So, you’re working on drafting an IT professional job description, but do you know what an IT Professional really does?  This series covers the most important factors to consider before you hire an in-house IT tech or team. Our last article reviewed the hidden costs of hiring an IT Professional. Now, we’re talking about what an IT professional’s job entails besides asking if you turned your computer off and back on again.

Depending on the size of your organization, work in IT can be complicated and time-consuming. Let’s go over the major job responsibilities of IT professionals beyond tech support and equipment maintenance.

Vendor Management

Outside organizations most often provide your Internet, copy machine, phone system, and computer equipment. When they break, need maintenance, or require warranty replacement, the IT person interacts with the vendor. Oftentimes, they’re responsible for communicating between multiple vendors that frequently point fingers at each other. The IT person spends a great deal of time sorting out the underlying issues, determining what’s really wrong, and implementing a fix. If they can’t fix the problem themselves, their effort goes to convincing a vendor to help.

In addition, if there is anything IT related that you manage internally, they keep those systems running. This includes interactions with software support if something on the back end isn’t working. For example, an email application or website. They will be in charge of helping make sure domain information and licenses are renewed on time for any company software.

Keeping Up with the Technologies

While many of us are preoccupied with what our favorite celebrities are up to on any given day, IT personnel are keeping themselves informed on what’s going on in the world of tech outside their organizations. There are multiple facets of technology that they need to be up to date on, which we will explore below. 

Software

Remember how you used to be able to  buy software and it stayed exactly the same until you went to the store and bought the newest version? These days, we buy and access software online, which means software updates happen regularly, sometimes multiple times a week. You get the newest thing right away, which is great. However, since various companies make the different programs, they don’t always play well together! This means that your IT tech needs to understand what the updates are, what benefits or issues they could bring, as well as when and how they should be implemented, if at all.

In addition, they’re consistently looking out for new software that might be better than what’s currently in use. There is no one solution anymore, and you never know when something that provides even more benefits could pop up. Its their job to keep an eye out and figure out if and when you may benefit from a change. 

New Tech

Sometimes it’s best to completely scrap a system and start over. For instance, while there may be improvements you can make to enhance your telecom system, perhaps you should upgrade to a pure VoIP communication system. If you’re still running servers on-site, perhaps it’s time to think about a virtual office. If your hardware is over three years old, it’s time to start planning for a refresh. An IT tech must remain on top of all technology. They must know about the new innovations that will make your business more efficient. They need to be aware of what is working and what could be better. It is their job to know when to change things, and how to budget any changes that need to be made to maintain efficiency and low costs. 

Security

This is the elephant in the room right now. Cyber threats are not only growing by the day, but they’re also changing. Being up to date is no longer an issue of merely updating your antivirus software. Unfortunately, many of the attacks we see are the result of someone falling asleep at the wheel. Hackers are continuing to innovate new ways to get to their targets and cause damage.

The best way for IT professionals to make themselves useful in this regard is to not only update software and the network but to educate the rest of the company on ways to keep from being the accidental cause of a data breach. This crisis prevention is one of the most important and proactive jobs for a successful IT professional. It will include providing regular training opportunities for the company with up-to-date security practices. 

The Sad Truth

You may have noticed the number of duties in this article outside of fixing broken technology. If it seems like way too much work for one person, that’s because it is. To fulfill all of the responsibilities of a reliable IT professional, you would need to have multiple people with a variety of skill sets. Of course, this adds to the expense of a department that’s supposed to help you keep costs down and simplify operations.

For this and other reasons, many companies turn to MSPs for their IT needs. You have access to a team of professionals that not only have the expertise needed to do the job of an in-house IT department, but also have the time, opportunity, and personnel to stay up to date on the latest developments.

Do you find your business needing more assistance with your IT? Have you thought about hiring an IT professional or outsourcing those duties? If the answer to these questions is yes, then contact us today to see how we can maximize efficiency while giving you one less headache to worry about.


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