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Bursting the Bubble: From Education to IT in Business

By Jess Hill, Application Support Analyst, Marval Software

 

After spending the majority of our lives in the Education System, we eventually come to leaving school and starting the next and biggest chapter of our life, working.

On that nervous first day of being in work you see a taste of how you fit in to your job, team, department and business. It is a lot to take in and the realisation that you are no longer just learning but in fact doing a job (in which others are counting on you to complete quickly and efficiently) is momentous.

It is at this precise moment your safety bubble (which you never knew you had) suddenly bursts and opens you up to the successes and failures of what your parents have always told you is, in fact, the real world.

Throughout our education, we are taught about specific subjects to acquire knowledge about how to do a specific job or function and the core basics you need in all parts of life, but we aren’t taught about how a business works, what to look for in a business or how to navigate office politics.

Nobody tells us that businesses are, actually, living organizations, made up of many different departments, all of which work in their individual sector but work towards a common objective: to ensure the business as a whole can run efficiently to provide their service/product, make a profit and grow.

As pupils, most of us know (or can imagine) that enterprises have human resources, sales people, accountants, receptionists, marketers and the big boss, but how many of us know (or remember) that there are also legal departments, logistics and warehouse operatives, facilities managers, and something called IT?

How does IT fit in in to business? Well, many businesses have a tendency to look at an IT Department as a separate business entity that uses a lot of resources and money. In one way, they are correct to say it is a separate entity, but they also need to remember how much today’s organizations are dependent on technology. Whether Service Desk Analysts, Network and Systems Engineers, IT Operations in the background, Infrastructure Support, Security, Software Development, IT Administration or IT Management, all these teams have a service to provide to ensure the business keeps running. If you don’t have an efficient IT Department, the rest of the business is affected and the impact can be anything, from minimum and insignificant to huge and irreparable. Why? Because every staff member, from Reception, Security, Sales, Senior Management, Human Resources, Warehouse to Shops/Stores, Factories etc., all use technology supported by the IT Department.

This means a job in IT requires you to have an understanding of the business overall. You need to know what each department does and how they work; how crucial their tools are to their day-to-day operations; which systems, applications or devices are critical and which can be listed as “second priority”.

And this is where all the fun begins. If you think IT is just about the technology, think again. In today’s businesses (the livening organizations we talked about), IT is at the heart of all operations, affecting critical performance indexes, like productivity, efficiency, responsiveness, customer service, even the corporate culture. The people working in IT are now required to have a wider set of abilities, including soft and social skills. The teams managing and delivering Service, in particular, are usually the ones who interact with customers the most, listen and collect customers’ feedback and define whether customers receive substandard, standard or superior Service. We actually influence the company’s success, profitability and growth.

It sounds scary, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be exciting, highly engaging and rewarding. It’s great to know that your actions made a difference to somebody’s life, either professional or personal. It’s great to realise that, with your support, someone out there was able to work better, faster or easier. Your organization delivers impeccable service because of you; you contribute to the business’ success every day, every moment. Yep, working on a Service Desk can be very exciting.

If you are reading this before you leave school and would like to consider a career in IT, then get a head start: email some of the businesses you are interested in and see if they have internships, work experience or even just allow a day visit to see what they do. When you get a chance to visit a business ask what they do, how they work and what their IT Department are responsible for. Also, ask about the types of jobs they have; you will be surprised at the amount of jobs you have never heard about. You never know, it may give you an idea about where you want to go!

The last thing you need to remember is we all started out the same, we all probably asked the same questions which at the time you think makes you sound stupid. But we all have to start somewhere. And the Service Desk can be an amazing place to start.

 

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