What is the role of a system administrator?

What is the role of a system administrator

Let us first define what is a system administrator. A system administrator is a professional accountable for a company’s network set-up, annual server maintenance, and it’s cybersecurity. A system administrator is also tasked with providing a reliable work environment, especially today when the new normal of office work is the digital workspace where employees work remotely and use computers or gadgets associated with different LAN networks. System administrators must also have in-depth knowledge of computer hardware, software, and networks. System administrators must necessarily have expertise with the underlying system platform, back-up, data restoration, database restoration, database restorations, database operations, middleware basics, load balancing, and any functions that support a smoothly running production environment with minimal to no complaints from users. 

The duties of a system administrator are also broad and alter widely from one organization to another. They are expected with installing, supporting, and maintaining servers and other computer systems, and plan for and respond to service outages and other problems. Other tasks may include scripting or light programming, and project management for system-related projects. To understand more, let us go over the 12 important roles and responsibilities of a system administrator.

Monitoring and alerting

The sysadmin is in charge of monitoring and alerting your application and online platform. Monitoring the server and network links can help system administrators to detect problems. Then, they can set up alerts based on monitoring entry to receive on-call notifications in case of any major incidents. It is also important for them to know how to utilize both external system outputs and metrics to regulate the health of their system leading to more observable architecture. 

User permission and administration

System administrators are mainly in charge of user permission and administration for all applications and services. They can set user roles and manage the entire IT stack, allowing everyone to access certain applications and IT services in a secured way. 

SSO and password management

Sysadmins have the responsibility to oversee passwords and SSO or the Single-Sign-On policies and practices across the company. They can reset passwords and establish security requirements are met everywhere. The system administrator is also in charge of managing these tools and guiding employees to get access to the systems they need when they need them. 

File organization and management

Sysadmins guarantee data organization and management by placing policies and procedures around the way files are shared and organized within the organization to guarantee security from external attacks while ensuring applicable and easy access to files for employees. 

System usage policies and procedures

Best working practices for working within the company’s system is needed to be defined by the system administrators at a general level. By showing employees how to use systems securely and productively they are bound to change the way how work is done within the organization.

Installs and updates software

One of the sysadmin’s jobs is to install and update systems within the company. If there are problems with the new updates or interdependencies between new versions of systems they should detect these errors and fix them. 

Create backup and recovery policies

System administrators should have active, updated plans for rollover or redundancies and incident recovery. They should be able to quickly detect and fix any failure IT incidents by effective monitoring, alerting, and cross-functional communication. 


Security is the main thing a sysadmin works on. May it be user permission or documentation, they should do it securely. As they set up a network, policies, and servers they know how to do it in a technically sound and secured way. 

Incident detection, response, remediation, and post-incident review

Sysadmins need to build an IT and security environment together with visibility and speed in mind. They should be on top of everything, even before an incident happens, how to solve it, and then the maintenance to keep their management practices afloat. And of course, after these is the post-incident review. Collaborating with the affected teams and taking detailed post-incident notes can help the IT and developer relationship leading to better feedback.

Preparation and problem-solving

A good sysadmin is an exceptional problem-solver who can solve problems in the future and prepare for the unknown. Finding ways to reduce restrictions in the system’s lifecycle while simultaneously reducing risk and security to your IT infrastructure will always make your system administrator’s life easier.