IT professionals are some of the unsung heroes of the workforce. Whenever there’s a complex server issue affecting the company’s Internet performance, you’re there, quietly fixing the local servers or investigating issues with cloud-based storage. Whenever one of us has a laptop that simply won’t open Outlook and we’re ready to throw the thing out the window, you’re there to calmly tell us to try turning it off and then on again (which usually works).
But all too often, your efforts go overlooked and that’s a travesty. What are some ways you can bring your talents from the background to the forefront?
Become the Employee Collaboration Guru
IT probably isn’t the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when you mention employee collaboration, but it should be! Today’s collaboration tools run on bandwidth and software as a service (SaaS) providers that you help build and guide.
If your company has an increasing number of “virtual offices,” it’s time to make the move to online collaboration tools. By involving yourself in the selection procedure you can help advise on their utilization and benefits, since you’ve got access to usage patterns of employees and the overall technology readiness level. Show what you know!
Emerge as the Budget Master
There are some in the office that simply see the IT Department as a cost center. It’s time to demonstrate to management how smart IT decisions can positively affect the bottom line at your company.
For example, by researching and suggesting a training and collaboration provider for the company, IT can increase collaboration, shortening project timelines and speeding up the time to market, in turn helping increase revenue. Additionally, better training resources mean employees are trained faster and more thoroughly, resulting in a more engaged, effective workforce.
The old saying goes, “you have to spend money to save money,” so be ready to demonstrate to management how IT can help boost ROI.
Be the Go-To Support Resource
Most employees know to call IT when something is going wrong with their hardware or software, but do they really understand how much you know about the systems they use?
Instead of playing a passive role in support, flip the script and be a proactive part of training the staff. After all, who better than to train employees on their technology than the people who understand it inside and out? This could include making instructional videos or creating a troubleshooting knowledge base for software issues.
When you play an active role in training, collaboration, forecasting, and support, the organization will see IT for it really is: an integral part of the business machine.