You would be hard-pressed to find someone who works within the IT industry and doesn’t agree that System Administrators are the backbone of any organisation.
“They play a central role in maintaining applications, coordinating cloud services and environments, managing data storage and business continuity strategies, and supporting the broader IT infrastructure”, states Hugh Scantlebury, CEO and Founder of Aqilla. “They’re the people who keep our networks up and running, rain or shine. We simply would not be able to work without them. But, as much of the work they do takes place behind the scenes, they are often overlooked and underappreciated”.
SysAdmin Day acts as a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the hard work they do and make the time to know that their work is greatly appreciated.
TechNative spoke to six industry professionals to gain their insights on SysAdmin Day, the challenges they face daily, and how we can appreciate them more going forward.
Providing the right tools
“The role of the SysAdmin goes far beyond simply ‘keeping the lights on’”, explains Richard Orange, Vice President EMEA at Exabeam. “From designing and building technical controls, ensuring visibility and security over sensitive data, to maintaining the company’s compliance with GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and other privacy legislation, without the work of our SysAdmin heroes, modern digital businesses would be far from functional. What’s more, their job is getting harder every year”.
“The most experienced SysAdmin can struggle to keep up with the demands of modern IT infrastructure, especially with the routine tasks that they are continually being faced with,” continues Steve Cochran, CTO at ConnectWise. “They are responsible for proactive network monitoring, conducting routine maintenance, managing ticket flow and more. Without the proper software assistance, it can leave IT teams feeling bogged down”.
“The best thing an organisation can do to support its SysAdmins is to find the right programs to provide insight into workflows and efficiency while facilitating system response monitoring. This frees up SysAdmins to address other, more pressing issues so they are able to be more proactive and handle reactive situations with ease”.
Tackling the world of cybersecurity
Christopher Rogers, Technology Evangelist at Zerto, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, outlines how we can relieve some of the pressure on SysAdmins. “One of the best ways we can help our SysAdmins in their day-to-day tasks is to provide them with all the necessary tools and disaster recovery solutions that allow them to tackle and overcome disasters quickly and with ease”.
He adds, “organisations looking to support their SysAdmins should ensure that they are spending and investing enough on resilient infrastructure – across backup, disaster recovery and cloud mobility.
“By implementing adequate infrastructure, organisations will free up their SysAdmins to focus on building and managing systems for always-on and agile services, rather than constantly fighting to get the systems back online”.
Training and development
It is vital that organisations recognise the value of the work SysAdmins do, Rob Gilbert, Managing Director for Commercial and Logistics Business at Totalmobile expands. “Just one of the ways businesses can do this is through training and development: creating a clear path for career progression through regular training sessions and opportunities to take on greater responsibilities, supported by fit-for-purpose and innovative technologies that enable them to deliver maximum value.”
Donnie MacColl, Senior Director of Technical Support at HelpSystems concludes: “So, ahead of SysAdmin Day, add a note in your calendar (that they provided for you to use!) and remember to say thank you for everything they do every day! It will make your SysAdmin smile and feel valued – and you might even get a secret little bump up the priority queue when you need something in the future!”