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Systems Administrators UK Survey Results

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A wide-ranging survey of UK systems administrators that captures the rapidly evolving nature of the sysadmin role and their thoughts on life inside and outside of the workplace in October 2013

A wide-ranging survey of UK systems administrators that captures the rapidly evolving nature of the sysadmin role and their thoughts on life inside and outside of the workplace in October 2013

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  • 1. Sysadmins RevealedA look at the attitudes and preferences of UK-based systems administrators 1
  • 2. Study overview: Who are systems administrators?» SolarWinds set out to measure the rapidly evolving nature of systems administrators in the UK» We captured their thoughts on life inside and outside of the workplace to understand who they are and what drives them» 400 UK-based sysadmins took part in the survey conducted by RedShift Research in October 2012 2
  • 3. PROFESSIONAL LIFE3
  • 4. How the job sysadmin role is changing There is more pressure 30% 53% I am doing more with less 26% 52% There is more responsibility and demands on my time 25% 59% There is more complexity in the systems I manage 22% 59% I am spending more time on the job 22% 57% The software used to manage IT systems is more complex 22% 57% The software used to manage IT systems is more expensive 21% 60% I feel more satisfied in my career 17% 48% There are more career paths to pursue /more specialization 16% 48% There are more resources to do my job 16% 41%I have been adequately trained in the latest technology skills to do my … 15% 54% There is more incentive to perform my best 14% 43% Strongly agree Somewhat agree Most sysadmins agree that there is more pressure, they need to do more with less, are taking on more responsibility and facing greater demands on their time. 65% are more satisfied in their careers now. Q15: How much do you agree or disagree with each statement, in terms of how the system/network admin career has changed over the last 2-3 years. (Asked; Strongly agree, somewhat agree., somewhat disagree, strongly disagree.) 4
  • 5. Key job frustrations Too little pay 27% Increasing workload/responsibilities 13% Too much to do 12% Job is not challenging enough 11% Not enough budget 9%Lack of appreciation from users/company 9% Little control over what I work on 8% Not enough autonomy 4% Dont know 8% Inadequate pay and budget constraints, coupled with a heavy workload represent key points of frustration. Q7: Please rank your top three most frustrating challenges in order of level of frustration. 5
  • 6. What sysadmins enjoy most about their work Solving problems 71% Helping users 55% Thinking on my feet 49% Making a contribution to the organisation 40% Getting to work with new technologies 38%Having a unique set of skills/capabilities few or no 35% others have in the organisation Designing or planning new solutions 26% Evaluating software solutions 22% Driving innovation in the company 22% Completing daily systems tasks 21% Other aspect not listed above 1% Solving problems, helping users and having to think on your feet are the most enjoyable aspects of the profession. Q12: Please select all of the items that you enjoy a lot about being a systems /network administrator? 6
  • 7. The single most enjoyable thing about the profession Solving problems 31% Helping users 16% Thinking on my feet 12% Getting to work with new technologies 9% Making a contribution to the organisation 7% Designing or planning new solutions 6% Driving innovation in the company 6%Having a unique set of skills/capabilities few or no 5% others have in the organization Evaluating software solutions 4% Completing daily systems tasks 4% Other aspect not listed above: 2% The challenge of problem solving is most likely to be identified as the most enjoyable aspect of the job, although a significant minority would also identify with helping users. Q13: Which of these do you enjoy most about being a systems administrator? (One response only) 7
  • 8. Job satisfaction and recognition 48% 38% 35% 27% 19% 15% 12% 6%Not enjoyable Somewhat Enjoyable Highly Not Somewhat Appreciated Highly at all enjoyable enjoyable appreciated at appreciated appreciated all Most sysadmins find their jobs enjoyable to at least some extent and most feel they are at least somewhat appreciated. Less than one in five describe their jobs as highly enjoyable, or feel highly appreciated. Q9: All things considered, how enjoyable is your job? Q10: Do you feel appreciated for the job that you do by the company in general? 8
  • 9. How sysadmins feel about their employersOur systems are more reliable and efficient than in 56% 25% the past I trust the leadership of the IT department at my 54% 20% company I trust the senior/executive leadership of the 49% 22% company Our IT department is in a better position than the 49% 20% past year Most of the company doesn’t understand what I 47% 22% do/the value I bring I feel 2013 will be a growth year for my company 47% 18% Somewhat agree Strongly agree Most sysadmins feel fairly positive about their workplace. However, 69% worry that the technical nature of their work is not easily understood by most people in their business. Q18: Please rate the following sentences based on how much you agree or disagree. (Asked: strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree.) 9
