From demi-gods to mere mortals
A view on the change in the preception of system adminsitrator in an enterprise
I remember those days when system administrators were revered and feared (well almost). I was one of those geeks some time back. System administrators' role over the year has changed quite a lot in terms of their relationship with users. I remember people coaxing me or befriending me, just because I was the sysadmin. I could disable their accounts at will or give them unlimited storage space on the server if I wanted to and if they were on my good list.
This was when IT was not such a critical part of life (at least in India) and when IT and business were not integrated as they are now. IT now is a core function of any business that is of any reasonable size. Things have changed drastically in the past few years and IT is expected to be more integrated with business than ever and any other function. Plus the ITIL and BS15000 standards have made the IT's perspective to change from more on maintaining the infrastructure to customer service. Now system administrators, network administrators, IT managers are expected to maintain the business as opposed to maintain the IT infrastruture and build their schedules accordingly.
So the IT administrators who acted like gods and authority unto themselves can continue to do so at their own peril. Its the emergence of the more sophisticated, sauve, customer service oriented IT administrator now. IT will more and more be driven by business savvy technologists and not technical geeks. And its about time too...