As technological advancement continues to influence the global economy and the business world, the need for technical support specialists to take on more business oriented tasks is increasingly being felt. Unfortunately the majority of IT workers are not abreast of the responsibilities or the business knowledge that is required to succeed in this role or to help their organizations meet their strategic goals.
According to market research and surveys many companies in the finance sector saw their high level IT employees in the UK resigning to join other organizations in the year 2011. As a result these companies are rapidly promoting their existing technical support staff in order to retain talent. This transition requires the right balance of hard and soft skills for the high ranking IT officials to succeed.
Tech Support Specialist Skill Set
Ideally an IT manager’s early career skill balance should approximately be 90% technical and 10% business skills. These business skills should comprise communication, presentation and team leading capabilities. However over the course of time the balance must shift to 50/50. Business acumen is of great importance for technical support specialists looking for career-building opportunities. The IT leaders should possess an adaptable business mindset to be able to relate concepts to larger organizational strategies. An adaptable business mindset can be established by combining personal, operational, interpersonal and strategic- the four interconnected perspectives for successful IT management.
Tech Support Specialist Progression in Career
To begin with technical support specialists need a baseline for all of the tasks they are expected to execute. Basic understanding of the work practices and procedures and strict adherence to these processes on an individual level is required for the IT staff to perform as per the company expectations. To put it differently, technical support people need a personal and operational perspective of their work to sustain their job.
As they progress within their organization, IT professionals are expected to lead more complex projects, handle them properly to see them to completion. At this stage they need to be able to polish their interpersonal skills to communicate with others to take on the responsibility of planning and managing across functions, rather than concentrating solely on the technical solution. The growing responsibilities of the IT managers should be complemented by their interpersonal skills that will allow them to take projects from vision to reality.
Communication is an important part of the job for technical support specialists at managerial level. They need to be capable of identifying and communicating the appropriate information to team members. The strategic perspective of the business mindset is all about making effective connections with the team members to improve the overall performance and the productivity of the organization.
Developing and nurturing a business mindset is crucial for efficient IT project management. Fusing technical knowhow with business insight for making accurate business decisions requires proper view from each perspective. Support specialists should see the big picture and take into account the implications of their actions prior to taking them and convey their knowledge to subordinates and peers.