Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day - a humble holiday for all the men and women who keep our IT systems churning and burning. At Google, we’ve had the opportunity over the years to work with many talented teams of SysAdmins, and across the board two things are true: these folks care deeply about technology and giving people the best tools to work together.

We’ve heard stories of teams who spent thousands of hours managing email systems, dealing with laptops going haywire, sorting through disaster recovery scenarios, patching servers and software, working with employees frustrated over lost data, resetting passwords, archiving mail, and managing other tasks fearlessly.

The most enjoyable part of my job has been helping these hard-working teams recover extra time in their days, and making their budgets go further (while helping them look good to executives!) by moving to the cloud. We’ve heard great stories about teams who had so much leftover time that they went out for haircuts and some of them even had time to choreograph a dance to our Gmail Motion April Fool’s joke.

Motorola’s Sr. Director of IT Strategy and Services, Jason Ruger, getting his hair cut after moving to Google Apps.

Here are some of our favorite stories over the past year:

  • Andrew Murrey, VP of IT Infrastructure, Cinram: “Since moving to Google Apps, my IT team is much happier. We previously had 16 full-time people managing our messaging systems, spending about 8,000 hours per year backing up email, fixing file storage problems, or managing server issues. We now need only two folks to look after messaging and the other 14 are now more focused on business-critical projects. They’re so happy they wear Google t-shirts about once a week!”
  • Dan Moore, CIO, Quality Distribution: “The lower hardware requirements of web enabled applications allow our IT department to spend more time delivering improvements to the user experience. One of our first examples of this was our implementation of video and voice chat via Google Talk into our driver recruiting process.”
  • Luke Leonhard, Web Services Manager, Brady Corp: “Our jobs went from constraining and limiting people’s usage to making sure everyone uses these tools as effectively as possible to be as productive as possible.” Check out the photo of the Brady SysAdmin team below.

Google and the Brady Corporation team during Google Apps Go Live

To all of the SysAdmins out there supporting the more than 30 million users of Google Apps, our hats are off to you. So serve up the ice cream and cake, and celebrate the hard work of your SysAdmin today.