What is the primary task of the IT team in any business? Most of you will say something to the tune of “ensure all office equipment is in working order”. In other words, troubleshooting will be the number one answer to the above question. This viewpoint, unfortunately, long ago lost its relevance. IT teams, these days, are much more than a group of nerds that know how to fix a computer. Instead, IT teams consist of cutting-edge technologists whose skills impact all aspects of a modern business.
At least, they should be. In fact, they can be if you train your IT team and give them the right skills. With the right skills, a business’s IT team can actually end up driving innovation and even management. They can, basically, prop up all other divisions and departments. They can free them to seek out greater objectives and even supplement and simplify their goals.
You’re most probably wondering what world we live in here. Well, we live in the digital world. Let us show you our viewpoint. We’ll begin with the type of skills that you can train your IT team in.
What Skills Can You Train Your IT Team In?
IT teams have evolved. Earlier, they just had to make sure that all electronic and electrical equipment in the office was in working condition. Now, they have to do a lot more because technology has permeated through every aspect of business operations. These new responsibilities demand new skills. Here are a few areas where these new skills and responsibilities exist.
Data Storage and Security:
This is, by far, the single most important area in which you need to train your IT team. Mainstream media has enough news about how a business’s data is under threat. If industrial espionage is not a concern for your business, then mistaken data loss or release into the public arena will invite legal hassles.
At the very least, loss of data will affect your business’s bottom lines and profit margins. Hiring third-party service providers for data storage and security comes with its own danger of lack of control. This is why it is a better idea to train your IT team on data storage and security standards in the industry.
Data management refers to data flows and categorisation. It also includes the ability to gain access to specific pieces of data at a moment’s notice. This is an area where most businesses end up relying on outside service providers. The risks here are considerable.
There’s the obvious risk of data breach. Then the danger of data loss is another potential problem. Finally and probably the most realistic is the high cost of hiring such services. If you train your IT team in database management, then they’ll be able to devise their own databases and all digital assets and functionalities in-house.
There is a lot of value in all this data that we’re talking about. If processed in the right way, it can release a lot of intelligence about a business’s target audience. It can reveal the nature of the target audience, the manner in which various individuals interact with the business and myriad other nuggets of information that various departments of the business can utilise to improve productivity, visibility, efficiency, engagement, and profits.
Data processing, however, is a complex discipline. It requires the usual technical knowledge but also creativity. The creativity comes in the development of algorithms that can process large quantum of data. If your IT team can devise effective algorithms, then their output can be precious for your business’s growth.
Developing in-house software programmes isn’t a preventive exercise. Instead, it is additive in nature. What this means is that you don’t really need to train your IT team in software development to prevent disasters but you can train them to add even more value to your organisation.
In-house software and apps are highly customised. They’re designed to cater to very specific and unique needs of a particular business. Every business has such needs. It is just about recognising them. Using software to fulfil specific needs in-house will not only improve efficiencies but also lead to savings because you won’t have to look for external solutions.
There is also the option of licensing such software to other players in your industry. This can create another income stream for your organisation.
This is one of the traditional roles of an IT team. Apart from keeping office equipment in working condition, they’re also tasked with keeping the business network and internet up. Needless to say, network downtime can lead to loss of revenue, customers, and data.
There are advantages of training your IT team with these specific skills. Most of these benefits can be deduced from the skills themselves. However, for the sake of convenience, we’ll list all the benefits you can reap if you train your IT team.
Improve Overall Productivity and Eliminate Repetitive Errors
It’s a well-known fact that improvement in education leads to twice as much improvement in productivity. This knowledge can be traced as far back as 1995. There are two ways in which education and training improve productivity.
Firstly, if you train your IT team, they will make fewer mistakes than they did earlier. This will prevent resultant losses in time, money, effort, and equipment. The second is that when problems do show up, the IT team will be faster with their response times.
Create Uniformity in Workforce Knowledgebase
When you train your IT team, you ensure that all team members are on the same page. Further, these same individuals may share certain aspects of their training with your employees in other divisions. If the knowledge being shared isn’t uniform, it can lead to operational clashes.
This will not only cause the business time and money but will also affect interpersonal relationships of the employees. Therefore, when you train your IT team, you’re creating uniformity in the workforce knowledgebase.
Market Workforce Certifications
Another benefit of training your IT team with specific skills is that you can use those certifications in your marketing efforts. For example, if you train your IT team in networking technologies from Cisco, you can present this as proof of your expertise to your clients. Cisco certifications aren’t common and are accepted to be of the greatest standards.
There are other certifications for other IT skills that can be used to show your business as an expert. Therefore, displaying such certifications will only improve how your business is perceived by potential clients and, thus improve your conversions.
Reduce Workforce Attrition
Workforce attrition is another area that benefits if you train your IT team in forward-looking skills. The logic here is that when a business puts effort into developing its employees, the employees tend to return the favour by putting effort into their work.
Essentially, taking care of your employees’ future will result in loyalty and engagement that will result in drastic reduction in attrition. This is important too because IT is a department that tends to see a lot of workforce attrition.