Whether you’re an aspiring IT worker, or you’ve been in a couple of roles in IT departments already in your career, you’ll be aware that your job is always changing. New cyber threats emerge each month that require urgent attention and protection. New technologies come to the fore that’ll help your entire business become more profitable. And there are always fixes, patches, and bug-repairs to respond to in your daily routine too. Here are some of the skills you’re going to need to respond to these changing responsibilities in the coming months and years:
Your team will certainly be working via the cloud this year. That’s because it’s on the cloud that your files are able to be stored where any employee, in any place in the world, can access them. This data-sharing, could-based ecosystem is what’s powered companies to achieve good results even after the lockdown imposed earlier this year.
As such, getting trained in how to manage data on the cloud and how to protect it, access it, and debug it, is an important skill for new IT workers to gain. You can pick up Azure cloud certification online through a simple course designed to boost your skills in this Microsoft cloud offering. Meanwhile, if your firm uses a different cloud provider, you’ll find courses covering them too.
There’s no doubt that the biggest concern for managers in the board room right now is cybercrime and cybersecurity. The headlines have been bleak on this front this year: hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen through ransomware in the space of a few weeks; dozens of companies’ digital systems in ruins from a Trojan horse; and data leaks that cost companies millions in PR spend and legal fees.
All of this is ugly business, especially if you want to look competent and trustworthy with the data that you’re given by customers and clients. It’s best avoided at all costs and your managers and board members know that. As such, if you can bring a little bit of extra skill to cybersecurity responsibilities within your firm, that’ll help soothe the concerns of leaders in your company for the foreseeable future.
A related but tangential point here is data protection. Nothing can be more damaging to your brand than having to release a public statement declaring that you’ve lost the details of customers who trusted you with their private data. For some companies who’ve had to do this in recent months, admitting that credit card details might have been leaked is a sure way to lose swathes of customers.
This kind of damaging PR storm only happens to those firms that are irresponsible with their data. A data protection officer – assigned within an IT team – should always be on the lookout for irregularities regarding the data that you keep stored in your business. If you’re interested in assuming this extra responsibility, you should look up how to train as a data protection officer and what the best practice is for those who are charged with keeping data safe in a firm.
Whether you’re responding to an urgent patch from a manager about a system having gone down, or you’re going through your messages from employees who are facing minor quibbles with their technology, it’s important that you’re able to provide quick fixes to anyone who needs them in your firm.
Computers are always experiencing problems that the layman simply cannot understand, and it’s not irregular for your whole day as an IT professional to be taken up going to different desks in your firm and helping workers get back online. To do this most efficiently and effectively, keep records of the errors that you respond to so that you’re aware of common faults that you can show employees how to fix on their own in the future.
This might sound like a fairly common skill that all workers in business have, but it should also be clear to you that some people are more sociable and charismatic than others. The responsibility of an IT professional is not to be the heart and soul of the company – though you’re welcome to be that if you wish. It’s to be a helpful and respected member of the team, assisting anyone who runs into difficulties in their work.
To be most effective in this role, you need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely with your fellow workers. You need to be able to show them where they went wrong, and teach them tips to avoid bugs, phishing, and other digital issues that they invited onto their computers.
As an IT professional, your job never stops, and the above skill sets are important for ongoing utility in your team.