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Industry Q&A: Information Technology with John Havill
Upskilled spoke to a director of an Australian IT company about the daily task of his job, and what he thinks about working in the IT industry.
In a few sentences, tell us what an IT Professional does day-to-day.
The industry is much too broad to provide a really simple answer – however, I can give you a small insight regarding my role as an IT business owner. Essentially, my job is about discovering the questions that our clients are trying to ask. Ideally, most of our clients know that they have a challenge – IT expenses can be a large company expense that they have to manage. Sometimes IT is not providing the answers they need – but they don’t really know where to begin.
I pull apart the issues until I get close to the root cause. It might be something as simple as someone in the warehouse is not getting information promptly enough to process an order when the client needs it, and as directly as possible. There could be some measures for improvement in processes and logistics. This is a difficult question to answer because IT is a very broad and diverse industry but in my opinion an IT Professional is someone who takes an analytical and methodical approach to solving problems. Personally I like to extend this definition a little since a professional also needs to have a sound understanding of the business processes that drive the need for IT systems.
What do you most love about working as an IT professional?
I would say that it's all about contributing to the success of our clients. This is measured in various ways across different businesses and industry sectors but in simple terms I want our clients to switch their thinking from IT being an expensive cost to their organisation to IT being an investment that is generating a positive return.
What skills/attributes do you need to be successful in this type of job role?
A great IT Professional must be a really good communicator, be good at consulting with their customers and clients and also be a very good listener. He or she must also be creative – the solution that was a perfect fit for your last client may only be an okay fit for your current client. I feel that every IT Professional needs to have some solid technical training – whether it be industry based certifications or a degree in computer science or a related discipline. However this is only part of the story.
What else can you tell us about working in IT?
The best element of my job is the variety of industries that I get to work in. Every engagement brings new challenges and leaves me with more knowledge and experience. This allows me to share experiences and processes across industries – sometimes in ways that had not been previously considered.
Thanks, John, for sharing your story with Upskilled.
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