There are accounts of increasing levels of stress in the IT industry.
However, recent survey conducted by Victoria University of Wellington shows New Zealand IT workers appear to be fairly well satisfied with their roles overall, and feel a sense of accomplishment without excessive concern about work pressure, workload, work life balance, or losing their jobs.
The survey was conducted by Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) as part of a global project.
The World IT Project is an in-depth study of IT professionals and spans 37 countries. It focuses on the organisational, technological, and individual issues of IT employees around the world.
A mature IT organisation is one that has good systems, follows consistent practices and is productive in its delivery of outcomes
An IT employee was defined as a person who works with IT for 50 per cent or more of their time. Data was restricted to employees from organisations with 10 or more IT employees.
The New Zealand survey, led by Dr Jocelyn Cranefield from the university’s School of Information Management, had more than 500 responses.
Cranefield adds that IT professionals working in “high IT maturity” organisations (those with well-developed processes and practices), and in organisations with “prospector” strategies (strategies oriented toward innovation, growth, and risk taking) tended to be more satisfied in their jobs, and a larger percentage felt they were making an effective contribution to their organisation.
More people working in financial services and education reported that their organisations had those characteristics than those working in government organisations.
Moreover, employees in “high IT maturity” organisations were were more likely to stay at their organisation for years to come.
“This implies that how an organisation is run overall has an important influence on its ability to attract and retain IT staff,” Cranefield tells CIO New Zealand.
Female respondents, meanwhile, recorded greater job satisfaction than males. A similar pattern held for senior managers, compared to junior staff.
“A mature IT organisation is one that has good systems, follows consistent practices and is productive in its delivery of outcomes,” explains Cranefield. “So this isn’t surprising, but it is a case for why organisations should invest in IT maturity - to attract and retain staff.”
Among those surveyed, 58 per cent of those working in financial institutions rated their organisations as having high or very high IT maturity, compared to 50 percent working in educational organisations and 35 percent working in government organisations.
The respondents were also asked about the top IT issues they face:
Cranefield says 45 per cent of survey responses were from people born outside of New Zealand.
Respondents who were born in New Zealand and the United Kingdom indicated they were least concerned about their jobs being eliminated or outsourced.
“On average, respondents reported feeling moderate work pressure,” she says.
“Those born in South Africa agreed that they felt busy or pressured, whereas those born in India or the Philippines stated that they didn’t feel drained or tired from work,” says Dr Mary Ellen Gordon, who is leading the data analysis for the New Zealand results
“Those from India, in particular, appear to be bringing with them a greater sense of urgency, perhaps developed through exposure to India’s much larger, more competitive, IT industry. They are also disproportionately young and well-educated, suggesting that their influence will only grow as more of them are promoted into managerial positions.”
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