One of the most important services offered by the IT support team is keeping the company up to date with the latest technologies. The importance of such proactive support is tough to underestimate. Without staying on top of the innovations game, it’s hard to achieve the majority of business goals.
How does IT support stay updated with the changing technology? What are these specialists doing to make sure your company is getting the most optimized services needed? Some IT experts spend more time on research and monitoring than they do on actual work. Surprisingly, sometimes this approach works the best.
1. Finding Time
The most important part of staying up to date is finding the time to do it. According to experts from managed IT support from Ottawa, IT specialists set time aside specifically to do the monitoring.
Even if they have large projects in the works, these experts structure their time to fit in some research and monitoring.
If it seems that IT support specialists are taking too long to get a certain task done, they may be busy looking for ways to optimize their approach.
2. Looking for Leaders
A simple way to stay on top of the game is to find innovators in the niche and follow them. These people have blogs, social media accounts, and websites, where they share their thoughts and discoveries.
By following leaders online, IT specialists get a chance to discover the newest changes in the industry faster than the majority of users.
Even though this approach seems easy, it is time-consuming. There can be more than one such leader, and the experts spend their time following all of them.
To avoid wasting time on following too many industry leaders, it’s important to find influencers in your particular niche. Numerous IT magazines provide their readers lists of the most active influencers in the IT world every year.
3. Attending Conferences
Many new technological innovations are presented during conferences and trade shows. It’s the IT expert’s responsibility to monitor the most important conferences and attend them.
Going to such conferences and trade shows is an excellent opportunity to interact with industry leaders, make new business connections and discover the most popular trends.
If IT experts don’t have an opportunity to attend such events in person, they can watch streams and listen to recordings, which are always available online.
In the majority of cases, IT experts can’t attend these conferences due to large volumes of work. It’s important to understand that the ROI of such conferences is so high that it can change the course the company is taking.
Investing company funds in making new connections, finding new clients, and educating employees is vital to the company’s success.
4. Building a Network
IT specialists often have many friends and acquaintances, who are working in the same industry. They can either build a network or join one to monitor what’s going on in the world.
IT forums, blogs, and social media are an excellent source of information. Joining an IT community can pay off tremendously. Make sure to follow the news on at least one of the open-source communities.
If you have enough time, it’s possible to start a community. Before bringing your community out into the world, you can test it with friends, family, and coworkers. Find out what they would like to read about and what type of interaction they need.
The key to creating a network and then a community is providing high quality content. With time, you’ll notice that you aren’t the only content provider in the community. Your community members could become the sources of information to stay up with the changing technology in your industry.
While it may be time consuming for one single expert to create a community (after all, there is other work to be done), it’s possible to ask for assistance from other members of your network or for funding from your company.
5. Joining ISACA
ISACA stands for Information System Audit and Control Association. It’s a centralized source of information for the players in the IT industry. By joining this organization, you can get the most important news quickly.
Organizations similar to ISACA exist in every large city. All IT experts need to do is a little research. Joining them can cut the time IT support spends on information search every day.
Even if you don’t have such an organization in your town, you could join several of them remotely.
6. Taking Courses
An IT specialist has to learn something new on a regular basis in order to stay up to date with the changing technologies.
By taking courses, these experts don’t just discover innovations, they interact with their colleagues, make new acquaintances, and get important information about the competitors.
The companies IT experts work for often sponsor such courses. However, even if such sponsorship seems unavailable at the time, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask.
More often than not, the company leaders don’t realize how important certain courses are for the qualification of their employees. It’s up to the expert to find the courses and ask for sponsorship. You may be surprised at how well that works.
Reading is an integral part of staying up to date in any industry. News, blogs, newsletters, and many more resources are currently available for IT specialists. The only problem they face is figuring out which of the sources are worth their attention.
8. Making Experiments
IT experts are often so busy with the projects provided by their company, they forget to hone their creative skills. By taking up a separate project, you could stay on top of your game.
More often than not, all projects you work on for one company have similar specifics. Allow your creativity to shine by taking up something challenging simply to improve your skills. Such a project can help you learn new things about the industry, and enjoy something fresh in your free time. Who knows? Such a project may become financially successful and change your life.
9. Reading Reports
One of the less exciting ways to stay updated with the latest technologies is to read industry reports. Even though they may not contain information about what’s to come, they could help you make a prediction about the future.
Reports of what companies in your industry have found could help you get important insights into your current work.
10. Signing Up For News Notifications
Instead of pouring over large volumes of information, some IT experts opt for special notification services. Some web sources give you an opportunity to receive notification whenever an article related to your niche or area of interests appears.
You can also sign up for “new feature” alerts from big industry leading platforms, such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
A top-notch IT specialist spends at least 10% of the work time to keep up with the latest technologies. Their key goal is to stay on top of their game and ahead of the competition.
If you want to keep the time you spend on research to a minimum, you can take advantage of the above methods and smart tips hidden inside.