SolarWinds Survey Reveals IT Pros Are Engaged, Upbeat and Loyal

SolarWinds Survey Reveals IT Pros Are Engaged, Upbeat and Loyal
Study of US-Based Systems and Network Administrators Uncovers
Overarching Similarities as Well as Pointed Differences on the Job 
AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/13 --  SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), a
leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software,
today released results of a survey of network administrators, the
second part of a comprehensive survey which last month announced
findings for systems administrators. The results show a striking
similarity between both groups in job satisfaction and optimism,
experience and loyalty, as well as how they like to spend their free
time and even their favorite video games and geek TV shows. The
survey also uncovered several key on-the-job differences between the
groups, related to their job functions and responsibilities, views
towards the organizations they work for and compensation levels.  
These results are part of a wide-ranging survey of 401 U.S.-based
systems administrators, or sysadmins, and 400 U.S.-based network
administrators, or netadmins, conducted in October 2012 to understand
the IT professional in both their professional and personal lives.
Despite 90 percent of each group agreeing there are now more
responsibilities and demands on their time, the overarching results
find IT workers to be model employees: experienced, optimistic and
confident in their companies, loyal and satisfied in their job roles. 
On the job, the survey revealed sysadmins and netadmins felt
similarly about the following factors, even though there were some
key differences between groups:  

--  High levels of overall job enjoyment: Though both groups enjoy their
    jobs, netadmins demonstrate slightly higher job satisfaction. More
    netadmins (79 percent) expressed enjoyment in their jobs compared with
    sysadmins (68 percent). Similarly, more netadmins (66 percent) felt
    appreciated by the organization, higher than their sysadmin
    counterparts (56 percent). The most enjoyable thing about their jobs?
    Two-thirds of netadmins and sysadmins agree it's solving problems, the
    top answer for both groups.
--  New Year's projections: System and network admins overall believe
    their 2013 budgets will likely re
main flat. Thirty-eight percent of
    these IT pros expect no change from 2012; the overall prediction for
    netadmins is a 1.5 percent growth in budget, versus an expected 1
    percent decline for sysadmins. Nonetheless, both groups remain
    optimistic for the New Year: 83 percent of netadmins and 73 percent of
    sysadmins agree 2013 will be a better year for their companies.
--  Loyalty towards and confidence in their companies: Both netadmins and
    sysadmins are loyal to their companies, with 52 percent of netadmins
    and 48 percent of sysadmins having worked at their jobs for 10 years
    or more or never having changed jobs. Eighty-five percent of netadmins
    expressed that they have some level of trust in the senior/executive
    leadership of the company, compared with 77 percent of sysadmins. The
    numbers were even higher for trust in IT leadership, with 92 percent
    of netadmins and 82 percent of sysadmins expressing some level of
--  Feeling supported: A key shared viewpoint among both groups is that
    they feel supported and empowered to do their jobs in various ways. A
    majority of both groups feel they have adequate tools and software,
    support from the organization and ongoing training and skills
    development. Netadmins, however, receive slightly more support, with
    75 percent versus 63 percent of sysadmins saying they have adequate
    tools and software; 72 percent versus 57 percent having adequate
    organizational support; and 66 versus 58 percent having adequate
    ongoing skills training and development. But universally, most IT pros
    -- 70 percent of both groups -- feel their work is not well understood
    by others in the company.

Despite overall similarities in their overarching positivity towards
the job, there are several key differences between netadmins and

--  Responsibility and compensation: As may be expected, netadmins have a
    wider range of responsibilities compared with their sysadmin
    counterparts. As a result, netadmins also spend more free time
    working, with 52 percent indicating they spend a "significant" amount
    of time completing tasks, compared with 43 percent of sysadmins.
    Perhaps this accounts for the gap in pay, with netadmins making an
    average of $87,000 per year compared to $78,000 on average for
Split frustrations: While the top frustrations for sysadmins was too
    little pay followed by increasing workloads, the top frustration for
    netadmins was not having enough budget followed by too little pay.
--  Ambitions: In five years, 43 percent of netadmins see themselves as IT
    department head and 17 percent see themselves as CIO. Similarly, 39
    percent of sysadmins see themselves as IT department head, but a much
    smaller group -- only five percent -- see themselves as CIO.
    Interestingly, there is some desire between the groups to switch job
    roles: 19 percent of netadmins say they will cross over to systems
    management, while 23 percent of sysadmins say they will be netadmins
    in five years.

"Our survey reveals that IT pros are a remarkable and resilient bunch,"
said Kevin Thompson, President and CEO, SolarWinds. "They are unsung
heroes in many companies, but they are incredibly loyal and motivated
despite the scope of work they do and the demand of work on their
time both on and off the job. It's essential for companies to
understand what drives netadmins and sysadmins to perform and give
them the support that helps make their jobs easier in order to retain
these valuable employees." 
As with their professional lives, network administrators and systems
administrators show some remarkable similarities in their personal
lives and preferences.  

--  Personality traits: More than 60 percent of both groups say they are
    hardworking, the top personality trait chosen, followed by more than
    50 percent of both groups indicating they are friendly.
--  Gadgets of choice: Netadmins were split in their preference over
    Android and iPhone, with 37 percent of respondents in each category.
    This compares with a slight majority of sysadmins using Android phones
    over iPhones. As with sysadmins, an overwhelming majority of
    netadmins, 82 percent, are PC users.
--  What they watch: The top sci-fi TV show for both groups was "Star
    Trek," followed by "The Big Bang Theory" and "The X-Files." But on the
    big screen, like their sysadmin colleagues, netadmins prefer light
    sabers over phasers as "Star Wars" narrowly beat out "Star Trek" for
    top sci-fi movie honors.
--  What they drink: If they aren't working during their free time,
    netadmins and sysadmins can enjoy a brew together after work. Forty
    percent of netadmins and 31 percent of sysadmins prefer some kind of
    beer to drink in their off time. More sysadmins drink soda, though,
    with 19 percent of sysadmins versus 10 percent of netadmins preferring
    some pop when off duty.
--  More similarities: Both groups list Batman as their favorite
    superhero; rock music as the genre of choice; and compact cars as
    current vehicles. The top three answers for what they like to do in
    their free time were the same between the two groups: 1) spending time
    with family and friends; 2) unwinding at home; and 3) surfing the web.

Demographically, two-thirds of both groups were male. Slightly more
netadmins than sysadmins have advanced degrees, with 77 percent of
netadmins having at least a bachelor's degree compared with 65
percent of sysadmins. Netadmins were also a bit more experienced,
with 68 percent indicating more than 8 years of experience versus 62
percent of sysadmins.  
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 
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