The legion of IT services folks are looking for hope on the horizon, due largely to improvements in remote management technologies, according to Ipswitch, which admittedly has a vested interest in such a finding. According to the survey, the top “New Year’s resolutions” for IT pros going into 2014 include spending less time dealing with network problems (56 percent), increasing IT security measures (33 percent) and improving their ability to handle network problems related to mobility and BYOD initiatives (11 percent).

And what would these IT professionals like most in return for all of their hard work during the holidays? According to a separate Ipswitch survey on IT administrators attitudes, a little love would be nice. Nearly 40 percent of respondents to Ipswitch’s “Red Shirt Survey” say the one thing users could do to IT folks happier is to appreciate their hard work. Another 34 percent top their wish list with getting users to understand their machines before asking for help, and 15 percent asked Santa for users to be transparent about what applications they’ve downloaded on their work machines.

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