black woman working on computer in the hallway, diversity, SysAdmin Day

SysAdmins: The backbone of our organisations

SysAdmin Day has arrived, giving us a chance to show appreciation for our system administrators.

black woman working on computer in the hallway, diversity, SysAdmin Dayblack woman working on computer in the hallway, diversity, SysAdmin Day

They are the ones who undertake the work on the front line of the IT world, handling everything from system failures to updating hardware and a variety of other tasks in between. Unfortunately, because much of the work they do takes place behind the scenes, they are often under-appreciated despite being so integral to day-to-day runnings. We spoke to ten technology experts to give us a better insight into the vital work SysAdmins carry out and how we can appreciate them going forward.

The lack of acknowledgement of SysAdmins seems to stem from a lack of understanding their work.

Mike Gosling, IT Service Platforms Manager at Cubic Transportation Systems expands, “whilst SysAdmins are respected within the IT profession, many people do not understand the scope and complexity of their role. High quality IT services are often taken for granted, with the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ proving indicative. Indeed, organisations have a tendency to recognise customer facing staff more than roles like the SysAdmin, which keep systems running behind the scenes”.

In order to rectify this under-appreciation, it is first important to realise what the role of a SysAdmin involves. Paul Farrington, Chief Product Officer at Glasswall explains: “SysAdmins are vital employees – from ensuring that system patches are rolled out on time, to monitoring the performance of all IT systems to ensure they’re working effectively, SysAdmins keep their organisations delivering services to customers”.

Advanced skillsets demanded of SysAdmins

The position also requires a great deal of multitasking as Terry Storrar, Managing Director, Leaseweb UK highlights. “SysAdmins not only have to contend with day-to-day tasks, they also have to be crisis managers in the event of a natural disaster or cyber attack. In addition to this, they also have to keep up with the latest IT trends, home working and introduction of BYOD – no mean feat by anyone’s standards. When it comes to multitasking and wearing many hats, SysAdmins reign supreme”.

David Miller, SVP Technology, at Fluent Commerce also touches on the many roles SysAdmins cover: “they have evolved into DevOps, cloud, and site reliability engineers (SREs) in the age of the cloud. These individuals are the backbone of organisations by ensuring shipping software is cost-effective, reliable, secure and performant. By converting committed code into value that is delivered to clients, they empower users to have all they need to accomplish their jobs securely.”

He adds “they are the foundation for ensuring that performance and availability are increasing globally. On SysAdmin Day, we are proud to honour their dedication and hard work.”

With technology advancing, this only means the requirements expected of SysAdmins are increasing. Richard Orange, Vice President EMEA at Exabeam furthers, “their job is getting harder every year. Challenges now facing SysAdmins include supporting a geographically diverse workforce, while contending with an ever-expanding attack surface and diminishing distinguishable corporate perimeter.

“And, as organisations become increasingly cloud-focused, SysAdmins are doing a huge amount of the heavy lifting when it comes to migration. Accelerated cloud adoption is also removing some of the previous security controls inherent in provisioning on-premise infrastructure, causing further complexities for our SysAdmins”.

Working from home impact

The pandemic thrust everyone into the unknown territory of working from home, meaning different things for different professions and industries, and SysAdmins were no exception. Steve Young, UKI Sales Engineering Director at Commvault, explains, “as working from home has doubled in the UK in the past two years, more employees are remotely accessing company networks than ever before. At the same time, the threat landscape has grown dramatically, with 39% of UK businesses suffering a cyberattack in 2021. Not only are there now more potential entry points for bad actors to access systems, but files are increasingly being stored locally, creating a greater risk of data loss as a result of shadow IT and files not being backed up. For this reason, the job of a SysAdmin has never been more necessary”.

Despite these added challenges, SysAdmins continue to persevere. Rob Gilbert, Managing Director for Commercial and Logistics Business at Totalmobile discusses how this is evident within the transport sector. “Despite this increase in workload and simultaneous decrease in team members, SysAdmins have worked around the clock during the past few years and helped to successfully keep the country moving – literally. It’s important therefore to take the time to appreciate them for keeping drivers on the road. 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”.