  • 10. How often do sysadmins change jobs? 30% 26% 22% 13% 9%Every 1-2 years Every 3-5 years Every 5-10 years More than 10 years Never changed jobs 43% rarely or never change jobs, having worked in the same place for 10 years or more. Q37: How often do you change jobs? 10
  • 11. Why they change jobs 20% 19% 15% 13% 13% 11% 5% 5%more challenging role satisfyingFor a pay raiseFor a promotion made redundant For a more role I was Change ofCurrent company is unstable career Lack of overall support in curre The main reason for changing is for more money or a more challenging/satisfying role. Q38: What was the last reason that made you change your job? 11
  • 12. 2013 budget predictions 38% 15% 12% 10% 9% 7% 6% 4%More than 5-10% less 1-4% less Same as 2012 1-4% more 5-10% more More than I don’t10% less 10% more know/Im not involved in budgeting Net change = +1.7% average budget increase (current UK inflation rate = 2.2% as at September 2012). Q8: Do you anticipate your department will have more, less, or the same budget in 2013? (Please select one response) 12
  • 13. Do they have the right resources to do the job Adequate tools/software and hardware 46% 16% Skilled staff/people resources 44% 18% Adequate support from organisation 42% 14%Adequate ongoing training and skills development 37% 13% Adequate budget/money resources 34% 13% Usually have access to adequate resource Always have access to adequate resource Budgets and money are most likely to be identified as the scarcest resource (around half say that this is not usually adequate at their organisation). However, as many as one third are not convinced they have access to adequate tools/software/hardware to perform effectively. Q14: Do you feel you have the following resources you need to adequately perform your job on a daily basis? (Asked; always, usually, sometimes, rarely, never.) 13
  • 14. Where sysadmins go for help 20% 19% 12% 9% 7% 7% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3% 2% 1% General internet searches and the advice of colleagues represent the main sources of help for sysadmins.Q17: When faced with a challenging task on thejob, please rank the top three sources of information youturn to in order of importance? 14
  • 15. Out of hours working 36% 34% 14% 10% 7% A significant and A significant but A small and A small but No amount of unreasonable manageable reasonable unreasonable extra time, I amount of extra amount of extra amount of extra amount of extra complete all my time time time time tasks during work hours Nearly 44% of sysadmins need to devote a significant amount of their free time to completing assignments. Only 14% are able to complete all their task within normal office hours. Q11: Outside of your normal working hours, how much of your free time do you use to continue working to complete your assignments? 15
  • 16. The average working week 40% 30% 20% 4% 4% 3% Under 40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 More than 60 hours hours Average working week = 43 ½ hours.Q19: On average, how many hours do you usually workper week? 16
  • 17. What sysadmins doMaintaining and/or operating a computer system and/or network 36% Project management for systems-related projects 33% Installing, supporting, maintaining servers or other computer… 26% Supervising or training computer operators 25% Light programming 22%Planning for and responding to service outages or other problems 19% Procurement of new hardware, rolling out new software installs 13% Monitoring performance of the network 10% Ensuring security for Internet connectivity 10% Making sure licenses for software are paid 9% Checking for security breaches and poor data management… 9% Designing and/or Installing networks 8% Maintaining the disk images for new computer installs 7% Maintaining standards for server installations and applications 6% Primary responsibility include the maintenance/operation of systems, PM for systems projects, installation, support and operator training along with a wide range of other tasks. Q3: Which of the following categories describes your role in the IT department? Please check as many as apply based on your primary responsibilities 17
  • 18. How much sway sysadmins have I make the final decisions for all IT matters 9%I make the final decisions for at least some IT 4% matters I have a strong influence in at least some IT 28% decisions I have some influence in at least some IT 22% matters I have very little influence in the decision 21% making process for any IT matters I have no involvement at all in the decision 15% making process for any IT matters Sysadmins may have some influence over IT decisions, but more rarely hold decision making authority. Q4: Which of the following best describes your overall role in the IT decision making process? (Please select only one response.) 18
  • 19. SOCIAL LIFE19
  • 20. How they spend their free time 73% 73% 70% 56% 54% 51% 43% 38% 36% 33% 32% 29% 25% 21% 20% 20% 18% 17% Even away from work, 70% like to spend time surfing the web, 32% play video games and 20% even program for fun. However, 51% also love the great outdoors and 25% like to participate in competitive sports.Q23: Let’s say you’ve had a hard week at work, and you wantto “blow off some steam”. How often do you participate ineach of the following fun activities in this type of situation?(those done very often/usually) 20
