Category: CommunityHere’s How Everyone Really Feels About Sysadmins

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2015 State Of Sysadmin ReportQuick question, sysadmins. How do you feel about your job? Do the people within your organization appreciate you, or just see you as another “mister fix-it?”

Whatever your answer, it turns out you aren’t alone.

IDG Enterprise recently released its 2015 State of the Sysadmin Report, where they surveyed administrators and employees across several industries to determine how perceptions of the field have shifted this year and what that means for everyone within enterprise. Today, we’re going to go over some key findings from IDG’s paper – which can be downloaded here.   

Let’s dive right in.

Most Sysadmins Feel They Don’t Get Enough Credit

The first of the report’s statistics centered on how most sysadmins feel about their profession. We’ve got good news, and we’ve got bad news. Although the majority of administrators are quite passionate about their jobs – and universally agree that they’re important to their respective organizations – the majority feel they aren’t really recognized for their contributions.

  • Although 95% feel passionate about their profession, only 28% feel they receive the recognition they deserve.
  • 68% labeled their role as ‘extremely important’ to their business, and 32% labeled it as ‘very important.’
  • 23% have no role in technological innovation or development – they simply manage their business’s IT systems.

And They’re Right

In some cases, perception doesn’t really mesh with reality. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be one such case. The reason sysadmins feel they don’t receive recognition is because as a whole, they don’t. The numbers are pretty clear in this case:


  • 76% of sysadmins view themselves as important strategic assets, while only 21% think their role is simple maintenance. By contrast…
  • A paltry 20% of non-IT staff see sysadmins as strategic. 66%, meanwhile, think of them as troubleshooters; people who are present to fix problems and do little else.
  • It’s almost as bad in IT – 60% of the IT colleagues of sysadmins don’t feel they’ve any strategic merit, and only 30% see the role of a sysadmin as strategic.

At The End Of The Day, Perception Doesn’t Change Much

Now for the good news. Employee perception, as it so happens, doesn’t really impact a sysadmin’s salary. The only opinion that seems to have any direct impact is one’s own: and even that connection’s a relatively small one:

  • 86% of administrators making $75K/yr or more view themselves as strategic assets.
  • 35% of employees in their organization agree.
  • 69% of administrators making less than $75k/yr view themselves as strategic. 27% of employees in their organization agree.

So, yeah. As it turns out, even administrators who feel unappreciated can earn a good wage. Of course, here’s the thing about all these stats – in light of trends such as the Internet of Things and cloud computing, they’re kind of troubling. IT systems are becoming more complex with each passing day – if sysadmins aren’t included in innovation and decision-making, then infrastructure’s going to become so bloated and complex that it’ll be impossible to manage.

And that’s a bad thing for any business.

Image: Flickr/Arthur40A

Enterprise ITSystem Administration
Dec 17, 2015, 5:35 pmBy: Corey Northcutt (1) Comment
  1. Shyuan: I've never failed to thank and greet my sysadmin team, because everyone needs appreciation! It's going to be a win-win situation anyway! :)
    January 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm

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