Are you confident in your Sysadmin?

Today, most businesses use networks to deliver information to employees, suppliers, and customers. Since a network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together by communications channels to share data and information, it is crucial to employ a professional System Administrator who monitors activity and servers. Victor Lisitsa from Rubicom explains the critical role and importance of having an experienced and knowledgeable Sysadmin in an organization that depends on software.

Nowadays, using technology requires robust foundations that have become integral to today’s organizations. Sysadmins are invariably responsible for ensuring that employees can safely and productively use the technology at their disposal. However, this is not, of course, the full scope of the Sysadmin role. Suppose your enterprise does not use a System Administrator. In that case, someone still has to maintain servers, set up applications, install updates, monitor and update virus protection, and back up your sensitive data. Moreover, when you factor in the ever-changing cyber-security threat potential of the 21st century, ensuring systems and networks are safe and secure becomes increasingly difficult to manage, and significant risks to business continuity can emerge.

Sysadmins, the unsung heroes supporting millions of organizations and users worldwide, are the backbone of any server operation and the first line of support for any technical difficulty. Nevertheless, you might have read horrible reviews and heard stories about problems dealing with System Administrators. Unfortunately, many of them are true. If the employer does not have a technical background or expertise, they will have to rely on Sysadmin’s knowledge and recommendations in IT-systems development matters. In this case, the humanerror factor plays an important role: some people are more experienced than others. It is common for some people to be proactive and have a sharper vision for problem-solving, while some Sysadmins are supine and show no inner initiative. IT is well formalized and mature these days but does not have standards of its own for professional ethics and accountability. So, having an unmotivated and lazy Sysadmin may hinder the growth of your business.

Why do companies depend on a system administarator?

A System Administrator is an essential member of a well-functioning company. Sysadmins ensure that all IT assets of a business effectively serve company employees, in a way that supports and streamlines company operations. A Sysadmin’s duties encompass a broad scope of IT-related matters. A company that cares about effectively managing its IT should employ enough System
Administrators to fulfill a particular business’ IT needs. It is important to employ a System Administrator who is ready to work hard, solve both typical and nonstandard issues, and always quick to respond, to support business continuity.

Moreover, suppose a System Administrator has no problem-solving abilities, has insufficient competence, and generally visits your office only to be well compensated. In that case, it is completely within his power to slow down, and even sabotage, your business operation’s smoothness. You may notice that rather than hearing solutions from such a Sysadmin, you will instead hear only complaints.

How not to fall victim to a bad system administrator?

Specific daily job duties of a System Administrator may depend on the size and scope of a company’s computer systems. At smaller businesses, the System Administrator may handle all IT duties, maintain and update all computers, and ensure data security and backup. Larger corporations may divide system administrators’ responsibilities into more specific sub-roles, resulting in specialized positions like Database Administrators or Security Administrators. Often, big corporations hire a System Administrators team, thus eliminating the entire operation’s dependence on only one single person’s decisions and knowledge. Complementing each other’s competencies and helping solve each other’s technical problems, a team of professionals typically can do a better job. In our experience, larger companies have more complex infrastructure, with more restrictions and protocols; therefore, a Sysadmin from a larger organization may have more in-depth knowledge in a subset of technologies where a Sysadmin from a smaller organization could have more shallow expertise in a broader area of a technology stack.

Another popular and practical approach is to entrust the maintenance and development of some of your company’s most critical systems to a specialized agency, which already employs a team of experienced Sysadmins. Such agencies use IT-professionals with significant experience in solving complex problems. For instance, nowadays, many employers prefer not to include in their administrator’s duties the service of 1C-accounting; instead, they use a separate contract with a partner who will manage their 1C-acounting software on their behalf. Such an approach helps companies save time and resources. This approach will help you solve any related issues without the need for additional help. A similar method of task-compartmentalization will help your company update systems promptly according to required functions and capabilities.

Finally, there is an option to delegate all the critical tasks and data management to a provider, whose IT services and infrastructure are ready to operate in whatever way they may be needed. In this case, the provider takes care of the security and backup of your sensitive information and hardware maintenance. Meanwhile, you can redirect your budget expenses and time saved, relying on the
provider towards your company goals’ progression.

What to look for while hiring a system administrator?

A System Administrator is a person who handles multi-user systems and servers, so that system users can have a hassle-free experience without any security threats. System administrators’ skills vary from one organization to another because of their varying nature of job responsibilities. Their role is vital in any organization, and that is why your role in selecting them becomes ever more
important, as you need to hire the right candidate – one who is motivated, sincere, creative, hardworking, and responsible. It is also an excellent opportunity to recognize that modern software and hardware systems, applications, and network channels are more than just magic — they require a great deal of effort, sweat, and maybe even tears to guarantee they are processing information the way they should be.