Happy SysAdmin Day! Take a look around, and congratulate your nearest SysAdmin who keeps things moving with long hours, thankless tasks and let’s face it - next to zero appreciation (most of the time). These are professionals who help their colleagues do their own jobs, and who keep their organizations running by keeping data, applications and systems online and available.

All the while, fearless SysAdmins navigate hapless user errors, head-banging call center questions, and support requests for personal devices and home networks. On top of that, the role is constantly evolving, with the pace of IT accelerating and the nature of security threats growing more complicated. For example, sysadmins are doing their jobs while also being tasked with patching against WannaCry or another new malware attack.

We decided to poll our Bomgar Insiders to ask SysAdmins themselves if their roles have changed and if so, how, and also asked IT managers to chime in with their perspective.

Many of our Insiders said the most important part of their jobs is enabling everyone else to do their jobs – mostly by being reliable, knowledgeable and expedient. One sysadmin summed up the role this way: “The most critical part of the SysAdmin’s role is the availability of their mind at all times of the day. Being available is a job in and of itself.” Fast response to errors, ensuring uptime during maintenance or upgrades and implementing new technologies were other popular responses.

Of course, many also highlighted the outsized expectations that leadership or colleagues have about their abilities. One Insider said “being psychic” is the most essential part of the role, while another said it’s “an uncanny ability to predict the worst.”

When it comes to senior IT leaders and tech support managers, responses varied and revealed the complex nature of the IT roles. Most believe their own roles and IT admins’ roles are as valuable as they have ever been with security and digital transformation causing headaches daily for most organizations. Many feel that their interpersonal skills are also more necessary than ever, not only within the organization but externally with more technology introduced that appeals to the customer experience. In essence, some Insiders stated they consider their roles akin to consultants, even specialized security consultants, rather than simply as generic IT professionals. In fact, the cybersecurity job market is exploding as companies look to bring on more expertise to address the increasing complexity and severity of cyberattacks. As “security consulting” does seem to be on the rise, check out this blog for more insight.

Once again, Happy SysAdmin Day – don’t forget to high-five, hug or buy lunch for your favorite SysAdmin!