Essential Skill Sets To Look For In Network Professionals

Michael Finnigan
Dec 12, 2019

When you run a business that requires IT assistance, it is always better to hire a skilled IT team or a specialist to handle the task rather than outsourcing it. Furthermore, when you hire an IT professional, make sure that the person is an expert in three areas; thorough knowledge of IT infrastructure, cloud management, and budgeting process.

Traditionally, network professionals used to look after areas such as server placement, network throughput, security firewall, device management, etc. However, with the development in the technology field, more and more companies are now embracing the concept of edge computing. Hence, an IT specialist must be a veteran in areas such as IT architecture and data management as well. In fact, these are the main skill sets that you must look for when hiring a network professional.

Thorough IT infrastructure knowledge

Mobile devices, the internet of things, and the initiatives like manufacturing 4.0, etc., are demanding more network knowledge to run a business successfully. As a result, you will have to either scale up your network to accommodate all the tasks or segment and partition a bigger network into a series of smaller networks to work in a specialized manner. However, you are likely to be wondering about questions such as will these networks ever integrate or at what point will they engage with each other and transfer significant data?, what kind of data can be exchanged among these networks?, who can access the information?, what are the security measures employed?, etc.

In fact, these are the most common and popular questions that an organization is likely to face when it comes to networks and IT infrastructure. Note that an IT professional can easily solve all such questions by getting involved in the whole IT infrastructure development process. For this, they must start interacting with DBAs and application developers in the company from the very beginning phase of system and business process design.

In short, the network experts are expected to go much beyond the traditional router, server, UPS backup, cable, and network device configuration with the introduction of edge computing. In other words, network professionals require a better understanding of business processes and enterprise systems so that they can efficiently work alongside application developers, system programmers, DBAs, and other employees who play a role in developing or designing the IT infrastructure.

Cloud expertise

There will be hardly any company that does not rely on cloud services these days. Hence, the network knowledge of your staff needs to be expanded beyond your organization. Rather, it must include bandwidth constraints and data exchanges including cloud-to-data and cloud-to-cloud exchanges and communications. Your staff must also be capable of making choices when it comes to which system needs to be operated internally and the ones to be installed on the cloud.

This decision making includes network requirements and factors such as network security, backup, and performance. For this, the professionals must have in-depth knowledge of both wide-area and internal networks. Plus, they must be capable of dealing with cloud service providers and external telecommunications that plays a key role in keeping the networks secured and running.

Be a part of the budgeting process

Traditionally, network managers used to perform a major role in budgeting when internal and wide area networks are involved. However, the budgeting process needs to be expanded with the introduction of IoT, cloud, edge computing, enhanced network roles, etc. For instance, if you want to automate a company, the IT experts are expected to work alongside application developers to design an appropriate automated system. Note that this task does not only involve server and software design costs but also network expansion costs. The system and network professionals must be capable of scaling out both the budget and technical requirements of the enterprise.

The bottom line is that when you hire a network professional, make sure to consider someone who boasts thorough knowledge of IT infrastructure, cloud management, and budgeting rather than just the network side. Otherwise, provide on-site job training to your existing employees. The latter will be a better choice since the employees will be able to handle a broader set of responsibilities this way as they configure, support, and design networks.