What does an IT specialist do within your business and how do you know they doing it?

Bill Gates, who obviously never asked the question “what does an IT specialist do”, once said:

“Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without them talking about the other”.

Sometimes business leaders and managers may be vague about information technology (IT) and may not fully understand how to answer the question, ‘What does an IT specialist do?’ It can be all ones and zeroes to the point where you just nod your head in agreement (while your neurons are racing up and down your neural pathways trying to pull out relevant archived material).

I wrote an article for Financial Mail encouraging business owners to become tech experts within their own organisation. This interwovenness that Bill Gates speaks of is growing rapidly and business owners need to have a handle on it to make effective decisions around a key business driver – information technology (IT).

If you are a business owner, leader or manager and can’t speak ‘computer’ it is imperative that you educate yourself so that the next time someone asks you the question “Hey, you, what does and IT specialist do?” you can have an answer.

What is your IT specialist doing in your business.
What is your IT specialist doing in your business.

What does an IT specialist need to do within your business

An IT specialist is a professional who is trained and skilled at solving technical problems within your organisation and navigating the following areas of IT:

  • Computer software (like MacOS)
  • Hardware (best computers for the job)
  • Networks (how computers communicate internally)
  • Cloud platforms (like Google Drive)
  • WiFi set up (does it supply sufficient bandwidth)
  • Cyber security (to avoid being hacked)

Below are some examples of what an IT specialist should be doing within your business and some of the skills they need to be successful.

1. Accurately diagnose problems and deliver solutions, either through knowledge or research

The IT field is very broad and rapidly evolving on an annual basis. An IT specialist needs to keep abreast of these changes and make sure they have a grasp on the latest technologies, like operating systems, to be able to explore multiple scenarios and pin point the cause of any given problem.

Allow them the time to continually research best global practice and industry standards, as well as rapidly changing updates. We recommend setting aside some time one day a week where you as a business manager and your IT specialist, have a briefing session on your organisation’s IT set-up. Allow him to present his latest research and then troubleshoot the best scenarios together through a quick brainstorm.

With this approach he can get up to speed on the latest developments and, through these meetings, you can begin to learn to answer the question, ‘what does an IT specialist do on a daily basis’, which will give you more peace of mind.

An IT specialist should accurately diagnose problems and come up with solutions
An IT specialist should accurately diagnose problems

2. Be good at maths and understand the telecommunications sector

It is one thing to research and acquire information but what does an IT specialist do to be able to analyse that information, make sense of it and implement that information in a solution-specific way?

Make sure your IT specialist is able to see the big picture and doesn’t get caught up in the reeds of only fixing full mailboxes.

An IT specialist should be good at maths; should understand the inner workings of telecommunications systems and should have a firm grasp on geometry and statistics. These are important skills to look out for before hiring an IT specialist.

When you draft interview questions to ask before hiring an IT specialist start with the heading ‘What does an IT specialist do’. Then having done your own research draft some relevant questions and researched answers that you can take him through during the interview.

Set up a scenario for him, for e.g. “We get held to ransom by cybercrime, what would your approach be to curtail an event like this”? You would have already done the research around the answers to these questions and have the answers in front you to see if his are in some sort of alignment.

They should be good at maths and understand the telecommunications sector
They should be good at maths and understand the telecommunications sector

3. Strong planning and solid communications skills

For most IT specialists being able to communicate effectively and integrate themselves into the team can be a hard task as they tend to be less passionate about engaging with people and prefer working with systems. We all need to do things in our job that can be outside of our comfort zones. IT specialists need to be able to effectively communicate with colleagues to extract information from them about a technical issue and to be able to take someone through the necessary steps from problem-to-resolution, in layman’s terms.

They must be strong communicators
They must be strong communicators

4. Your IT specialist will need extraordinary patience and blueprints

They will need special patience to work with the less tech-savvy among us. This can be better achieved if an IT specialist has a plan in place. For example, they should draw up a professional looking blueprint of your organisation’s network and be able to explain this blueprint within a presentation. This is particularly important when onboarding new employees.

5. They should know how to draw up an IT troubleshooting guide

Another crucial task of an IT specialist is to develop a troubleshooting guide. A troubleshooting guide will save the time of ‘fixing’ those computers that simply were not turned on, needed to be restarted or were not plugged in (you know who you are). This type of list may take time in the beginning but it has the following positive effects:

  • Others are empowered to solve IT problems themselves at a basic level and so it saves time on the ‘soft’ issues
  • Your IT specialist won’t waste time looking for a solution previously discovered
  • If your IT specialist ever left your organisation, he or she can hand this guide over to the new IT specialist who doesn’t need to start from scratch

As a leader or manager of the organisation you need to understand this guide too.

They should know how to draw up a 
troubleshooting guide
They should know how to draw up a troubleshooting guide

Finally, your IT specialist should possess skills beyond a qualification

Despite the obvious things an IT specialist should have, like the right qualifications, their skills need to go beyond that. They need to become a thought leader in this space, within your organisation, and they need to be able to communicate those thoughts to all stakeholders in a way that makes sense.

They also need to have a bigger picture of the business as a whole and add value as a key driver of sustainability and growth.

You, as a business owner, or leader need to take the time to acquire more knowledge for yourself about IT (which you can do in partnership with your specialist) and to build a relationship with them where you are solving IT-related problems together.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us to the stars

Browse Blog Posts Below

Gamer set-up ideas to keep the latency blues away

Gamer set-up ideas to keep the latency blues away

As a nod of recognition to the release of the new X-box Series X & S, and the PS5 during the 2020 holiday season, we decided to give some gamer set-up ideas to our customers who may be gamers themselves. We have a few seasoned gamers working here at RocketNet, so...

Online safety for kids while using fibre internet

Online safety for kids while using fibre internet

"Online safety for kids is of paramount importance".RocketNet During our downtime we tend to spend more money and time on our luxuries. This includes unwinding with online entertainment. As parents, we may become a bit more relaxed about how much time our kids spend...

How to avoid being tracked online by tech companies

How to avoid being tracked online by tech companies

As human beings, our privacy (including how to avoid being tracked online) and personal boundaries are inexplicably linked to our human dignity, our independence and our freedom. Privacy and the ability to decide who to let in and when, is critical to being able to be...

What is the cloud and how to make the most use of it

What is the cloud and how to make the most use of it

When asked the question ‘What is the cloud?’ you may have looked up at the sky and responded with ‘Well, first of all there isn’t only one, and it depends; it could be cumulus, stratus,  stratocumulus or cumulonimbus?’ But this isn’t a lesson from your primary...

How to create a strong password and keep your digital profiles safe

How to create a strong password and keep your digital profiles safe

If you want to know how to create a strong password and keep your digital profiles safe, then you are on the right blog. Creating a strong password can be an administrative nightmare as you could end up with numerous accounts with numerous usernames and passwords. The...

The meaning of LTE and its relationship to 4G internet

The meaning of LTE and its relationship to 4G internet

The meaning of LTE and its relationship to 4G internet Discussing things in the internet space, like the meaning of LTE, can be a little confusing. In this blog post, we unpack the meaning of LTE in as short and as simple a way as possible. When discussing the meaning...

Shares
Share This