Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

More than half of IT pros don't think civilization is fragile

You'd think Covid-19 had changed IT pros' attitudes in fundamental ways. New research suggests that may not be entirely the case.

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He's wearing a mask, but is he worried for us all?

The coronavirus crisis has changed us all. Hasn't it?

Suddenly, we appreciate the things we used to take for granted. Suddenly, even people we were relatively indifferent to seem interesting.

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And our priorities? They're radically different.

These thoughts were coursing through what's left of me on reading new research about IT pros and their inner thoughts.

The research, performed on behalf of hybrid cloud data warehouse Yellowbrick Data, purported to ask 1,000 IT pros -- at manager level or above -- about whether they were happy with an all-cloud solution to data platform modernization. Or whether they might prefer some elements to be in-house.

Stunningly, 56% wanted more control over what goes where. It's easier to adjust and customize when at least some of your company's information is kept private.

I confess to muttering two yadas in quick succession. Until, that is, I noticed some other, more existential questions the survey asked.

These IT pros were also asked how COVID-19 had changed their thinking. Being an IT pro isn't just about knowing and doing. It's about considering humanity's needs and their role in an insanely changing world.

Here, I confess to having stared at my screen for some time.

You see, 95.1% of these IT pros insisted the virus had made their lives more centered on technology than ever before.

Such a drift worries me. The more you center your life on technology, the further away you're going to be from the big fundamentals, such as humanity. You know, the instincts and the feelings.

And, what do you know, a mere 47.9% said Covid-19 had made them realize how interconnected we are. So their lives are more centered on technology than ever, yet the majority still don't see that we're all in this together?

I worry for the future of our civilization.

Talking of which, a mere 46.6% of these IT pros confessed that COVID had made them realize the fragility of our civilization.

What is that 53.4% thinking? That we're all going to roll along our merry, entertaining path to siliconned glory forever? That COVID is yet another tiny blip in our inexorable rise to the robot era?

Probably.

As my head began to depress my brand new MacBook Air's magic keyboard, one more statistic toyed mercilessly with my cranium. A mere 42.8% of these IT pros believe the world can finally come together to solve a problem.

Yes, not even with our lives more centered on technology than ever.

We're done, aren't we?

The 57.2% aren't wrong, of course. They know that Facebook and Twitter will ratchet up our bathing in divisiveness and rage until we self-immolate.

What's sad is that they've clearly lost all hope. Which means it's unlikely we'll ever get IT solutions that even attempt to save us from ourselves.