Businesses of all sizes face extreme threats in terms of cybersecurity. The long-held thought was that smaller businesses didn’t face the same threat level as enterprise-level organizations and this simply isn’t the case anymore. Businesses of all sizes face the same threat level, and the same increasing complexity and demands.
This is leading many smaller-sized organizations to consider whether or not they should be doing more to improve their security and be proactive. One question businesses may ask is whether or not they need a network administrator who can tackle complexities such as DDI services and IPAM strategies, or other options may work better for their needs.
The following provides an overview of what a network administrator does and what to know if you’re a business owner who wants to make sure your network is protected.
What is a Network Administrator?
The role of a network administrator is a broad one. A network administrator is someone responsible for maintaining the IT infrastructure of a businesses’ computer network. The specific responsibilities can depend on the needs of the organizations, but they usually focus on how software interacts with the network as a whole and ensuring they maintain security for the network.
Network administrators are meant to be proactive in keeping up with what’s happening in the network rather than reactive.
A network administrator monitors the network, tests the network to identify possible weaknesses and is always looking for any necessary updates. A network administrator also has an invaluable role in implementing security programs and practices and also securing email.
For a smaller business, one network administrator can usually handle all of the necessary duties, however, in larger and enterprise-level organizations that are often many system administrators.
Are Network Administrators the Same As Systems Administrators?
A frequently asked question here is whether network administrators are the same as systems administrators and the answer is not necessarily,but there can be overlap in the roles and duties.
One of the biggest differences between network and systems administrators is usually that a systems administrator is in charge of the computer systems such as software and hardware maintenance and data backup.
Should You Outsource the Duties?
Rather than hiring a dedicated administrator, what a lot of small businesses with fewer resources will do is outsource the work.
There can be some benefits to going this route and doing managed IT services through a third-party provider as opposed to having a dedicated onsite, employee of the company manage these duties.
What are the benefits of managed services? The following are a few:
- When you outsource the duties of a network administrator, you don’t have to worry about having an employee who has to constantly stay up to date on best practices and regulatory requirements. It can be much easier for a managed services provider to stay up-to-date than a single employee who also likely wears many hats simultaneously.
- Of course, you have to consider the cost of outsourced management as well. Many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to pay the salary of a dedicated employee.
- Managed services providers have a broad level of experience implementing strategies in real-world situations, and they can bring this experience to the projects they take on within your business.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Network Administrator?
Just as there are benefits of outsourcing network administration, there are also benefits to hiring someone to do the work in-house as an employee. A few benefits of hiring a dedicated network administrator include:
- An employee understands not only the technical components of network administration but also the daily ins and outs of your business so they may be better equipped to help create solutions that will work well for your culture, your employees and your processes.
- While you may have to pay someone a full-time salary, what many businesses find is that they ultimately save money by having an onsite network administrator.
- If you’re looking for ways to improve overall efficiency, having a dedicated network administrator may help you meet that objective in a wide variety of ways.
Some of the positions that have similar roles to a network administrator that a small business might consider hiring for instead include a computer network support specialist, and a computer network architect.
Regardless of the route a business takes, security should be a top priority going forward, if it isn’t already.