Every company longs to find a superb network admin to look after their IT infrastructure. Few manage to find the genuine article, and end up compromising on certain attributes as long as their systems are reasonably well cared for.
On this basis, making it your priority to become a superb network admin will help you build a great reputation and make you the kind of person (or company) that your clients recommend to all of their business contacts.
In this article, we detail the five essential attributes of a truly excellent network admin. You’ll find that surprisingly little of the detail relates to technology itself! Working to build these skills, and encouraging their development in your team, is almost certain to pay dividends when it comes to the success of your IT business.
- Business Acumen. Clients quickly become frustrated when IT professionals see technology in isolation, and fail to relate it to the business. As a network admin you should always remember that the only reason that IT exists at all is to SERVE the business. Great network admins make a point of understanding the businesses of all the clients they work for; they know which days and periods of the year are busiest (and why); they learn what the business does and what its values are. Most importantly, they know which IT services are most crucial to day-to-day operations and ensure they never go wrong.
- Proactivity. A common complaint about IT service companies is that they’re too reactive, and are only seen when something goes wrong. If you want to be a proactive network admin, you must work in a very different way. While you shouldn’t seek to flood your clients with information, you should aim to remain in constant contact, showing that you’re taking care of things and ensuring some issues are “nipped in the bud” before they happen. As an example, providing a warning that a server is going out of warranty and will be due for replacement in six months will be appreciated – it proves you are thinking ahead.
- Customer Focus. This goes back to the first point about business acumen: always remember that IT is there as a service to the business. So when something goes wrong, don’t focus on the fact you’ve been dragged away from your lunch – think instead about the user who’s unable to work effectively and is therefore under stress as well. Above all, you must maintain a friendly, smiley persona – even if it makes you want to throw things once you’re safely back in the server room!
- Tenacity. Users hate recurring problems, and they REALLY hate having to explain the same issue repeatedly. You can probably relate to this if you’ve ever had to deal with an inefficient call center! While some issues may reoccur from time to time, there are two things you can do to ensure that your customers remain happy. Firstly, test, test and test again when you think a problem has been resolved, and follow up later to check. Secondly, if you think a problem WILL reoccur, then manage user expectations by telling them that you’re not convinced the issue is permanently fixed. Then, they won’t doubt your competence if they experience the problem again.
- Reliability. Being a reliable network admin isn’t difficult. The main key is to always answer the phone and respond to emails in a timely fashion. It sounds so easy, yet so many IT professionals fail to manage it. To complement your responsive nature, make sure you build systems that can survive in your absence. This means producing a high standard of documentation, and ensuring that anyone left to manage a network in your absence is suitably trained to deal with problems.
What skills do you think make a great network admin? Share your opinions in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base.
Topics:- Computer Consulting Business