Valuing your SysAdmins

No one can argue that the role of SysAdmins is easy, by any means, therefore we must remember to value them and the work they do. Gregg Mearing, CTO at Node4 notes, “SysAdmins quietly bear the full-force of any and all IT business challenges thrown their way. And while they bear the huge responsibility of making sure every piece of equipment and technology runs correctly and efficiently, a SysAdmin’s job is often overlooked. We should appreciate these crucial workers everyday – if you rarely notice the work of a SysAdmin, it proves how good of a job they do! Take time this SysAdmin Day to celebrate the unsung heroes of your business”.

There is a role we can all play in appreciating SysAdmins. Steve Cochran, CTO, ConnectWise advises, “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 SysAdmin to address other, more pressing issues so they are able to be more proactive and handle reactive situations with ease”.

Hugh ScantleburyHugh Scantlebury, CEO and Founder of Aqilla concludes, “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. They’re the people who keep our networks up and running, rain or shine. We simply would not be able to work without them”.


SysAdmin Day 2021 | Not all heroes wear capes

Female working in a Technical Support Team Gives Instructions with the Help of the Headsets. In the Background People Working and Monitors Show Various Information, SysAdmin Day

System administrators are the unsung heroes of a business. They ensure daily IT operations run smoothly and any technical problems are fixed efficiently.

However, working in the background, they are often overlooked and under-appreciated.

The 30th July is SysAdmin Day – a day to talk about the vital work that system administrators carry out and appreciate how they keep our businesses running. In 2021, after a turbulent year of remote working and a return to the office for some, it is more important than ever to appreciate the people who have allowed for the seamless transition into flexible working.

With this in mind, WeAreTechWomen spoke to multiple IT industry experts to get their opinion on the importance of sysadmins and how we can show our appreciation for all they do.

The backbone of a business

Daniel Lizama, Leaseweb GlobalSysadmins mostly work in the background, on hand to resolve any issues that may arise and ensuring that the day-to-day running of the business goes smoothly. Daniel Lizama, Team Manager, System Administration at Leaseweb, recognises that, “day after day, these professionals manage to produce solutions to problems. At Leaseweb Global, for two weeks each month, every sysadmin is available on 24-hour call. No matter the day or time, when an issue arises at Leaseweb Global, a skilled sysadmin is quickly available to deal with it.”

However, sysadmins don’t just wait around for problems to arise for them to fix.

“Your system administrator will play a key role in enhancing your organisation’s cyber security posture, as they manage and maintain best practice configurations of the systems that hackers are targeting, 24/7,” explains Thomas Cartlidge, Head of Threat Intelligence at Six Degrees.

Surya Varanasi, StorCentric“It was impressive to see the number of sysadmins that have elevated their backup strategy from basic to unbreakable,” adds Surya Varanasi, Chief Technology Officer at StorCentric. “In other words, they knew that for today’s ransomware they needed to protect backed up data by making it immutable and by eliminating any way that data could be deleted or corrupted.

“With these capabilities in-hand, these savvy sysadmins alleviated their worry about their ability to recover — and redirected their time and attention to activities that more directly impacted their organisation’s bottom-line objectives. And that is indeed something to appreciate!”

Dave Miller, Fluent CommerceAt Fluent Commerce, sysadmins have not only been tackling their own to-do lists, but have transformed into DevOps, Cloud and Site Reliability Engineers. “These unsung heroes make sure shipping software is cost effective, reliable, secure and performant. They make sure users have what they need to get the job done whilst making sure it’s secure—turning commited code into value shipped to customers. The buck stops with them to ensure performance and availability on a global scale is constantly improving,” tells David Miller, Senior Vice President, Director of Technology.

Carrying on through COVID

Adding to this, a sysadmin’s job has never been more difficult than in the last year. As different waves of COVID thrust the UK in and out of national lockdowns, employees were forced into remote working and left dependent on technology to allow them access to the required systems. It was sysadmins who ensured that this was possible.

Gregg Mearing, Node4“Executing their role with skill, confidence, and with an on-going problem-solving ability, the sysadmins are the ones that have been quietly bearing the full-force of the IT business challenges the past year has presented,” explains Gregg Mearing as Chief Technology Officer at Node4. “National lockdowns and their variations throughout 2020 and at the beginning of this year meant that most businesses were thrust into embracing remote working. This placed unique and unprecedented challenges on IT operations. Because of this, it is arguably more important than ever to recognise the vital role that these employees play.”

