Every year, around the official System Administrator Appreciation Day July 30th, Lansweeper organizes the SysAdmin Day Awards, a competition held to celebrate IT Heroes & IT teams around the world. This year we received a record number of applications mostly coming from the healthcare industry. Who are the 2021 nominees and how can you vote for your favorite?
Healthcare Industry as the Main Provider of Nominations
We received many applications from IT pros working in healthcare. That should not be surprising, as the people working in healthcare were at the forefront of the COVID crisis that struck the world. Hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, vaccination centers, government health agencies, and other health-related organizations were all under a great deal of stress trying to cope with the situation. And at each of these organizations, you can find a sysadmin or IT team working behind the scenes to make sure that their networks could handle the stress, that everyone could be serviced digitally, that communication channels remained open, etc. Their contribution may not have gotten much news coverage, but rest assured, it made a big difference.
A Changing IT Landscape That Birthed a Lot of IT Heroes
Of course, the situation was not only taxing on IT pros working in healthcare. Sysadmins and IT teams across the world were confronted with sudden changes in their IT landscapes. Homeworking became a necessity, which gave IT pros a great deal of responsibility to come up with solutions quickly or risk losing business continuity. And with homeworking came the sudden introduction of many personal devices to company networks, which posed serious security risks.
IT tasks ranged from setting up computers for employees to work from home, teaching employees how to use said devices, providing & installing software for new means of communication, introducing heat scanners, setting up safe VPN connections, etc. They faced numerous challenges, too, like managing cyberattacks, solving server failures, keeping track of new devices connected to networks, solving network latency between a company and home environment, and much more. Meanwhile, they needed to perform their daily tasks as well. It was not hard to find an IT pro spending every night, for weeks on end, in front of a monitor.
The SysAdmin Day Awards 2021 - Nominees
The following nominees have been selected for the voting round:
1. The IT Team from University Hospitals Plymouth NHS TRUST
This IT team is a prime example of an IT team that had to perform many tasks in a short period of time for an organization in healthcare during the COVID crisis. They completed two years' worth of work in two months, spending many hours outside office hours trying to keep up with the virus. From quickly managing homeworking to implementing a major Microsoft 365 migration, this team showed its worth.
2. The IT Team from Kern Medical
This IT team found a solution to help their medical team administer vaccines efficiently to underserved communities, including a large number of homeless, uninsured and undocumented people. Through a mobile link, they provided them with the same connection and technologies used in their hospital so that they could apply the hospital workflow to any location that needed it. A feat worth celebrating.
3. Michael Allen from Sarah Group
This sysadmin saved his company valuable time and effort by optimizing pretty much the entire IT estate. Michael completely overhauled the manual approach to their IT inventory management and changed it to a smooth and automated process. Michael has also established a reputation as a helpful community member who spends his free time helping other sysadmins solve IT problems and find IT solutions. His passion for IT is truly inspiring.
4. The IT Team from Endless Mountains Health Systems
This IT team worked themselves to the brink of an IT burnout. During COVID, the task of keeping the hospital network safe and clean was exceptionally challenging. From keeping people connected remotely 24/7, to doing maintenance in the patient area safely, their efforts kept the hospital going. And despite the fact that the odds were against them, they persevered. A professional team deserving of the accolades.
5. Andrew Creamer from Gateway Community Service Board
This sysadmin was doing the job even before he had the title, which is heroic in its own right. Andrew's behind-the-scenes contribution helps to serve entire communities of children, adults, and families with mental illnesses and disabilities. Earlier this year, Andrew was there to solve a massive data-center failure on top of a failing SAN. With patience, skill, and the right tools, he saw it through. That is some first-class IT management.
6. The IT Team from La Macchia Group
This IT team maintained a running network with zero downtime during the entirety of the pandemic. They ran overtime setting up home networking, upgrading their devices, and following up user issues. They even introduced heat scanners when their office converted to optional part-time. And in the middle of all that, they completed a fourth straight SOC 2 security audit. An impressive accomplishment.
7. Erik Villalobos and Marcin Twardowski from Orbia
These two system administrators make for a great combo. Erik is described as the Usain Bolt of Orbia, setting records for the company with everything he does. In a short period of time, he managed to pull off a variety of critical tasks that made Orbia the future-proof and resilient company it is today, like performing much-needed legacy system upgrades and mitigating important vulnerabilities. Talking about vulnerabilities, Marcin is the IT professional at Orbia who streamlines cybersecurity and other processes using Lansweeper. Thanks to his administration of the Lansweeper tool, Orbia has complete visibility of its IT estate. Both their contributions have had an enormous impact.