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January 16, 2013

SolarWinds Survey: How Different are Netadmins from Sysadmins?

Do network and system administrators have the same mindset? Do they function identically, or are they different in any way? How different are their personal and official lives?

The answers to these questions can be found in the results of a survey released by SolarWinds (News - Alert), a provider of powerful and affordable IT management software.

For the purposes of the survey, conducted in October 2012, feedback was obtained from 401 U.S.-based system administrators and 400 network administrators.

Some interesting facts emerged during the survey. Although both groups enjoyed their jobs and thought it was challenging, netadmins got more job satisfaction and felt more appreciated than sysadmins. Neither expected a big jump in their growth budgets for 2013 but still remained rather optimistic about the coming year.

Loyalty to the company seemed to be a priority for both, as almost an identical percentage stayed with their jobs for more than a decade. While a majority of both groups did feel they received adequate training, skill development, tools, software and support from the organization, a large majority did feel that their work was not well understood by the company.

“Our survey reveals that IT pros are a remarkable and resilient bunch,” said Kevin Thompson, president and CEO at SolarWinds. “They are unsung heroes in many companies, but they are incredibly loyal and motivated despite the scope of work they do and the demand of work on their time both on and off the job.”

But the similarities seemed to end there, as netadmins professed they had greater responsibilities with almost 52 percent spending their free time working as against 43 percent of sysadmins. Netadmins were also better paid. So, while their counterparts griped about too little pay, netadmins complained about inadequate budgets.

After five years in the company, almost an equal percentage of both groups believed they headed the IT department. A rather interesting point emerged: there was some desire between the groups to switch job roles.

The results also focused on the similarities and slight differences in the personal lives of both groups. A large majority claimed that they were rather industrious and hardworking, and a lesser percent of both groups considered themselves very friendly. Most of the netadmins and sysadmins were PC users but in the lesser group of netadmins, an equal number were split in their preference over the Android and iPhone (News - Alert).

More sysadmins used Android phones over iPhones.

When it came to entertainment, science fiction was a much watched TV show and even on the big screen their choices synced. Spending time with family and friends, surfing the net and unwinding at home seemed to be all-time favorites. During their leisure time, some kind of beer seemed to be the preferred drink, and when off duty, more sysadmins drank soda, while a lesser number of both groups chose pop.

Thompson concluded by saying that “it's essential for companies to understand what drives netadmins and sysadmins to perform and give them the support that helps make their jobs easier in order to retain these valuable employees."

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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