5 Ways SMB IT Professionals Can Stay Relevant in the BYO WorldFebruary 28, 2013 No Comments
Mobile technology isn’t just changing the personal lives of consumers. It’s also making a significant impact on their professional lives as their personal devices travel with them to the office.
The BYOD–or bring your own device–movement is gaining steam. Currently around 12 percent of companies encourage their employees to use their own devices in the workplace, but the number is sure to rise. Some companies have shifted entirely to employees using personal laptops and mobile devices. Even those that haven’t shifted to this philosophy still have employees utilizing their personal gadgets inside and outside the office for work-related purposes.
So where does that leave the traditional IT department? It’s more important than ever for IT professionals to shift their traditional duties to keep up with the workplace technological changes. It just takes a few steps to shift thinking in the right direction.
No longer does the IT employee have to be the one who answers all the questions and solve all the problems. Some IT professionals may think this sounds scary, but in reality, it’s a way to explore new sides of the business. Instead of being the Help Desk, IT professionals can now be about strategy and helping businesses figure out how to best utilize technology and resources like apps within the office.
Embrace the App
Brushing up on all of the app world’s new additions is a wise way to add value to a company. New apps are being released each day, making it difficult for companies to stay on top of which ones would benefit their operations most. Stay up-to-date on these new developments to be the valuable go-to app person in the office. Take it to another level by learning how the most popular apps work to help answer basic questions. Start by identifying the most popular apps people are already using in the office, followed by those that are most popular in the industry.
Once upon a time, the IT professional worked in an office where the employee came to them. Now the IT professional should be a part of daily business, learning more about all of the things employees are doing and all of the tech shifts in the company. This will help you tailor your job to be more valuable and develop a better role for the IT department.
Don’t Be the Hall Monitor
Now is the time to shake the reputation of the being the person who always says “no” to employee activity. You can still develop policies and ways to keep the company’s tech life safe, since protecting company data is critical. But instead of micromanaging tech, look at the monitor role as one of analysis. Which apps are working? What is the ROI? Giving insight on these matters will prove to be important to business development.
Ditch the Hardware
With few company-owned pieces of hardware in the office, working on and keeping track of physical hardware in employees’ hands will be a thing of the past. Instead, put IT to the task of managing local servers that the mass of employees will need to access. They’ll be in charge of scaling servers to fit the business needs and taking care of adding proper backups and precautions into the server environment.
The IT world is a new frontier, but creativity will keep you sharp in the industry.
About the author: Dawn Altnam lives and works in the Midwest, and she enjoys following the business tech world. After furthering her education, she has spent some time researching her interests and blogging of her discoveries often. Follow her on Twitter! @DawnAltnam
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