Usually, your IT service provider specialist will manage, supervise, assign, and purchase the organizational resources while overseeing their junior IT employees. This means that their abilities should span far beyond their technical knowledge of tech. They should possess some soft skills as well. Remember, most of the technical skills can be acquired from training, but soft skills should flow naturally. But this is not to mean that you should possess all the below skills for you to be an effective IT specialist. If you possess a bit of them, then you can strive to acquire a handful of them from your experience or even from your seniors. If you are considering any position in the IT field, then it is paramount that you work on the growth of the following skills.
Team Management Skills
Keep in mind that every IT team needs a leader, and this role, regardless of the small delegated responsibilities, is entirely on the top IT specialist or the manager. It’s your responsibility as the manager or leader to take control and steer your team to success. This is because the actions you take as the manager should speak louder than words. You should be able to create a collaborative team where every team relies on the other during company tasks. Also, offering the best employee mentorship gives your employee a great opportunity to grow.
IT managers are not well-positioned to make the most integrative decisions of any organization. But they are important team leaders and their decisions highly impact the organization. This means, being able to make the best decision on the team level is paramount for any IT specialist. An IT specialist should be able to look deeply into a situation, analyze the required data, and consider all the risks involved before giving a go on different IT-related actions. This is relevant mostly for the break, fix, change, and planning.
Goal/Target Setting Skills
Although getting to a certain target within a specific period may sometimes be challenging, managers should be at a position of setting where the company ought to be and strive to beat the time. Today, the IT field is changing at an amazing rate. The traditional long-term plans are being phased out with many IT service provision companies seeking professionals who can easily come up with short-term plans. For instance, End of Life (EOL) for several hardware average three years, so any goal related to hardware refresh should be undertaken as quickly as possible in a motivated pace.
In IT, managers have access to all the game board pieces. Among the many pieces at the disposal of IT managers to play with are the team members, information privy, and tight budgets. From all these resources, IT managers must come up with a winning game plan.
There’s a lot of give-and-take in a top IT specialist role. Ranging from simple negotiations like giving your employee a day off for working an extra day to paying for an important service during stringent times, the manager should possess excellent negotiation skills. This is true, especially when you are working with licensing agreements or with company vendors. Managers usually find themselves in the middle of upper management and the tech vendors answering both sides and ensuring that everybody is happy.
Nothing is important to any IT specialist than being able to communicate impeccably with your juniors. Most of the employees you will be working with are novices when it comes to IT jargon. So, being able to break these terms to be understandable even by the laymen is critical. Although the better part of your day will be about sending emails and explaining some spreadsheets, great communication skills don’t narrow down to giving great speeches and sending emails.
IT managers should be great listeners, be able to read between the lines, and challenge problems proactively. Team building, socializing skills, and open-door policies are also great ways of inviting effective inputs from your team members. IT Managers are looked upon to make the best organizational decisions whenever there’s a gamble.
If you find joy in learning new things and always have a will of knowing something new or even wanting to understand how machines or other things work, then you are best suited in the IT service provision industry. Generally, curiosity about the working of IT will get you very far in the IT field. For instance, the greatest security workers possess a deep sense of curiosity about how things work under the hoods, like how hackers penetrate systems. Without this curiosity ability, they could not be at a position of applying security controls to the organization processes.
Many IT professional employers look for organizational skills before they can hire any IT specialist. This is because even during this digital era, the company’s file cabinet still holds software contracts, employee information, support agreements, and many other things to slide into your desktop. Likewise, shared folders sitting in the server need to be well organized to locate something easily. Besides, being organized also means that you can multitask between various projects and tasks.
Time management Skills
If you possess exceptional organizational skills, then automatically, you are a good time manager. This can be evident when you are managing a certain project—you will need to watch your time wisely. Whether you are building a server, editing a script, or running a meeting, each minute that passes costs your employer some bucks in labor. When you miss deadlines, you incur lots of losses to the company, while negatively impacting your reputation in the higher-ups. Once you know how long a certain project or task will take, then you can effectively institute plans around them.
In a Nutshell
Being an IT specialist or a manager in a certain company is a great step-up for you and the company. A wide range of skills is paramount to lead the IT teams and scale-up your company to great levels. Keep in mind that there must be a balance between soft, technical skills, and management skills to maintain your organization’s relevance.