Three pain points challenge IT pros the most, a recent survey shows (aside from non-technical challenges like dwindling budgets, hiring freezes, and irksome managers):
1. single sign-on
2. user provisioning/deprovisioning
3. compliance reporting
So says Quest Software, because it asked the sys admins, systems engineers, and other IT folks at its TEC 2009 conference, formerly NetPro’s The Directory Experts Conference. Admittedly, most were from large to very large companies, which could skew the responses.

Most were responsible for Active Directory, Exchange, or Identity Lifecycle Manager (or, typically, all of the above). And most were there, we can assume, because they needed to get better at using all of the above.

Rounding out the top ten challenges were these tasty nuggets:
4. delegating administrative rights
5. password management
6. two-factor authentication
7. disaster recovery
8. security configuration
9. diagnostic and repair
10. backup/archiving
I asked one of my favorite IT guys, heretofore known as Angry Jon, his top three challenges. “Dealing with permissions, disaster recovery, and delegating admin rights,” he said. That was after he said some unprintable stuff about the non-technical challenges. He works for a government agency that’s definitely smaller than an enterprise company, and that’s all I can say about him (other than that the “Angry” part of his moniker comes from his never failing cheerfulness).

Quest also reports that 86 percent of TEC attendees surveyed are using SharePoint. No surprise there.

As for deploying Windows Server 2008, 34 percent are in the process of doing so and 42 percent are considering it. This seems just a tad low, but I could be wrong. 

Surprisingly (to me), 54 percent are using PowerShell, Quest reports. Maybe people at the larger companies are, but the people I know who are at smaller companies don’t want to touch it until they absolutely have to. 

Could be those other challenges, the unprintable ones, are keeping them from learning it. I wonder what else would be good to learn, that you know you "should" or that you actually want to learn....&nbsp