Networking staff to become generalists by 2020 as enterprises seek multi-disciplinary IT teams for innovation, says Teneo research

Networking staff to become generalists by 2020

Theale, UK and Dulles, VA, USA, April 8, 2019Nearly three-quarters (72%) of US & UK enterprises think that specialist networking professionals won’t be needed by 2020 and these personnel will be retrained for non-network-focused roles, says a survey of senior IT professionals by Teneo, the Specialist Integrator of Next-Generation technology.¹

The research, which questioned 200 US enterprises and 100 in the UK, found that as virtualized network infrastructures and complex cloud operations become commonplace, large companies are increasingly using business-oriented IT teams that carry out a whole host of IT and business system optimization strategies.

The trend is clear on both sides of the Atlantic: 73% of US interviewees think that networking teams with specialist know-how will no longer be required by 2020, with 72% of UK respondents agreeing with this view.

This ‘multi-disciplinary IT’ finding aligns with recent global research showing that the most sought-after skills for large enterprises are cloud, cyber security, virtualization, networking, Internet of Things and AI.²

Teneo’s survey also suggests that, since optimizing corporate IT assets and networks is becoming a more complicated task, IT teams are using a host of software-based monitoring tools and outside support services to get the job done.

Researchers found that companies’ biggest drain on resources and budget when trying to maintain their networking teams’ skills, is the sheer number of infrastructure monitoring software tools that these teams use – an issue mentioned by almost half (48%) of interviewees.

This ‘keeping up with monitoring products’ dilemma is troubling enterprises’ IT vice-presidents appreciably more than traditional networking issues such as monitoring workloads (cited by only 30% of interviewees), having adequate budgets for training their networking teams (29%), and needing to bring in additional networking personnel (27%).

Marc Sollars, CTO at Teneo, says: “Our survey found that networking infrastructure, cloud and cybersecurity roles are converging. Today’s networking professionals will become tomorrow’s ‘generalists’, carrying out a range of networking, cloud and security optimization roles – rather than remaining as the technical specialists.

“CIOs are becoming adept at optimizing complex network and cloud infrastructures, monitoring tools, security analytics and business systems to address their customers’ and end users’ heightened expectations. But the price of this drive for flexible innovation is being paid by networking professionals who are being subsumed into multi-disciplinary and business outcome-focused IT teams as never before.”


¹ The survey was conducted for Teneo by Vanson Bourne and questioned senior IT executives at 200 enterprises in the US and 100 in the UK.

² Global Knowledge’s 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report found that the most sought-after skills were cloud, cyber security, virtualization, networking, Internet of Things and AI. IT security/ cyber security skills are the most sought-after in big organisations according to Spiceworks’ annual State of IT report for 2019.


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