You Should Be Thankful for Your Sysadmin: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-11-26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - You Should Be Thankful for Your Sysadmin: 10 Reasons Why
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    You Should Be Thankful for Your Sysadmin: 10 Reasons Why

    by Chris Preimesberger
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    2 - User-Generated Problems
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    User-Generated Problems

    Nearly half of admins indicated that they spend around 40 percent or more of their time reacting to network or user problems. Many users do not have a good sense for how long it takes to troubleshoot an issue and get frustrated when problems are not immediately solved—not to mention these issues are often based upon an error caused by the person who is experiencing it.
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    3 - Shadow IT
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    Shadow IT

    Twelve percent of sysadmins get blurry-eyed by shadow IT and just want to know what applications users have downloaded on their work laptops. Sysadmins and IT professionals take on the responsibility for problems caused by shadow IT practices, but they have little control over employee behavior. When employees do not follow company policies and use unauthorized applications to simplify their own work processes, they are creating security risks and putting added pressure on the network.
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    4 - X-Ray Vision
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    X-Ray Vision

    If sysadmins could have a super power, 34 percent would choose X-ray vision to immediately identify and solve network challenges. Unfortunately they don't possess this talent, so they rely on user information and compliance with company policies. They also rely on log management tools that identify potential threats through continuous monitoring and send alerts to IT teams so they can speed up their response to network threats.
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    5 - Bandwidth Hoarding
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    Bandwidth Hoarding

    Fifty percent of sysadmins noted that video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo are the biggest culprits when it comes to bandwidth hoarding on wireless IT networks. The personal use of social and streaming media during business hours has a huge impact on sysadmins. These activities are not only network bandwidth killers that negatively impact application performance, but they also introduce threats to IT security.
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    6 - Application Performance Issues
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    Application Performance Issues

    Almost one in four (24 percent) sysadmins must face the music with platforms such as Pandora and Spotify wreaking havoc with application performance. Users are largely unaware of the challenges these applications cause to business operations and therefore do not understand sysadmins' frustration and restrictions.
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    7 - Network Challenges
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    Network Challenges

    Nearly one in six (17 percent) spend a whopping 60 to 80 percent of their time dealing with frustrations on their networks. As employees demand more from the network, the increasingly complex modern data center is a burden and a headache for IT professionals. Solving the daily network challenges is a time-consuming process and just one of the many tasks for which sysadmins are responsible.
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    8 - BYOD Frustrations
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    BYOD Frustrations

    Ten percent of respondents are frustrated with bring your own device (BYOD) and want employees to share what personal devices they have synced to their company's wireless network. Sysadmins need to be aware of devices and applications connected to the network to monitor performance and keep the network secure. Without full knowledge of what devices employees are using and where critical business data is located, sysadmins are unable to solve problems as quickly and protect company data.
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    9 - Global Workforce and Complicated Infrastructures
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    Global Workforce and Complicated Infrastructures

    IT professionals are dealing with a more global workforce and complicated infrastructures. Sysadmins are charged with keeping critical data safe as it moves across a global workforce and with keeping remote offices aligned with the same standards for performance and support.
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    10 - Sophisticated Threats
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    Sophisticated Threats

    Threats are becoming more sophisticated and, depending on your industry, can be very well-funded. As a larger number of devices and applications are introduced to the network, sysadmins are spending more time tracking threats and security measures.
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    11 - It's a Tough Job
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    It's a Tough Job

    Today's workers are conditioned to working a certain way and want the same capabilities in the office that they have at home. Re-creating the flexible and high-speed environment of home in the workplace, however, is a major challenge for IT professionals due to bandwidth availability, security concerns and industry regulations. More than one-third (36 percent) of sysadmins simply want the recognition of having a tough job. We should all give an extra thank you to our hard-working colleagues this holiday season.
 

During the holidays, we often forget to be thankful for those who keep the lights on and maintain network applications so that they run smoothly 365 days a year: our system administrators, or sysadmins, as they are sometimes called. Sysadmins and other IT professionals work night and day to equip their colleagues with the technology and the support they need to innovate, collaborate and do their jobs—and that's a lot of pressure to absorb. In 2014, networking software provider Ipswitch conducted its second annual Red Shirt Survey, which asks more than 250 IT administrators everything from what motivates their daily tasks to what super powers they secretly wish they possessed. More than 42 percent of the sysadmins said they would like more appreciation from their colleagues (also their users), whom they work hard to support all year, up 5 percent over last year's Red Shirt Survey. This eWEEK slide show illustrates 10 reasons why we should be thankful for our sysadmins this Thanksgiving.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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