In honor of System Administrator Appreciation Day (yes, we know it was officially last week, but hey, we think everyday should be sys admin day), we thought we would clarify a few things about how the cloud can make a sys admin’s job easier by eliminating many of those tedious day-to-day tasks you’d rather not be doing anyway.
In this article, we look at how sys admin tasks change after migrating to a cloud-based email environment such as Microsoft Hosted Exchange with an experienced hosting provider like SherWeb.
6 Ways the Cloud Can Change a Sys Admin’s Job
1. Manage Users, Not Infrastructure
For most sys admins, the biggest attraction of taking their email or collaborative platform to the cloud with a hosting provider is that they no longer have to manage the environment’s infrastructure. This includes patches, security, server maintenance, etc. In other words, those time-consuming tasks most sys admins would be happy to delegate to someone else (particularly since they often have to be done on nights and weekends). In the event of downtime, the sys admin also has the peace of minding of knowing that the hosting provider will have an entire team working non-stop to correct the situation, since all reputable providers have an SLA they need to respect, along with a reputation they need to protect.
2. Improve IT agility and performance
Since one of the strongest arguments in favor of the cloud is its ability to vastly improve IT agility, infrastructure evolution also becomes much easier for the sys admin. To compete in the cloud market, hosting providers constantly have to improve and upgrade their infrastructure, while still keeping their costs down. Infrastructure is updated frequently without any involvement on the sys admin’s part, but they still get to look good for ensuring reliable performance. And because cloud-based services are instantly scalable, sys admin can easily add new services and users, and change settings as the organization evolves—often in just a few clicks. (And on a user-friendly control panel, instead of more command lines in PowerShell.)
3. No need to fight for budgets
Another dreaded task the cloud will take off the sys admin’s shoulders is having to fight for budgets for software and infrastructure upgrades. Hosted Exchange, Lync or SharePoint environments are charged on a predictable monthly basis. Sys admins no longer have to plan for software upgrade investments, either. The hosting provider will have a simple upgrade process in place, with the same payment structure.
4. Change platforms with greater ease
The cloud also makes changing platforms easier for sys admins, as the better hosting providers will have an experienced and dedicated team in place to help you migrate from one platform to another. Some providers will even offer this service free of charge, and will plan the migration around your needs and schedule.
5. Worry less about security and performance
Most sys admins working for a small or mid-sized business will say that much of their stress is caused by not having access to the resources they need to do their job properly. It can be difficult to ensure data security and server performance when you’re working with outdated or overburdened resources. Reputable hosting providers boast an infrastructure that most SMBs can only dream of, along with highly secure datacenters manned round-the-clock by highly trained and certified professionals, with detailed procedures in place to deal with any possible security breaches. For most SMBs, hosting your email environment with an experienced provider will improve service performance and data security greatly. And that’s a big worry to take off your shoulders.
6. Focus on building value rather than putting out fires
By eliminating many of these hands-on tasks, the cloud enables sys admins to play a much more proactive role in the organization. For starters, they can focus on ensuring a better and more productive user experience. They can also focus on implementing projects that will bring value to the organization and help it reach its objectives.
And by the way, here’s to all the system administrators who work hard every day to ensure their colleagues or clients are working productively day in and day out.
Have you migrated to the cloud? How has it made your job easier?