SOURCE: SolarWinds


November 21, 2012 16:00 ET

Aussie System Administrators Pained by Greater Responsibility, Increased Pressure and Less Budget to Get the Job Done

SolarWinds Survey Finds System Administrators Are Pessimistic About 2013 Budgets as They Face New Challenges and Growing Demand

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Nov 21, 2012) -  SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today announced the results of an Australian survey which measured the evolving system administrators role and their pain points. The results reveal that despite facing growing pressure and demand, many predict they cannot rely on increased budget to ease their concerns.

The survey completes the third part in a series of studies conducted across Australia, the US and the UK. The study of more than 400 Australian system administrators captures attitudes and preferences on both a personal and professional level, from their enjoyment and frustrations of their jobs to their favorite movie and pop culture heroes.

Results show that three-quarters of system administrators expect 2013 IT budgets to decrease or remain flat. This is despite an average of 82 percent claiming that software to manage IT systems is getting more expensive and complex. Comparatively, US system administrators are slightly more optimistic with 68 percent of respondents forecasting IT budgets will not improve.

Some of the key findings from the study include:

  • Rising job demands: Most systems administrators are feeling some level of increased pressure in their jobs, as reported by 80 percent of respondents. Contributing factors include more responsibility and demand on their time (reported by 86 percent of respondents), doing more with less (80 percent) and increased system complexity (79 percent). 

  • Steady career satisfaction: Seventy-one percent express some level of satisfaction with their careers, with only four percent stating they do not enjoy their work. Moreover, they envision additional career path opportunities (76 percent) and are getting consistent training to gain new skills (71 percent).

  • High company confidence: Trust runs high in their IT department leadership (79 percent), and their senior/executive leadership (74 percent).

  • Lacking broader appreciation: A majority of system administrators agree on some level that most of their company's employees don't understand what they do and the value they bring (71 percent). Whilst half say they feel appreciated or highly appreciated in their jobs.

  • Job likes and dislikes: System administrators just want to be part of the solution. They get the most enjoyment out of solving problems (23 percent) and helping users (15 percent). Top job frustrations included too little pay (20 percent), increasing workloads and responsibilities (15 percent) and not enough budget (12 percent).

Interestingly, the increasing demands don't appear to be dampening enthusiasm for their jobs, 71 percent of system administrators said they are more satisfied in their careers compared to three years ago. An overwhelming 39 percent said they are likely to rarely or never change jobs and have worked in the same place for 10 years or more. In the US and UK, 48 percent and 43 percent of system administrators respectively second the notion of their Australian counterparts.

"The Australian business landscape is rapidly evolving as the effects of the GFC continue to impact our market and in turn add more complexity for our IT departments. The survey results indicate that system administrators are under new pressures to solve increasingly complex challenges and respond to growing demand," said Doug Hibberd, SolarWinds' EVP of Engineering and General Manager, APAC. "While budgets are getting tighter, system administrators are still expected to deliver more value back to the business for less, but they also appear to feel up to this challenge."

The survey also revealed insights into the social interests of Australian system administrators. The Big Bang Theory is their favourite TV show (26 percent) and Lord of the Rings triumphs over Star Wars and The Matrix as the favourite sci-fi fantasy movie (24 percent).

The complete survey results can be found on SlideShare, and an infographic on the data can be found on SolarWinds' Whiteboard blog

About SolarWinds
SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses. In all of our market areas, our approach is consistent. We focus exclusively on IT Pros and strive to eliminate the complexity that they have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. SolarWinds delivers on this commitment with unexpected simplicity through products that are easy to find, buy, use and maintain while providing the power to address any IT management problem on any scale. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our online community, thwack, to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at

SolarWinds, and thwack are registered trademarks of SolarWinds. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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