sysadmin-challenge“Not enough hours in the day!” – is the cry from IT admins in a recent GFI Cloud survey about their greatest day-to-day challenges, and these are common across the board, regardless of geography or business sector they work in.

The key challenges facing IT admins in 2014 are:

1. IT Admins rarely have enough time

The most significant finding in the survey was that IT admins typically struggle to find enough time, with nearly 55% of respondents agreeing that their greatest challenge is “finding time to do everything”.

Could this be a reflection of under-staffing in IT departments in the aftermath of the economic crisis that is leaving IT pros feeling too thinly spread? Whatever the cause, the impact can be seen in a separate US-based stress survey from GFI revealing 79% of IT staff are actively considering leaving their current role due to job-related stress, despite apparent economic and staffing improvements in many businesses.

2. It’s hard to work around the users

The second biggest challenge amongst respondents to the GFI Cloud survey was the difficulty of “doing work without impacting users”. Nearly 50% of users highlighted this.

It seems that IT professionals in most businesses who have to stay late and go in at the weekend! IT admins face a challenge akin to performing highly skilled operations without waking the patients.

3. IT pros yearn for centralized management

42.5% of respondents highlighted the challenge of centrally managing their IT infrastructures. With increasing mobilization in the workforce the challenge is becoming more acute. Being in three locations at once is impossible for a small IT team.

4. Keeping on top of everything is complicated for many

Nearly 40% of respondents said that a major challenge is “keeping everything running smoothly.”

This brings to mind the constant double-edged sword that all IT professionals are up against: on one side they strive to be proactive and plan ahead, but they must also respond to the day-to-day challenges posed by the users and the business. This brings us neatly onto the final point:

5. Users are unpredictable!

Over 36% of the people we surveyed said their users are a big challenge! Specifically, they agreed with “users – whatever they come up with next” as a key trial.

Let’s face it: this is unlikely to ever change. After all, without employees there would be no business, and without the business there would be no need for an IT department. On the bright side, at least the IT admins surveyed didn’t view the employee’s needs as their biggest challenge.

Finally, in amongst the challenges, there was one seriously positive sign for IT admins to cling to: Only 11% of respondents said that getting sign-off for IT spend was a problem. With that in mind, perhaps IT admins should focus on persuading the “powers that be” to invest in solutions that improve automation and centralized management? In turn, they could reduce the pressure caused by the other challenges discussed above.

GFI Cloud is an all-in-one solution for resource strapped IT admins, looking to monitor, manage and secure their disparate network from a single web-based console. Read more, or try it out yourself, for free.