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Celebrating SysAdmin Day 2020: Looking Ahead to SysAdmins in 2025


By SolarWinds

This year has changed the way we work-from our roles and responsibilities to the way we interact and socialize with others. Responsibilities in IT were already shifting with instances of data center/IT role convergence on the rise: the SolarWinds® 2020 IT Trends Report: The Universal Language of IT revealed security and application management are more frequently becoming part of day-to-day tasks for a majority of tech pros. However, the pandemic has served to accelerate this shift. In 2020, we've been forced to adapt faster than ever before, and the growing remote workforce has complicated-and extended-the roles of IT pros even further.

Today we celebrate SysAdmins for everything they've contributed to their organizations and the IT community at large-and what they'll continue to contribute as we adapt to the realities of a more permanent remote workforce. In commemoration and acknowledgement of these ongoing shifts in responsibilities, SolarWinds asked members of its THWACK® community what they imagine the SysAdmin role will look like in 2025-including their personal experiences as a SysAdmin today, their perception of how SysAdmins have been impacted in the past moths, and their thoughts on what the future holds.

Remember to thank a SysAdmin today for all they do! And if you forget, you'll have another chance to recognize tech pros around the world on IT Professionals Day (Tuesday, September 15, 2020).

Here's what the SolarWinds THWACK members had to say:

Macro Trends Influence Role Evolution

"The pandemic has proven that WFH is a legitimate option for many different roles. In many cases, people can be more efficient and have a better work/life balance when they are WFH. We'll have the tools to respond quicker, but we'll also have the increasingly decentralized infrastructure to deal with, and multiple vendors to shuffle." -  User: silverbacksays

"I'd think that they'll still be a key part of IT. Now that many companies think they can be efficient via remote work, the responsibilities of SysAdmins will be expanded which includes more monitoring." - User: birendrakc

"I don't see SysAdmins changing very much-within our organization, I see the need for cloud understanding of networking and SysAdmin since a lot of services will be hosted in the cloud. As far as the duties one would have in 2025, I see a lot of home offices. Our company didn't have a very good work from home policy until this pandemic. Now that everyone is working from home, we are looking at hiring individuals who would work remote and that could greatly expand our business." - User: tosborne3

"There will be a blending of positions due to the adoption of the cloud. If we could remove more systems and depend on the vendors to provide them for us, I could see a few people with multiple hats having to do very little. There is still a lot of work to do to get there but if the last 5 years have been the proof of anything, you never know what could be around the corner." - User: EBeach

"Things such as file management and collaboration tools are slowly moving out of the corporate data center and into the cloud forcing the SysAdmin role to eventually become "the gatekeeper" for internet-connected enterprise services. However, the ability to monitor and maintain the visibility of those services and handle requested integrations between them will be necessary. Familiarity with APIs, custom integrations, and cybersecurity will all become more and more critical skillsets to have." - User: tsadler

"In the future, IT workers will be employed by large IT service companies and large corporations with enterprise or hyperscale data centers (Azure, AWS, etc.). Let's all hope the WFH trend continues. If not, it may indeed be a dystopian future for SysAdmins." - User: icarriere

Adapting and Collaborating Will Be Key

"The SysAdmin role will further collaborate with DevOps or DevSecOps teams for automation and machine-to-machine analysis and even trigger automation." - User: adnation

"I hope that by then SysAdmins have been able to free themselves from the earthly bonds that are the physical constraints, and everything is virtual whether it be a public or private cloud. And I dare wish that "versioning" is a thing of the past. Systems administration has evolved into pure scripting around capacity management, APIs, automation, and so on." - User: tinmann0715

"5 years is a long time in IT and I foresee a continuation of the change to the consolidation of management tooling. Whether this is wrapped up in portals such as O365 or Meraki etc. or as part of a toolset solution where multi-faceted technologies are managed via specifically created tooling, this may turn SysAdmins into the point-and-click workflow admins. For many organizations, I do feel it will be a significant shift in having higher-skilled technical staff and much less staff, as solutions will continue to make the job easier, and with less manual intervention and for the more advanced function the higher skills to stitch it all together in the organization's image." - User: m_roberts

"SysAdmins are going to be masters of scripting in multiple formats." - User: dickersonod

"I expect to see more SaaS, more load on SysAdmins because of the ever-increasing diversity of the "best way" and a continued fight to migrate from the previous "best ways." Also, monitoring will continue to expand and finally be recognized as a discipline in its own right." - User: robertcbrowning

No Matter What, SysAdmins Will Always be Here to Help

"Many SysAdmins will look and work the same-technology moves forward at a rapid pace, but all of our environments have legacy technology that won't go anywhere for a long time. Many SysAdmins get comfortable and do a fine job managing these types of systems and services. However, those who tend to be lifelong learners, the ones who have to try new things and always find better ways to manage their systems, will be fun to watch as they adapt and transform to new technologies." - User: sturdyerde

"I think the best SysAdmins will remain generalists-ultra-focused specialists have their place, but they are simply not as useful as someone who has had experience in multiple different fields throughout their careers." - User: silverbacksays

"SysAdmins will still be SysAdmins. We have always been evolving to meet the changing IT environment and the needs of the user. System monitoring will become ever more important as systems move to the cloud. There will always be legacy systems that cannot be cloud-based, and some systems will have to be on-prem for data or security reasons. Automation will increase but that just takes away the daily grind and will allow us to focus on improving systems and plan upgrades and updates. I really can't see automation or AI being able to deal with the increasingly bizarre issues brought by companies and users. I see my role as still being the person they turn to when they need help. After all, cars have been around for a long time and we still need mechanics (and they are now too complex for most people to fix)." - User: petergwilson

Published Friday, July 31, 2020 7:40 AM by David Marshall
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