Day In the Life of a System Administrator – What Would You Do with More Free Time?

Do you pass the shower test in the morning? No, this isn’t referring to how clean you are – it references your attitude about your job.

Are you an IT manager or systems administrator who wakes up in the morning eager to start the day? Do you think about how good the day is going to be while taking your morning shower? Are you excited to get to work? If not, there’s a way to recover the magic and pass the morning shower test. Let’s look at a typical day-in-the-life in IT operations.

Why You Might Not Pass the Test

As an IT manager, you have a tremendous amount of responsibility in planning and directing the IT systems activities in your company. Installation, maintenance, and oversight for every piece of hardware and software fall into your lap. On good days, it’s a challenge. On typical days, it can be a migraine in the making.

You get up in the morning and check your email first thing to see everything from the usual “I can’t log in” to an urgent request from the CFO that his laptop crashed and he must have it restored for an important meeting.

You look at your “to-do” list for the day and see that security patches need to be installed, a number of machines haven’t been upgraded yet, there are meetings with management in the afternoon, a new hire needs to be added to the network with the proper permissions, and a server backup needs to be set up and started.

You try to set up priorities, but there will always be, without fail, issues that arise during the day that will have higher priorities than your list.

Some of these issues have you wishing you could channel an inner Nick Burns, the Saturday Night Live Computer Guy. Instead, you put out fires all day and manage to get most of your list accomplished.

The CEO doesn’t realize all you’ve done during the day – he just notices what wasn’t done, and wonders what you did all day.

You don’t leave at quitting time because you weren’t able to get some of the computers upgraded because the users’ work couldn’t be interrupted; you have to wait for them to leave for the day so you can get the backup started; and you weren’t able to get the security patches installed due to too few hours in the day.

You hardly have any time to call your own during the working hours. And it carries over to “time off” as well, because when there is an IT emergency, night or day, holiday or vacation, who gets the call? A recent survey found that 72% of IT managers and system administrators questioned reported that they were interrupted while on vacation for IT emergencies – 20% saying that their vacations were cut short or ruined by the emergencies. Another study asked where the most inconvenient place was that they’d received an alert. The answers ranged from “At a wedding where I was a groomsman” to “At a funeral.”

No matter what your IT budget or the size of your IT department, problems seem to snowball, and by the end of the day, they have turned into an avalanche. It’s not because of a lack of expertise – you just don’t have the resources in-house to get everything done. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are affordable and easy to implement solutions that will give you back control of your life.

Pass the Test – Here is a Better Way to Spend Your Day

You arrive in the morning and go through your emails. Among them are notices that a server had issues overnight, but was automatically rebooted and put back online and is now functioning normally. What emails are missing? The “I lost my password” and “I can’t get logged onto xyz server” emails, because the users had access to a self-service portal and solved these issues easily themselves.

Patching and updating machines and software is done automatically based on policies that make sense for your company. For issues that can’t be taken care of automatically, you can remotely access the problem device and look into the issue in the background without disturbing the user.

You log into one control interface to access all of the machines you are responsible for (on and off network) to check on status, verify processes, and run diagnostics where necessary. Alerts are automatically turned into service tickets and assigned to your staff.  You easily onboard new hires, and you offboard exiting employees with a simple click.

All this efficiency allows you to focus without interruption on critical issues like researching new solutions that can help end users or customers get more done, and performing key IT functions that grow the business.

You say you need to generate complete reports for the afternoon meeting? Because the information is centrally located, it is done quickly and easily. You are able to report to the CEO on all the things accomplished in the day, and he’s impressed by the efficiency – and especially by the resulting savings to the bottom line.

You were able to get more done in the day than you imagined. When it is time to go home, you leave with the rest of the employees. The backups are automatically set to take place and will be automatically monitored to ensure they are done successfully.  Because your remote management is web-based, you are able to check in one last time from home to be sure everything is running smoothly at work.

What Makes the Two Days So Different?

The IT manager who passes the shower test is the one who has turned to Kaseya for IT systems management services. With Kaseya, you have a single integrated solution that allows you to control your entire IT infrastructure from a central location, manage all services and devices remotely, and automate many routine maintenance operations. Now, you can spend less time putting out fires and more time on strategic IT.

You feel good about getting more done, and look forward to the next day because you know it will be manageable and productive.

To read an eye-opening account of an hour-by-hour day of an IT manager who uses a Kaseya solution versus one who does not, download our A Day in the Life of a Systems Administrator eBook now.

Haven’t got enough time to enjoy all the non-IT things you love? Read our eBook The IT Pro’s Secret to Finding Time for the Other Things you Love.

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