Almost every organization today relies on information technology and the exchange of information via computer or internet networking, which means that administrative tools and knowledge should be in place to allow responses concerns or issues that are both comprehensive and expeditious.
According to Business News Daily, IT administrators are typically responsible for overseeing and managing server and client configuration as well as access controls, email, database and network services and application resource requirements, among other components.
“They often find themselves working with directory and name services as well as network addressing, database services, web and desktop applications, email, and more,”
Currently, there are a number of specialized solutions that IT administrators can employ so they can more easily monitor the conditions of the systems and networks they are charged with maintaining, as well as direct their daily efforts toward high-priority work. Different applications, software and other products are available to handle day-to-day administrative tasks like installing updates, monitoring server traffic and speed, responding to system downtime and implementing cybersecurity measures like code patches.
Along with tools to assist IT operations, administrators should also have a substantial amount of intuitive knowledge related to programming, hardware installation and other advanced computer-based concepts.
Tools of the trade
In a Site Uptime article, several IT experts provided suggestions regarding their favorite tools for network administrators to use that also make their jobs easier and more efficient. All of the experts recommended various system monitoring softwares related to speed, traffic and performance overall, as well as a notepad fitted with text editing features to facilitate any coding work.
Here are some of the expert-recommended tools that every IT administrator should make use of, and for a number of different purposes all essential to high-level and comprehensive systems management:
- Remote server administration access: This is an essential IT administrative feature recommended by experts that permits secure access to a server from a remote location. The solution is especially helpful when work is required of an administrator who is out of network working in the field, for example.
- Automation: When it comes down to prioritization, automation can help a busy administrator perform low-level tasks and focus more attention on important work on a regular basis. Automation tools can help with tasks as specific as IoT device software deployment sent out from a specific server, instead of through the services of an on-site technician to conduct installation in person, according to an Inc. article.
- Monitoring and diagnostics: An IT administrator always needs to be aware of the current status of the systems and networks he or she oversees; today, this has never been easier than with scalable monitoring and diagnostic tools for IoT devices. These provide an at-a-glance overview of essential system and network information, along with other features like mobile alerts.
- Satisfaction surveys: When it comes to monitoring a network, the performance of machines are not the only component for which an administrator is responsible. In order to further prevent cyber risk and other issues, managers should also survey the employees that use network-connected devices to gauge their IT satisfaction. Answers may be able to give an administrator insight into device use patterns causing persistent issues.
While an administrator may have all the tools required to keep an organization’s network up-and-running, he or she may not have the knowledge required to use them or make sense of the information they provide. Automation tools, for example, are only useful if an administrator has the technological know-how to both set and safely rely on them. Along with programming knowledge and experience, administrators should also be familiar with the impacts that certain decisions can have on the entire system.
Due to the serious implications associated with a poor level of data security, many companies require that administrators be certified in the products they are using, according to OwlGuru. Courses are offered by entities including modern technology pioneers Microsoft and Cisco. A course offered by Microsoft was included in a Business News Daily report that analyzed the top IT certifications required of IT administrators in 2019 based on job specifications, along with those from Oracle Corporation and Red Hat. Some courses pertain to products used on operating systems made by different companies: for example, some of those provided by Oracle are required for certifications to use its cloud-based services that run on Linux.
To increase efficiency and the amount of time spent each day performing time-consuming tasks, administrators can also benefit from learning the shortcuts associated with their operating systems (like those that can be entered into the Windows Commands Prompt, among others), according to Tech Talk.As a basic example, a computer user consumes less time saving a text document using a keyboard shortcut than navigating via mouse to the required button. Administrators can also benefit from having a strong knowledge on how to effectively use their system’s directory services.