Chris Hornung, Totalmobile“Lockdowns and skeleton workforces have placed a renewed importance on suitable, reliable technology that allows people to carry out their work,” furthers Chris Hornung, Chief Operating Officer of Totalmobile. “Without sysadmins, remote workers would be more susceptible to detrimental problems, such as server failures, overloaded systems, and downtime, preventing them from maintaining high customer service levels. By keeping platforms such as scheduling software and mobile workforce management running, sysadmins have allowed mobile workers to carry out their day to day operations largely uninterrupted by the effects of COVID.”

“The entire world shifted on its axis in the past year and a half, yet our sysadmins still managed to produce the quality needed for customers. Despite constantly shifting conditions, Leaseweb Global’s sysadmin team managed to deliver splendidly,” Lizama states.

Dwain Stuart, Content GuruIn the contact centre industry, “sysadmins have worked behind the scenes to ensure that physical equipment, from servers to laptops, is suited to this new working environment, and have supported agents by migrating equipment from physical contact centres to home offices. The challenge moving forwards will be bringing agents back to a hybrid environment, with some remaining at home while others return to physical sites,” explains Dwain Stuart, Production Engineer at Content Guru.

Ways to show your appreciation 

Agata Nowakowska, SkillsoftThis SysAdmin Day, showing appreciation for sysadmins should go further than saying a quick ‘thank you.’

“By increasing the amount of support and training they offer, employers can demonstrate that sysadmins’ support is valuable – and worth investing in. Providing opportunities for upskilling and learning new certifications will also help keep sysadmins more engaged and equipped to meet the demands of the modern workplace,” explains Agata Nowakowska, Area Vice President EMEA at Skillsoft.

Tim Bandos, Digital Guardian“Understanding the valuable input of your sysadmins and IT teams is something business leaders should tune into more. A common mistake by the executives is not involving their in-house team of experts in these discussions,” agrees Tim Bandos, Chief Information Security Officer & Vice President of Managed Security Services, Digital Guardian.

“They know the business, and when it comes to change, implementing new processes, or migration planning, they deserve to be a part of the conversation. This SysAdmin Day, acknowledge your sysadmin team, acknowledge what they have to say about the inner workings of your operations, and make sure they are feeling supported in what they do – the same way they continuously support your organisation.”

By applying new solutions to aid sysadmins in their job, organisations can demonstrate their appreciation for their work, as well as benefiting the business as a whole.

Alex Chircop, StorageOS“Transitioning to a cloud-native solution can make the life of a sysadmin much more comfortable,” agrees Alex Chircop, Founder and CEO at StorageOS. “Kubernetes offers fast failover, scalability, a platform-agnostic approach, and resource efficiency to sysadmins and provides them fewer issues to deal with. With Kubernetes rising, sysadmins can make sure a business’s infrastructure is managing heavy workloads at a faster pace than before.”

“SysAdmin Day exists as a reminder to appreciate one of the hardest working professionals behind a workstation,” he concludes. “They are the backbone of any company. At StorageOS, we try to ensure that sysadmins go from being known as unsung heroes in the tech industry to being thanked daily.”


Emma Murray featured

Inspirational Woman: Emma Murray | Product Owner, DWP Digital

Emma Murray

Emma is a Product Owner for one of the Department for Work and Pensions’ key enterprise tools that serves the department’s 90,000 users.

She’s passionate about understanding new technologies and working out how they can be used to help manage and deliver services. As a founding member of DWP Digital’s Women in Digital group, she actively seeks to raise the profile of women in digital roles and empower them to take ownership of their careers.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I've been a civil servant for almost 29 years now. I joined the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 1992 working on the benefit Income Support, and when the department started to embrace new technologies I took the opportunity to get involved. I was supported to complete an NVQ in IT and I went on to study for a degree in the Science of Computing.

Not only did I enjoy learning about and using IT, but I was actually quite good at it. I grabbed every opportunity to progress my career down the technology route. I really enjoy understanding how exploiting new technologies can improve services for both colleagues and customers.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not originally, no. When I left school I wanted to work in a bank, but there were no roles available so I started to look at Civil Service opportunities, as the job security really appealed to me.

