There is a popular perception of IT professionals as people who can, at best, communicate only with other IT professionals. Even worse, some IT professionals seem to embrace this perception and work to reinforce it. The commonplace reality is that IT professionals need effective communication even more than most other professions. Let’s dig and explore some of the reasons why.
Information technology professionals will come into contact with non-IT coworkers regularly. They may be installing new software, building new software, or working on fixing a problem with the eCommerce payment portal on the website. That means they need the ability to explain to their coworkers in marketing or human resources what they are doing or why they need to do it. Without that ability to communicate with coworkers, IT pros run the risk of alienating everyone who doesn’t share their training.
In businesses that operate in the sphere of providing IT services or products, there is a better than average chance that someone from the tech side will be in on client meetings. There is also a good chance that those clients will not be tech experts in those areas. If they were, they likely wouldn’t be outsourcing.
Much as with their coworkers, IT pros run the risk of alienating clients by talking over their heads. No matter how innovative that new software might be, it won’t matter if the tech guy can’t talk with clients on their own level.
Information technology moves incredibly fast. There are always new innovations and new threats in the larger field. Yet, IT professionals often fail to communicate the importance of these changes or risks to their superiors. Legitimate projects that would help a business often get shot down because of this problem.
In essence, a lack of good communication skills can hamstring an IT department full of smart, dutiful employees. Smart IT professionals learn how to communicate about these threats and innovations in a way their superiors understand, such as highlighting the efficiency or discussing the threat in terms of liability or the risks to the business as a whole.
Effective communication isn’t just a soft skill for people in marketing. It’s a crucial skill for making IT overall and IT professionals more valuable. An IT department that excels at communication can smooth employee concerns over new software. It can also prevent IT disasters by keeping the business ahead of the tech curve. It also makes IT pros more valuable because they explain threats, benefits, or even products in a way that encourages sales or collegial workplace culture.
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