False positives biggest challenge for IT administrators

05 November 2023

The biggest issue facing IT administrators is when systems are flagged as having problems when none exist, according to global research from Paessler AG.

40% of IT admins globally say that false positives are their main issue. Not only is this a top-ranking frustration for the second year in a row, 6% more people cite this as their number one frustration. Just over a third (34%), are irritated by notification noise and a similar proportion is frustrated by automation challenges (31%).

Other frustrations include management reporting (23%); making my work visible (19%); missing access rights (8%).

52% of IT admins in the UK say that cloud adoption is the top challenge they anticipate in the next 2-3 years and 45% fear the extra pressure to maintain a resilient IT infrastructure. These concerns can be explained by hybrid and remote working becoming common practice in the UK since the pandemic as well as the increase in cyberattacks across all industries. The need for a resilient and agile IT infrastructure is no longer an option, it has fast become a necessity.

Alongside these current frustrations, IT systems administrators also have specific concerns about upcoming challenges in the next two to three years. In the UK, 18% of IT administrators cited AI as a top challenge they could face in the coming years. This could be explained by the rapid development of AI, the increase in awareness around its benefits and concerns around the potential threat to people's jobs. For IT administrators, the development of AI can be seen as an additional support as it has the potential to reduce the amount of time they have to spend on tasks that can be automated.

“The source of IT admins’ frustrations such as false positive alerts can easily be resolved by improving their infrastructure and network monitoring,” said Martin Hodgson, director Northern Europe at Paessler AG. “IT teams often grapple with recurring challenges, where issues may seem amiss but turn out to be false alarms. This can take a toll on business, incurring costs, downtime, and productivity losses. By getting a better understanding of crucial areas that demand attention, this avoids the fruitless pursuits in search of non-existent problems. When it comes to AI, it may have the potential to process parts of administrative tasks at some point. However, in the foreseeable future AI will at best only be able to take over some routine tasks and thus relieve IT administrators’ workload rather than replace them. Above all, AI has the potential to analyse data better than humans and therefore improve the reliability of company reports and forecasts. However, even this is still largely a pipe dream. At present, AI in IT management is more of a hype than a real help."