November 25, 2022

13 essential skills and characteristics of an effective IT support staff

In today’s technology-driven world, keeping systems up and running reliably is mandatory, which means a strong IT network support staff is essential for every business these days. . Responsible for managing both the needs of customers and the business itself, IT staff require a wide range of skills to be effective.

We asked 13 experts from the Forbes Technology Council to share the essential skills and capabilities IT support staff should have. Their responses follow.

1. Identify the right tools

IT support staff need to identify the right tools to monitor, alert, escalate, manage tickets, and orchestrate custom business workflows. Identifying and orchestrating the right tools and repetitive manual workflows are important key skills required for a network support staff. – Pavan Gorakavi, NetSPI

2. Remain calm under pressure

While technical skills are essential for IT support staff, there is no shortage of fires in the IT world. To manage these fires and manage the high pressure environment that accompanies them, it is essential that you have calm personnel under pressure. This can sometimes mean that in a maintenance process it can be helpful to apply artificial pressure and see how they react. – David Isaac Murray, Doctor.com

3. The “human touch”

Before product knowledge of technology, soft skills and emotional intelligence are essential. Support teams who are able to listen, empathize, and effectively alleviate a customer’s frustration maintain customer loyalty. Focus on your human touch first and then on features and functionality. – Mahe Bayireddi, Phenom People

4. Good documentation habits

The key to availability is to document everything. It’s 3 am and the IT services are down: who has the key to the server room? Which rack does the mail server have? What’s the password? Where are the event logs? Maintaining meticulous and well-organized records is essential to ensure continuity in the face of the crisis. – Seth noble, Data Shipping, Inc.

5. Listen carefully

IT support staff must have the ability to listen. High listening capacities give excellent results in terms of both network reliability and the innovation it can stimulate. The ability to listen carefully to customer needs and industry technology trends and to determine how to meet customer needs through those trends are hallmarks of a great IT support staff. – Vishal Gupta, Unisys

6. Breakdown capability

One of the biggest skills that IT lacks is troubleshooting, but it is by far the most essential. Educational institutions and training programs do a great job of training how a network works, but they don’t teach how to work with systems and environments that are riddled with issues that need troubleshooting. So you rarely find candidates with these skills. – Michael hoyt, Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

7. Sort and prioritize

When working in computer network support, there is always more to do than you can handle. One of the most important skills to have is the ability to sort and prioritize the most important requests that come in and have the predictive mindset to anticipate when your network will fail before it actually does. . – Ryan Chan, Maintenance and Service Management

8. Quick thinking and acting

Speed ​​matters, because every second counts in the online world. Every second of extra downtime can result in wasted money in terms of sales and SEO rankings. Support technicians must be able to understand the context of the situation, think critically and act quickly. The truth is, you can lose a customer for life if you deliver a bad user experience, so make sure that doesn’t happen. – Daniel Munk, FenceCore

9. Risk management

Every organization has assets that are vulnerable to threats from various threat agents. To ensure reliable operations, it is important for an organization to build and maintain a mature risk culture. Being able to identify risks, assess and assess them, as well as respond to them effectively, can be crucial. Another key aspect is to take into account existing controls which need to be updated periodically. – Manish Mehndiratta, Sage IT, Inc.

10. Critical thinking

The # 1 skill required is critical thinking, as many systems are now “hybrid” which means they have an on-premises component and a cloud component, as well as multiple integration points. IT professionals need to think critically to analyze the root cause of problems across multiple systems. – Reed Wilson, Palmetto Technology Group (PTG)

11. Understanding of machine learning

It is imperative that IT network support staff fully understand Machine Learning (ML), as it will become the foundational monitoring and triage capability for the majority of new network-related technologies. This is because the ML will be able to predict, diagnose and prioritize issues and anomalies before they arise, whether they are related to normal network traffic patterns or a cybersecurity breach. – Todd Rebner, Cyleron

12. Flexibility

We live in a constantly changing world of technology. If you add the increasing pressure clients are under to demonstrate results, then the only essential skill support staff need to have is flexibility. Today’s plan may not be tomorrow’s plan, and everyone from top to bottom needs to be comfortable when we need to pivot in search of a different answer or solution. – Andres Angelani, Cognitive softvision

13. Empathy

Empathy is the one trait that, if missing, can undermine any troubleshooting and electrical engineering tasks that a support staff member brings to the table. Technical experts really need to care about whether the users are able to do their jobs. If they don’t, they risk devaluing the relationship, and if they do, they’re almost certain to improve it, even when faced with a seemingly intractable problem. – Adam stern, infinitely virtual