How Many Extra Hours a Week Do IT Professionals Work?

Fixing the server network in a data center room.

IT professionals are too often the unsung heroes in an organization. They toil faithfully behind the scenes, largely unnoticed, right up until a critical moment when they’re suddenly – and urgently – needed. When systems go down or a cyber attack is detected, systems administrators, network administrators and their colleagues are in the spotlight and under pressure to resolve the crisis as rapidly as possible.

During such emergencies, IT pros are known to labor for long, stressful hours. But how many extra hours a week do these IT personnel average?

Lieberman Software Corporation set out to answer this question in a survey at the recent Microsoft Ignite show. This event targets IT pros in the Microsoft community. Nearly 140 people were polled, half of whom (50%) work in organizations with more than 5,000 employees.

What the survey revealed, to no great surprise, is that the majority (74%) of IT professionals work unpaid overtime each week. However, 34% reported working an average of more than 15 extra hours a week.

The survey also found that only a Average overtime hours worked by IT staffquarter (26%) of respondents said they usually go home on time. 15% work between 10 and 15 extra hours. And 10% work between 5 and 9 additional hours per week on average.

While the numbers are illuminating, it‘s no secret that IT staff are often overworked and underpaid. So how can we expect them to stay on top of all the cyber security threats attacking their organizations alongside all the other tasks they have, like making sure systems stay up and running? In order to help their IT staff, organizations should invest in automated IT security solutions that save time and are more efficient than manual operations.

This would include technology such as Privileged Identity Management (PIM) which can automate the discovery and rotation of privileged credentials in an enterprise. So rather than spending untold hours attempting to manually track and change these passwords on a regular basis, PIM solutions can quickly handle this critical task in the background. That means more time for IT folks to dedicate to other duties, and hopefully fewer hours of overtime work.

How Do IT Pros Learn to Use New Cyber Security Products?

There was one other interesting tidbit in the survey that may have some relation to the number of average hours a week IT pros work. Respondents were asked how IT security product training statisticsthey are trained to use new IT security products.  35% said they train themselves. Most (52%) are taught how to use the product by the vendor, while 12% are taught by a third-party trainer. In a bit of good news, only 1% said they ignore the product altogether because they don’t have time to learn how to use it.

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