IT leaders aren't getting listened to, and now they're ready to walk away

Tech managers say they are being shunned when it comes to implementing new tech and new working models in the workplace.
Written by Owen Hughes, Senior Editor
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Image: Getty Images

It's not just software developers that companies risk losing: a survey of more than 500 US IT leaders suggests that 58% are actively looking for a new role because they aren't being listened to in company decision-making processes.

The survey, conducted by Zoho-owned ManageEngine, found that 41% of IT leaders report having been consulted inadequately or not at all in organizational decisions around hybrid working.

For instance, the report found that non-IT departments have the final say when it comes to decisions around purchasing apps and IT software for the company (54%), facilitating IT audits (52%), purchasing devices (45%) and hiring tech talent (48%). 

Tech decision makers also feel unappreciated by senior company leadership in the transition to remote- and hybrid-working models: 81% of IT decision makers felt that they should have had more support from their employer over the past two years. Likewise, more than half (56%) of IT leaders said they felt less loyalty to their employer than they did two years ago.

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Vijay Sundaram, chief strategy officer of Zoho Corporation, said even though IT teams have been "indispensable to business innovation and continuity" in recent years, senior management continue to overlook their input in larger business decisions.

This is despite the fact that 88% of respondents believe IT is more responsible for business innovation than ever before, while 85% agree IT could drive even greater innovation in the business if they had a stronger leadership position.

Sundaram noted that the role of IT within organizations would become increasingly important as hybrid working and decentralized teams became mainstream. Indeed, 99% of survey respondents said their organization had already moved to a hybrid model. "This will require the expertise and involvement of ITDMs to identify appropriate technologies and meet corporate guidelines in areas like compliance, privacy and security," he added.

Flex work or bust

ManageEngine's report offered a warning to employers thinking about rescinding flexible work allowances: almost half (48%) of IT leaders said they would resign from their role if flexible work was no longer an option. A similar proportion (45%) would quit if their company withdrew opportunities for advancement or promotion.

IT leaders also appear to be feeling confident about the demand for their expertise in an increasingly competitive hiring market: nearly three-quarters (72%) of IT leaders said they were more willing to make a "risky" career move than they were two years ago.

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Business leaders still have a chance to hold onto their IT leaders, who are eager to move their roles and their organizations forward. When asked what they want most from their role in the next five years, 41% said they want to guide change within their company, while 38% want to step into a more senior role. A pay rise in line with inflation was favoured by 43% of respondents.

The findings echo a global survey of 8,000 IT professionals and decision makers by Skillsoft earlier in October, which found that more than half of technology professionals were planning to change roles in the next year, despite high reported rates of job satisfaction.  

The main reasons for workers seeking new roles were an increase in compensation (38%), a lack of training, growth and development opportunities (33%), and a lack of work-life balance (25%).

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