  • 21. Mobile gadget of choice 36% 33% 15% 10% 6% Android iPhone Blackberry Other Windows mobile 36% own Androids and 33% have iPhones Q24:For my personal Smartphone, I use a(n)… 21
  • 22. PC or Mac preference 81% 13% 4% 2% PC Mac Open source Other PCs dominateQ25: I’m a… 22
  • 23. What’s the all-time best gaming platform? Xbox 21% I’m not a gamer 21% PlayStation 17% Wii 14% My PC 12% Nintendo 8% Xbox beats PlayStation and Wii. But, surprisingly, as many as one in six are not gamers!Q26: What is the best video game platform of all time? 23
  • 24. The all-time best game Call of Duty 29% Other 23% Super Mario Bros. 20% Tetris 19% Grand Theft Auto 18% Wii 14% Space Invaders 14% Guitar Hero 11% World of Warcraft 10% The Sims 10% PacMan/Ms. PacMan 9% Legend of Zelda 7% Jarheads beat Italian plumbers and gangstersQ27: Please select your top 3 favorite games of all time.(those above 10% and shown.) 24
  • 25. Best sci-fi/fantasy movie Lord of the Rings 21% Star Wars 19% Star Trek 14% The Terminator 14% Matrix 12% Alien 11% None of the above 9% Other 2% Swords and sorcery win the battle!Q29: What is your favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy moviefranchise? 25
  • 26. Favourite all-time geek/sci-fi show The X-Files 17% Star Trek 16% The Simpsons 14% The Big Bang Theory 13% Family Guy 8% Battlestar Galactica 7% Lost in Space 6% ALF 2% Alien conspiracy theories are preferred to Chief Science Officer Spock – illogical? The Simpsons come third – Doh!Q31: What is your favorite all-time geek or sci-fi TV show? 26
  • 27. The most badass superhero Batman 20% Don’t Know 16% Wolverine 12% Superman 7% Iron Man 7% The Hulk 7% Spiderman 5% Captain America 4% Wonder Woman 2% None of the above 2% Batman is the baddest badass.Q28: Who is the most ‘badass’ superhero of all time?(top 10 answers shown) 27
  • 28. Favourite beverage Wine 19% Coffee 18% Beer (Craft) 17% Beer (Macro like Bud/Bud… 13% Fizzy drink 5% Water 5% Straight spirits… 5% Beer with a chaser 3% Mixed drink 2% Wine edges ahead of coffee and beer. But it’s real ale, not lager, for sysadmins.Q30: What is your usual beverage of choice whenyou’re relaxing? 28
  • 29. How sysadmins like to spend their holidays Spending time with family 19% Hitting the beach 17% Cultural destination 11% City vacation 10% Cruising 8% Hiking/camping destination 6% Spa/Spa Resort 5% Other 4% Geek convention/gathering 4% Staycation 2% Spending time with the family or hitting the beach are the two favoured options for holidays Q32: What is your ideal vacation? (top 10 shown) 29
  • 30. Favourite tunes22% 16% 9% 8% 7% 7% 7% 5% 5% 5% 3% 3% 2% 2% Rock Rocks! Pop is popular. But Country, Techno, New Age and Funk fall on deaf ears Q33: What is your favorite type of music? 30
  • 31. What wheels they’re driving Compact car 39% Classic car 12% Sports car 9% I dont own a vehicle 9%Minivan or station wagon 7% SUV 6% Bicycle 6% Other 9% Motorcycle 3% Truck 1% Compact cars are the most popular choice.Q34: What class of vehicle you most drive on a regularbasis? 31
  • 32. What kind of people sysadmins are 53% 52% 51% 41% 40% 39% 34% 30% 27% 27%Friendly Hard-working Compassionate Fun-loving Funny Intellectual Homebody Smart Adventurous Leader Sysadmins see themselves as friendly, hardworking and compassionate but are less likely to see themselves as leaders Q39 Please rate each of the following personality traits in terms of how well each describes you. (“describes me completely.”) 32
  • 33. DEMOGRAPHICS OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS 33
  • 34. Gender 62% 38% Male Female 34
  • 35. Age 18% 17% 16% 13% 13% 10% 9% 4% 1% 1%18-21 22-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-49 60-64 65 and older Nearly 80% are aged 22-49 35
  • 36. Marital status 57% 19% 17% 6% 2% Married Divorced Widowed Single/never married Living with a significant other 36
  • 37. Years in the technology field 47% 16% 12% 11% 12% 3%Less than 1 year 1 to 3 years Over 3 years to 5 Over 5 years to 8 Over 8 years to 10 Over 10 years years years years Nearly half have more than 10 years experience 37
  • 38. Highest level of education achieved 36% 13% 14% 13% 12% 6% 4% 1%Post graduate Post graduate A bachelor’s An associate’s A vocational Some college Completed Some high study with a studies degree degree or certificate high school school or less degree without a program after (PHD, etc) degree high school Over half are educated to full degree level or beyond 38
  • 39. Years as a sysadmin 25% 22% 19% 12% 11% 11%Less than 1 year 1 to 3 years Over 3 years to 5 Over 5 years to 8 Over 8 years to 10 Over 10 years years years years Nearly half have been sysadmins for more than five years 39
  • 40. Annual income before taxes Refused 6% Over 200,000 1% 171,000 to 180,000 1% 111,000 to 120,000 1% 96,000 to 110,000 3% 86,000 to 95,000 2% 76,000 to 85,000 2% 66,000 to 75,000 6% 56,000 to 65,000 6% 46,000 to 55,000 15% 36,000 to 45,000 20% 25,000 to 35,000 23% Under 25,000 15% Average income = 46,600 40
  • 41. Visit www.solarwinds.com for more information 41