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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Aussie Network Administrators Face Both Growing Power and Responsibility as IT Budgets Tighten
SolarWinds Survey Finds Network Administrators Hold Sway Over IT Decisions but Feel Hampered by Higher Workload

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/13 -- 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 network administrator's role and their pain points. The results reveal that despite holding significant influence over organisational IT matters, network administrators believe tightening budgets and growing responsibilities will curtail how they perform their roles.

The survey completes the third part in a series of studies conducted across Australia, the US and the UK. The study of more than 300 Australian network administrators captures attitudes and preferences on both a personal and professional level, from their enjoyment and frustrations of their jobs to their favourite video games and car choices.

Results show that insufficient budget is the most common job frustration for network administrators, while 69 percent expect their 2013 budgets to decrease or remain flat. Despite nearly half of all network administrators controlling the final decisions in all IT matters in their organisations, 62 percent of them feel that most of the company doesn't understand what they do.

Some of the key findings from the study include:

  • Great organisational power: Sixty-nine percent of network administrators make the final decisions in at least some IT matters, while 49 percent say they have the final sign-off on anything IT-related which happens in their organisations.

  • ...comes with great responsibility: 85 percent of network administrators say they have more responsibility and demands on their time than before. As a result, network administrators are putting in more at work: 75 percent say they are spending more time on the job, while 44 percent say they undertake a significant or excessive amount of overtime.

  • Confidence in the future: The majority of network administrators think their departments are doing better than last year (79 percent), and that their companies will continue to grow in 2013 (73 percent).

  • Happiness in their jobs: Network administrators are more satisfied at work than their system administrator counterparts. Seventy-two percent of network administrators find their jobs enjoyable or highly enjoyable (compared to 61 percent of system administrators); 66 percent feel they're appreciated or highly appreciated in their roles (compared to only 50 percent of system administrators).

  • Job likes and dislikes: Network administrators rank solving problems (28 percent) and getting to work with new technologies (14 percent) as the topmost factors to make their job enjoyable.

Despite these changes, network administrators have a mostly positive outlook on their role in the future, with 79 percent saying they feel more satisfied in their careers than 2-3 years ago. The majority of network administrators feel they have adequate resources to get their work done, both in terms of software and hardware (73 percent) and organisational support (69 percent).

"As financial uncertainty and contracting economic conditions continue to affect markets worldwide, IT managers are having to take on more and more specialist and general responsibilities alike," said Doug Hibberd, SolarWinds' EVP of Engineering and general manager, APAC. "However, network administrators also feel that their input and control in the business has increased as a result, granting them added impetus in driving IT policy even with more constraints on their budgets and growing technical complexity."

The survey also revealed insights into the social interests of Australian system administrators. "Super Mario Brothers" is their most-loved video game (22 percent), while "Lord of the Rings" (19 percent) just trumps "Star Wars" (16 percent) as their favourite movie. More network administrators claim to drive Batmobiles (4 percent) than bicycles (2 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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