Benefits of This Structure
The benefits of this structure are enormous:
Senior technical staff have the opportunity to architect and design a reliable, available, and serviceable (RAS) infrastructure. The goal should be for first-level and second-level support staff to handle 80% of the problems before escalation.
Skills for junior and second-level support personnel are enhanced. There is a clear career development path for technical staff. (Organizations today need to breed senior technical staff within the organization as quickly as possible, as well as continuing their external recruitment efforts.)
Better turnaround for problem resolution.
The ability to fully analyze, implement, and customize enterprise system management solutions. This is crucial because IT environment companies today are devouring system management tools but rarely have the time to fully implement them; senior gurus are too busy resolving 90% of the problems that come into IT.
Stabilizes both network and server environments and operations.
Efficiency in the areas of problem management, etc., establishing integrity.
Simplified data feeds and loads.
Assisting senior technical staff in the analysis, implementation, and customization of enterprise-wide system management tools. A huge problem in the IT industry today, which started in the early 1990s, it takes at least one for each type of discipline (tape backup, security, etc.).
Assisting senior technical staff in providing junior system administration functions (OS support, hardware setup, on-call support, etc.). Senior technical staff should not get bogged down with day-to-day maintenance functions. If your IT organization is going to rely on those architects and planners that report into the CIO to build a "world-class" infrastructure, only one group can design, implement, and customize enterprise-wide system management solutions. Therefore, IT organizations have to relieve senior gurus from day-to-day maintenance functions by providing them with level two junior system administrators.
Pair a very senior person and one junior person to work together. Pairing senior and junior staff provides a mentoring process so that less experienced staff can learn on the job, which builds overall competency and individual skill sets. (And system management tools aren't that easy to implement and maintain, despite what vendors may claim.)