As a mum of three, my career took somewhat of a back seat for a number of years. However, as the children grew I wanted to focus more on my career again and so started looking at other opportunities.

After settling into a new role in 2018 on promotion, I started to think about where I wanted to be in the next 5 years and what skills I needed.

So when I heard about the Digital Voices programme, which aims to build confidence and engagement skills for women working in DWP Digital, I knew I had to apply.

It seemed like a great opportunity to develop my confidence and overcome my fear of social media so that I could learn how to create content that would inspire more women into digital roles.

Over the course of the programme I learned how to be confident at presenting, taking the lead role at events and meetings and how to tell my own story and the story of DWP Digital. It also gave me the opportunity to learn from other inspiring women and expand my professional network.

Digital Voices was definitely a turning point for me in terms of my career. It left me feeling more inspired than ever to continue my aspiration to be a role model for DWP Digital, and to use my new found confidence to strive for both the career I want and to support others in reaching theirs.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Working as a female in a technology environment is definitely challenging as it’s still a male-dominated industry. It’s easy to sometimes be blinded with technology terms.

I feel like I suffered quite a lot from trying to progress and being stopped by my manager who had their own idea on whether I was ready to move forward. And I found it quite hard to influence that person. But in the end I decided to take control of my own career and push myself to find new opportunities.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

My most significant achievement was supporting the implementation of the flagship welfare reform benefit, Universal Credit. With over 90,000 people currently working in DWP, the scale of this task was huge and required meticulous planning, implementation and testing to ensure success.

Universal Credit is supported by a variety of existing DWP applications as well a brand new software application unfamiliar to our IT administrators. I volunteered to be part of the North West pilot expansion, quickly becoming an expert in the new application. I realised there was a need to provide my IT administration colleagues with suitable guidance and training to ensure they were up speed to deal with the pace of the national implementation.

Over a five month period I went all over the country delivering training to front line colleagues on using the brand new applications. I designed the courses and training material and delivered everything ahead of time. It was a really big achievement.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I believe success comes from having a network of people around you. It’s really important to accept that you don’t necessarily have to know everything about everything. However, if you surround yourself with people that support you, that can develop you, that you can develop, it makes a huge difference.

It’s important to have that positivity and belief that you get from a strong network.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology or business?

Reflecting on everything I’ve learned and done over the last few years, some of the key takeaways have been:

  • Experience doesn’t just have to come from a job
  • Networking is about giving as well as receiving
  • Don’t be afraid to ask
  • Support and promote others
  • You don’t need to be good at everything
  • Leadership is not about a job title or a role
  • Proceed until apprehended
  • Keep learning

I try and encourage everyone to be brave, step forward, take opportunities and believe you can do it.

Another tip is to take a few minutes to visualise where you hope to be in the next 2 to 5 years. Consider creating yourself a postcard from the future. And then think about what the journey might look like to get there, and start to identify any career moves or learning you might need to reach your destination.

Do you believe there are still barriers for successful women working in tech? And if so, how can they be barriers be overcome?

From my point of view, the main barrier is the lack of understanding of what working in digital is. There’s still a perception that it means coding all day long, when actually there is a wide range of roles in digital, from product owners to business analysts, data analysts, content designers.

It’s also not clear that it can actually be a creative career. If you take a closer look at some of the women working in tech roles, many have actually come from a creative background, because working in Digital can be as creative as it is technical.

For example, a lot of people don't understand that English language can be a really big part of technology. A content designer focuses on the language used to get the wording to the right level so that digital service users can easily move through their user journey.

So I think that educating young women at an early point in their career decision making process about the diverse range of opportunities in tech will really help.


WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here.


Woman learning to code featured

Entering the tech industry as a woman: 5 pieces of advice

Jutta Horstmann, Chief Operating Officer at eyeo

woman learning to codeIt's no secret we still have a long way to go before we can truly say we live in a gender equal society.

Whether it is the gender pay-gap or a lack of women in leadership positions, there are still so many areas where women experience setbacks in their career or in daily life based on gender.

The technology industry is a clear example of where women are still the minority. In fact, a recent report revealed only 27% of female students say they would consider a career in technology, compared to 61% of males, and only 3% say it is their first choice.

