IT trends 2024: industry report

What’s inside our IT industry analysis

We surveyed 2,000+ IT professionals to explore the current IT trends shaping their evolving roles and departments. This includes insights into reporting structure, top strategies, time management practices, and ongoing challenges.

Our IT industry analysis reveals a dynamic landscape of IT trends, marked by growing demand amid talent shortages, resource limitations, and tool sprawl.

The data we’ve collected from both managed service providers and internal IT departments clearly indicate three main insights:

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The IT Trends 2024: Industry Report highlights the increasing importance of automation in the field. This trend is driven by persistent talent shortages, resource constraints, and the complexity of managing numerous tools. Automation is emerging as a critical solution for enhancing end-user experiences and bridging the gap in both managed service providers and internal IT departments.

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Additionally, our IT industry analysis shows a notable gap between the perceptions of C-suite executives and the experiences of IT technicians, particularly in terms of confidence in network tools and daily operational tasks. While executives report a higher level of confidence and execution of tasks like daily configuration changes, technicians face significant challenges in keeping up with these demands, revealing a disconnect that needs addressing.

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Our year-over-year data shows a 24% increase in investments in network automation, making it the most significant area of growth for 2024. Despite an overall increase in IT budgets, staffing has overtaken budget constraints as the primary challenge this year. This shift suggests that even with more financial resources, the IT sector still struggles with acquiring and retaining the necessary talent to manage expanding responsibilities, including the surge in the use of SaaS applications.

Find out exactly what’s happening in your industry.

16% of internal IT departments spend 20+ hours a week resolving end-user requests.

64% spend between 10 and 20 hours a week on these reactive tasks (72% for healthcare IT). Both stats represent a huge drain on resources and one of the reasons why IT departments are struggling to prioritize more proactive planning.

If you work in government, you’re looking at 20+. Regardless of industry, this statistic underscores a critical IT trend: the challenge of tool sprawl, especially considering there are platforms specifically designed to reduce the number of tools and centralize efforts.

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C-suite respondents are nearly 4x more likely to report making daily configuration changes compared to technicians.

Executives are also more likely to report daily config backups (36%) than technicians (20%). Either leadership is not aware of the work going into configuration, or technicians are simply so time-strapped that they struggle to meet company policy in this area.

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C-suite executives are nearly 2x as confident as IT technicians in the effectiveness of their network tools for supporting a remote or hybrid workforce.

Of those who support remote workers, 58% of C-suite respondents said they strongly agree their network toolset is prepared to meet the needs of this remote/hybrid workforce, versus 35% of IT technicians. This is one of many data points that suggests a gap between what management perceives and actual difficulties faced in the field.

Only ½ of respondents indicated their company engaged in network planning.

While this may seem like a less significant task if your network has been consistent for a while, network planning can involve important security tasks like making time for hardware patches and replacements, or updates needed to support new technology.

There’s a 24% increase in the number of IT professionals who report planned investments in network automation, marking it as 2024’s largest area of growth.

In fact, compared to the networking trends from 2023, we are seeing growth in investments across all IT areas we asked about, from SaaS and ITSM to cloud monitoring and beyond.

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43% of IT professionals indicated this desire, but cited a lack of time as the main reason they aren’t getting around to it.

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Staffing surpassed budget as the top challenge in 2024.

Budget was the top challenge in our 2023 report, but staffing has surpassed it this year. Perhaps that’s because the majority (86%) of IT pros are seeing increased budgets. ITs in the financial services industry cite network security and compliance as its main hurdles.

1 in 4 respondents listed shadow IT visibility as a high priority for 2024.

And it’s no wonder, considering some reports say shadow IT accounts for 30% to 40% of IT spending. Our own IT industry analysis also found SaaS management is a high priority, highlighting the growth in this relatively new area of monitoring.

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Nearly 3 in 5 organizations are using 50+ SaaS applications.

It’s also worth noting that the majority of IT professionals are reporting either limited or zero visibility on all SaaS and web applications we asked about.

audience map of our IT industry analysis
Mix of internal IT vs. managed service provider (MSP) for our IT industry analysis
Number of employees (IIT) in our IT industry analysis
Breakdown of IT roles for our IT industry analysis
Number of IT employees for our IT industry analysis
Remote, hybrid, and on-site working models for our IT industry analysis
Number of employees (MSP) in our IT industry analysis
Industry breakdown for our IT industry analysis