The year 2020 seems so futuristic. In fact, it is less than one-half decade away. What skills will the IT service desk worker need to develop in order to be successful five years from now? How will the workload change and how will tech workers need to adapt in order to keep up? Here are the skills you’ll need to thrive in IT by the year 2020.
1. The Ability to Understand and Derive Useful Information from Big Data
Big data is no longer just a buzzword. It is turning into a powerful tool used for all sorts of business endeavors. By 2020, big data will be such an important part of business intelligence that all IT workers will need a solid understanding of how to analyze it and derive meaningful strategies from big data.
2. The Ability to Specialize, While Also Cross-Specializing
As technology progresses, the jobs are becoming more specialized. At the same time, businesses are forced to tighten their budgets, meaning it isn’t necessarily possible to hire an individual for each position needed in the IT department. This means that workers will have to be more specialized, while also being able to cross-specialize as the job requires so that all the work gets done with fewer employees.
3. Deep Knowledge and Intuition Regarding Cyber Security
Cyber security isn’t just an issue, it is the primary issue IT departments are dealing with today. The rapid increase in cyber attacks between 2011 and 2014, combined with the increasingly complex nature of these attacks, means that every IT professional should be security savvy, no matter what specialization they choose.
4. The Ability to Communicate Well With Both Tech and Non-Tech People
One of the nice things about today’s technology is that you don’t have to be a tech genius to use it. Toddlers are capable of learning how to play games on a smartphone, and grandmothers can use their tablets to email the kids on vacation. This means that tomorrow’s service desk workers will need to be able to communicate well both with their tech savvy counterparts, as well as non-tech users and customers.
5. Cross-Cultural Understanding and Communication
It truly is becoming a global workplace. No matter where in the world you work, it is unlikely you will end up in an ethically or culturally homogeneous environment. Tomorrow’s service desk will need to be able to understand, communicate with, and relate to people of all nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds.
6. The Ability to Interact Smartly With the Media
“The media” has traditionally meant a group of reporters working for established and generally well-known publications. Today “the media” refers to a large section of the public — bloggers, social media gurus, and many others. The service desk will need to be aware of how social media, blogs, and other non-traditional media venues can impact their business.
7. The Mentality of a Designer
As businesses increasingly depend on their Internet images, every tech worker will need at least a basic working knowledge of design. Things can’t just work well anymore, they also have to look good doing it. From websites to advertisements to online knowledge bases, the service desk needs to think and act like a designer.
8. The Ability to Collaborate Virtually
Workplaces aren’t just becoming more diverse, they are also spreading out. Remote workers, telecommuters, and outside-the-office sales workers are all part of the organizational infrastructure. New tools for collaborating virtually are making it easier to share a project with workers in India, Brazil, the UK, or across town. It is critical that tech workers are able to develop and use new technologies to collaborate with those outside the traditional office setting.