I first noticed the huge gender divide in the tech sector when I started working as a system administrator and database developer back in the 90’s and got involved in the open source community. For me, it goes without saying more needs to be done to get women interested in tech, but probably now, in a global pandemic, more than ever. In light of this, I want to share 5 pieces of advice for women looking to start a career in tech.

Own the room

Don’t let anybody tell you that tech isn’t for you. It is one of the most creative and innovative spaces to work in - and very well paid I have to add. How could this not be your cup of tea?

There will be lots of voices telling you otherwise: Family, teachers, and even the way you find women depicted in the media. But this is just not the truth.

I graduated in Computer Sciences and I went through a dozen different roles in tech. Believe me: It is fun, and you can totally do it.

Network

So now you feel confident - great! But I know that there will be times when being a minority by gender in your area of work will be exhausting. This is when you will need a network of other females in tech. Use it to exchange knowledge in your field, and to share experiences. Don’t fear that this will be a group of gruntled moaners. Your network will support you by sharing success stories, best practices, and learnings from failure. For any tech area, there are related groups of interest for females in that field. Google is your friend.

Additionally, I highly recommend attending conferences and local meetups. And as I am sure you will have something interesting to share from your experiences, make sure to also speak at them!

Be patient

To be clear: When I advise to be patient, I definitely do not advise to tolerate either misogyny or sexism. You might face both. But often they come from a lack of education and understanding of male privileges and are easily reversed as soon as you explain to the person how their action affects you.

Patience and always assuming best intentions first before proven otherwise will help you to pick your battles, and not wear out.

Be yourself

As a minority by gender, it might seem useful to adapt to your male peers' behaviour and preferences. You expect to blend in, and to find more acceptance.

First, this rarely works out. Second, it hurts you if you try to be somebody you are not.

But most important, it is proven that diversity in a team leads to best results.

So being your best self-will highly benefit the product or service you are building.

If the environment you are working in is not yet as up-to-date to appreciate this - change the environment! If this means to speak up at your current place or to change your employer - be ensured that the industry is looking for tech talent and you will easily find one that wants exactly your true self (hint: we are hiring as well!).

Enjoy the ride!

I cannot stress enough how happy I am about having chosen a career in tech.

I was and still am able to have an impact on one of the most important aspects of everybody's everyday life.

In any of the tech areas I have worked in throughout my career, I found my work to be highly satisfying, and have also found my work environment and colleagues inspiring and kind.

Being a minority in any area always comes with some difficulties. But rest assured that the benefits always outweigh the negatives.


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here


black woman working on computer in the hallway, diversity, SysAdmin Day

SysAdmin Day 2020: Appreciate the invisible heroes of IT

black woman working on computer in the hallway, diversity, SysAdmin Day, SysAdmins

Keeping many businesses moving this year would have been near impossible if not for the technology that enables many employees to work from home.

But more than the technology itself, the system administrators – or SysAdmins – that support it are equally as important. SysAdmins have helped enable thousands of employees across the country to continue working despite the pandemic; without this, many of these businesses would likely have collapsed.

This System Administrator Appreciation Day, we should all take the time to acknowledge and thank these IT heroes for their hard work and dedication. WeAreTechWomen spoke to six IT industry experts to hear their thoughts on how and why we should do this.

How 2020 has ramped up the pressure

The impact that the pandemic has had on all IT employees is immense, including for the SysAdmins trying to keep everyone else online. Alan Conboy, Office of the CTO at Scale Computing, encourages businesses to recognise this.

Alan Conboy Scale Computing, SysAdmins“Consistent, reliable and responsive, SysAdmins have been the backbone of our industry during these challenging times. Without them, we would all be more susceptible to all the usual issues – server failures, downtime and problems with upgrades and capacity – but even in the midst of the crisis, SysAdmins have maintained their teams’ momentum to overcome IT challenges, with a plan of attack for the next time.

“They’ve played a vital role in maintaining business resilience, ensuring companies worldwide could quickly and effectively mobilise their workforce to work remotely by keeping platforms like virtual desktop infrastructure running, making it possible to extend the remote capabilities of the workforce in a predictable and easy to manage way, without compromising enterprise security.

“Today, we celebrate all SysAdmins with a special offer that acts as a good reminder for organisations to always provide their SysAdmins with the tools, resources and words of encouragement they deserve to continue supporting our IT infrastructures, particularly through times of crisis.”

