Distinguishing DevOps from SysAdmin

For IT businesses, integrating software and hardware is a crucial skill. With the advent of new technologies, organisations are faced with numerous challenges, from optimizing product delivery precision to expediting the pace of development.

IT organisations striving to improve their workforce’s efficiency and productivity highly value the skills of a System Administrator and a DevOps Engineer. Though in demand for distinct reasons, both professions serve a critical role.

Now we’ll explore the disparities between a SysAdmin and a DevOps to better understand how these two groups can impact and improve the inner workings of your business.

The Overall Scope of DevOps and System Administration

SysAdmins are responsible for overseeing the company’s employees’ servers and other computers. Their duties involve ensuring the security, dependability, and superior performance of these computer systems. They also handle software management, programme installation, and technical support for the organisation and its personnel.

DevOps has become an increasingly prominent sector in the IT industry, primarily due to the rise of cloud computing. This technology has led to many of the roles and responsibilities that SysAdmins traditionally held to be automated or outsourced to cloud service providers (in cases where a business doesn’t manage its own cloud network). DevOps has emerged to help optimise the use of these services by facilitating communication and collaboration between IT development teams and automating various software-related tasks.

To put it simply:

  • SysAdmins are accountable for ensuring the seamless operation of a business’s computer systems. They don’t directly engage with developers but instead ensure that all equipment such as workstations, PCs, and servers function flawlessly.
  • The DevOps approach, which prioritises collaboration and process optimisation, can provide a range of benefits to development teams. It offers a comprehensive perspective on the product development cycle, aids in resolving software issues, and automates repetitive tasks, freeing up developers to focus on their primary responsibilities and hastening the software delivery process.

Distinguishing Between Developer Operations and System Administrators

Role Objectives

The duties of each position are quite distinct from one another.

SysAdmins are in charge of managing and maintaining a company’s computer systems and networks. This encompasses tasks such as configuring, optimising, and ensuring the security of the associated hardware, networks, and software.

When executed appropriately, DevOps can facilitate more efficient collaboration between IT teams, automate repetitive tasks, and lower expenses. This automation is typically achieved through the utilisation of internal or external cloud-based services.

Skill Set

It stands to reason that the necessary skills to excel in each role would also vary accordingly.

Typically, the responsibilities of a SysAdmin include:

  • SysAdmins are frequently called upon to configure new computer hardware and office software.
  • When these systems are functioning optimally, any issues which arise will be addressed by the technical support team, who will work on resolving any hardware or software-related errors.
  • As SysAdmins, it is our responsibility to maintain and secure all company computers. To ensure peak performance and safety, regular updates and checks are necessary.

The following are the typical skills required by DevOps professionals:

  • Cloud Proficiency: DevOps professionals must have extensive knowledge of cloud services in order to provide the most efficient setup and outcomes for the company’s IT departments.
  • DevOps professionals should be fluent in the languages used by the company for development, in order to automate and streamline processes. This usually requires proficiency in scripting languages, but familiarity with languages used by other IT teams for development can also be advantageous.
  • Automating the design, testing, and deployment of software projects is now crucial for development teams to maintain agility and productivity. To achieve these automated services, DevOps teams must possess the necessary knowledge and tools.

The End Users

Both of these positions are advantageous for the company as a whole.

However, DevOps professionals bear an additional responsibility when it comes to software deployment operations; they must see to it that customers and end-users are not negatively impacted.


Salary is an area where the roles of DevOps and SysAdmins differ from each other. The data was gathered from Payscale’s wage database.

SysAdmins earn an average yearly income of $64,000.

Most of the pay for DevOps engineers is determined by their level of experience.

  • Average annual salary for a typical DevOps engineer is $99,000.
  • Average yearly salary for a senior DevOps engineer is $118,000.
  • Typically, a DevOps system administrator earns an annual salary of $122,000 in most companies.

DevOps Administrators generally earn a higher salary than Systems Administrators. Nonetheless, the added tasks and technical expertise needed to perform the role proficiently can lower their net earnings. Due to the fact that DevOps Administrators have to collaborate with various departments within the organization, they are under a lot of pressure and their salary can be twice that of a Systems Administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Is DevOps a type of IT job?

Yes, a DevOps engineer is a professional in the field of information technology who strives to bring together the programming and operations teams in software development.

Is DevOps the future pathway for SysAdmins?

It’s not entirely correct to assume that DevOps is a direct advancement from the work of a SysAdmin. Both fields are indispensable for most enterprises, but the migration of certain systems to the cloud has led to a greater demand for DevOps proficiency. Nevertheless, the job of a SysAdmin is still crucial.

Is it possible for a System Administrator to become a DevOps Engineer as well?

Absolutely, by obtaining the appropriate education and training, it is feasible to switch from a SysAdmin position to a DevOps role, which generally requires a greater level of expertise and ability.

How much do the roles of System Engineer and DevOps overlap?

DevOps teams have the responsibility of simplifying the development and operation of software projects. Automation of processes such as construction, testing, and deployment is critical in achieving these goals.
As a System Engineer, I aim to improve an organization’s efficiency by implementing new technology. I examine the existing hardware, software, and personnel infrastructure and find ways to optimize the performance of the technological systems under my purview.

Hire a team of DevOps specialists.

To stay competitive in the contemporary industry, enterprises must aim for exceptional performance. This includes establishing a conducive and encouraging work environment for all staff.

It is apparent that both Systems Administrators and Developers hold critical positions in the development process. We believe that we have effectively communicated the significance of both in attaining and sustaining the highest level of standards for the internal processes and workflows of your enterprise.

At Works, we offer expert DevOps specialists who possess expertise in cloud computing and programming languages, guaranteeing that your enterprise operations are optimally efficient.

If you would like to directly hire talented developers to join your team, we can offer our assistance in that regard. Our developers are proficient in their respective fields, making them an outstanding asset for your enterprise. Contact us today for additional information.

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