I.T. systems are complicated. What does it mean to be an I.T. expert? Your company counts on them, but does your I.T. support team really have all the expertise you need? Find out how all “I.T. experts” are not created equal.
If you look around, it seems like “I.T. experts” are everywhere. Individuals and companies are always presenting pitches as to why you should hire them.
How do you know who is qualified and who has hopped on the I.T. bandwagon by slapping “I.T. expert” on some marketing? What is the difference between a true I.T. expert and someone who could set your company up for serious problems?
Read on to find out what defines I.T. experts.
50 Degrees of I.T. Degrees
The first information presented by an “I.T. expert” is often claims of formal I.T. training. Seemingly countless numbers of colleges and technical schools offer a variety of I.T. degrees and certificates. Then there are I.T. specialists who have learned on the job. While looking at a person’s formal educational background can seem important, there isn’t a school or specific degree that can guarantee that someone an expert.
The fact is, there is no single gold standard for I.T. expertise. That means that even unqualified people can claim to be experts. Others might be knowledgeable but only in a very narrow range of I.T. applications.
Because of these issues, the best way to judge I.T. expertise is to review the individual’s or I.T. services provider’s real-world experience. That where I.T. theory and textbook schematics meet reality and true expertise is developed over time.
Prepared for More Than the Status-Quo
Some I.T. training focuses on maintaining existing systems. That could mean providing technical assistance for those trying to use Microsoft Office, connecting hardware networks so that individual workstations have network access, or providing basic computer maintenance like defragging hard drives. These are vital skills for needed as part of daily operations.
Just like the person who changes the oil in your car, many routine I.T. jobs are important without requiring broad expertise. You might not want the oil change technician trying to diagnose a serious problem with your car’s engine or replacing your transmission. However, these routine maintenance positions can be important parts of an I.T. program.The true challenge arises when routine maintenance isn’t enough. Unlike I.T. technicians, I.T. experts can set up protocols and software systems to reduce the chance of problems developing. When issues do arise, these experts are able to diagnose problems and quickly create solutions.
Typically, college I.T. programs, and even some corporate I.T. jobs, are focused on I.T. basics without providing the skillset necessary to tackle more challenging problems. Part of that is due to the nature of the schools.
School books and other training materials are prepared in advance for future semesters or years of training. That means they can do a great job providing the fundamentals of I.T. systems, but they typically lag behind on the latest devices, apps, and software. For the same reason, the most recent security risks will also not be included in a school syllabus.
To become an I.T. expert, it is necessary to combine a deep understanding of the fundamentals of I.T. systems with experience working in a broad range of practical applications and settings. Thus, it is necessary to look beyond the formal education to consider what roles I.T. professionals have had within an organization to make sure their experience includes both theoretical and practical applications of I.T. skills.
From networks to mobile devices, to software and apps, everything requires detailed knowledge making it impossible for anyone to be an expert in everything. In fact, few companies want to or could afford to hire enough in-house employees to be able to combine the full range of expertise necessary for all their I.T. systems. This is a major reason why outsourced I.T. management and support has become so important as a resource.
There Is More to Your Industry Than Being Industrious
Hard work and experience in the most common types of I.T. hardware and software could be enough to manage many routine situations. Need help with Microsoft Word? Check! Forgot your smartphone passcode? Check!
The challenge comes with dealing with complicated or rare I.T. challenges. That’s when general I.T. knowledge isn’t enough.
Every industry includes specialized software or situations. The right I.T. expert won’t have to guess how to create automatic backups for your inventory management system or how to make sure your industry’s other software and apps are compatible with the newest Microsoft or Apple updates. That takes expertise in your type of business.Without that experience, your team can spend hours with unnecessary downtime while a non-expert tries to determine how to fix problems. Unnecessary downtime means lost worker productivity and possibly angry customers or clients and lost business. To have true I.T. experts available when you need them means making sure those I.T. experts have the experience within your field.
Finding an MSP with in-depth experience in a range of industries means you’ll have the real I.T. experts your industry requires. No more cookie-cutter solutions that try to manage your company’s I.T. system like it was just like everyone else’s.
Establishing a relationship with an experienced managed service provider means experts are available ahead of time to prevent disasters, as well as there to respond quickly when emergencies arise. Too often, people wait until there is a problem, not realizing that having a backup management and business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place can keep many of those problems from developing in the place.
Being prepared can also keep little problems from ballooning into worse ones. In fact, planning ahead not only reduces worry for your management team, but it can also save you a lot of money. Even a small problem that gets out of control can cause expensive, long term damage to your company’s productivity and reputation.
More Depth Means More Deliverables
I.T. issues are constantly changing. There is always a new type of security threat around the corner or a software update that could unleash a series of compatibility problems. Relying on a few in-house I.T. employees can leave your company vulnerable.
The truth is, no one person is going to know the solution to every type of I.T. issue. That’s why a robust, well-rounded team is so important.Great I.T. support keeps up with the latest changes in the industry and puts that knowledge to work on a whole range of software and hardware systems. That enables them to be more informed and prepared since I.T. expertise truly takes a team.
For example, having a team dedicated specifically to security management and support means they can do the hard work of staying current on the latest threats to keep your company protected and prepared.
I.T. expertise depth also means the depth of personnel. It doesn’t help to have an I.T. expert if that person isn’t available when and where needed. Your business should have I.T. experts available when you need them. Your staff should not have to wait because your in-house I.T. team is in a meeting, or the expert on one part of your system is on vacation.
A small in-house I.T. team can quickly become overwhelmed by a systemwide glitch or a new software rollout. Great expert I.T. support has the depth of personnel to provide timely assistance when your company needs it.
With offices in Springfield, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Fayetteville, Arkansas, JMARK has been providing nationwide I.T. support to high-performing companies in a range of industries for over thirty years. We take the burden of network security, performance, compliance, and more off your shoulders so you can concentrate on meeting your goals and growing your business. To learn more about how our services can help you reduce costs and risk and increase peace of mind and profits, contact us today. 844-44-JMARK or JMARKIT@JMARK.com.