Harrison Wigg Content Guru, SysAdminsHarrison Wigg, Production Engineer at Content Guru, agrees that, “this year there have been added pressures. With organisations and schools everywhere undergoing a monumental shift to homeworking, it has been the SysAdmins working behind the scenes to ensure this is done as efficiently and securely as possible. We have had to ensure that physical equipment, from servers to laptops, is suited to this new working environment, and have supported staff by migrating equipment – from monitors to chairs – home for them.

“From a business continuity perspective, I feel that a SysAdmin’s role has been vital in keeping companies afloat throughout these past few months. Although the whole process of migrating everyone home has been challenging, the importance of ensuring it was done as perfectly as possible is unquestionable. And we get to do it all again now that staff are slowly migrating back to the office!”

It’s not only private businesses that have struggled with the sudden need for change but public sector organisations too, as Sascha Giese, Head Geek at SolarWinds, explains:

Sascha Giese SolarWinds, SysAdmin“While doctors and nurses have been saving lives and the central government has determined how to keep the country running, the IT systems on which this sector relies have been mission-critical. From the systems behind the NHS 111 helpline to the data collection and analysis shared by Number 10, technology has underpinned it all. It has also helped ensure many non-frontline employees can work from home safely and securely. SysAdmins are the team members working behind the scenes to uphold IT quality and functionality in all organisations, and to keep systems from suffering downtime—and this can be the difference between life and death, particularly during a pandemic. As the country begins to recover, it’s crucial for IT leaders to recognise the hard work of their SysAdmins and their vital role over the last few months, and they should provide training and tools to help them do their jobs even better.”

With that in mind, how exactly can all organisations improve the role of SysAdmins?

Ways to help ease the load

Brett Cheloff ConnectWiseBrett Cheloff, VP of ConnectWise Automate, ConnectWise, details how finding the right software solutions can increase efficiency:

“With responsibilities such as proactive network monitoring, conducting routine maintenance, and managing ticket flow and security, SysAdmins need expert efficiency to get the job done. But as routine pitfalls produce extra work, even the most experienced technicians struggle to keep up with the demands of a modern IT infrastructure.

“These processes can be made much easier by using the right software. SysAdmins should seek out programs that provide insight into workflows and efficiency as well as facilitate system response monitoring. Doing so will improve overall response time and allow SysAdmins to reallocate their time to other important tasks. With the right product and processes, they can be more proactive-oriented and better prepared to handle reactive situations.”

JG Heithcock, Retrospect_StorCentric, SysAdmin“You can only have a successful remote team deployment with constant communication, which requires reliable, responsive and resourceful team members – three key attributes of SysAdmins,” comments JG Heithcock, GM at Retrospect, a StorCentric company. “As we continue to work remotely and consider hybrid working environments in the future, it’s important for organisations to optimise their businesses and provide SysAdmins with the resources needed to seamlessly transition to this new normal by implementing the latest AI technologies to backup engines where possible and consolidate backup management to a single pane of glass. By securing and maintaining backups, SysAdmins will have the tools necessary to streamline workflows with efficient and reliable data backup solutions to keep businesses running and protected across changing working environments.”

Agata NowakowskaAgata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA at Skillsoft, admires the job of SysAdmins not just during the pandemic but prior to this, as she highlights that, “the SysAdmin role was no easy feat pre-COVID. SysAdmins face rising pressures and are expected to have a detailed knowledge of various technical programming languages. They need to be available at a moment's notice, ready to support numerous new technologies as organisations power ahead with digital transformation.”

She continues by adding how training should be an increasing priority: “We should mark SysAdmin day this year by not only showing our appreciation for the role SysAdmins have played during the recent shift to remote working, but by increasing the ongoing support and training we offer people in this essential role. Organisations need to provide the opportunities for their SysAdmins to upskill and learn new certifications so they can continue to provide valuable support, even during periods of great change.”

Though SysAdmins are not always the most visible of employees, most organisations would falter quickly without them. As many workers slowly start to return to offices – or continue to embrace the new normal of working from home – it’s important to recognise the crucial role that SysAdmins play in keeping IT systems up and running, and we should celebrate them not just on July 31st, but every day!


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