The IT department faces an enormous amount of pressure on a daily basis. When you add on the additional stress of the increased threat landscape, the responsibilities of an IT pro can quickly become overwhelming. 

Service desks and support teams are always meeting the needs of others, but taking time to support yourself is important too. The question is, how can IT team members do this while keeping up with their general workloads?

As we head into 2018, IT pros should prioritize making their jobs easier by improving the services they deliver, and broadening their knowledge of the trends shaping the industry. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, starting with the basic checklist outlined below:

Strengthen Relationships

It can be difficult to balance the dual needs of the business and IT. To ensure a mutually beneficial relationship, it’s never too late to open a discussion and better understand how both IT and business professionals can help one another achieve similar goals. Strengthening this relationship is critical in fostering collaboration, and also ensures priorities and skills are aligned with those of the organization.

Understand your Customers (or End-Users) 

If IT professionals can’t understand the obstacles that their customers face, then they cannot become a trusted resource. Utilizing resources such as data from customer service analytics and support surveys can offer insight into any gaps within the department and common needs of the user base.This approach can also be applied to those working in enterprise IT departments. Taking the steps to better address the challenges faced by customers and end-users not only enables IT pros to provide better service, it also strengthens their technical abilities in critical areas.  

Make Security Your Responsibility

You can never be too careful – especially with the constant security threats facing companies today.  Today’s threat landscape has created the demand for everyone to accept responsibility for maintaining good security hygiene. IT pros should audit their processes, take the steps to educate themselves on best practices, and actively contribute to their organization’s overall security strategy. In addition, IT organizations need to work more closely with the security professionals to ensure that security best practices are in place to further build trust among they users they support.

Self-Educate

Because yesterday’s solutions may not protect from tomorrow’s security breach, it’s important for the workforce to evolve as the tech industry advances. IT pros should attend conferences, take classes, and continually expand their expertise. IT certifications are also essential for staying abreast of technology’s evolution—check out our recent blog post for more on top industry certifications to consider. 

This is just an initial list of considerations for IT pros to hone their skills and, in so doing, address today’s competing demands and priorities without drowning under the workload. While these might seem like small steps, they can go a long way in helping organizations maintain a competitive advantage—while also reducing some of the pressure on IT teams. 

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Phil Ethridge, Senior Product Manager at Bomgar