Whether you’re applying from a small or large agency, the first thing you need to know about IT is that it is constantly changing. It is a field with very high expectations and demands for resources but a limited supply of them – but you can find IT jobs on vacatures it. Even the decision makers often don’t understand the craziness of it. As a result, there is often a very high need for ongoing funding for infrastructure. The sales people can sometimes get overly ecstatic, too so there’s also a need for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to understanding the agency’s goals with the initiatives. IT, by nature, is a very fast-paced field so if you’re the type who is passionate about technology and good at thinking on your feet, it is probably the career for you.
Before you try applying for an IT job, here are five things you need to know about what truly makes an agency successful:
- The number one route to success is partnership, partnership, partnership. Between the support of the executive and city management, IT and the consumer. This means support of the vision and goals of the project as well as having executive support to hold all participants involved in the project accountable. IT’s also cannot carry out their projects without their business departments because the benefits come from the business sponsoring it.
- You will be expected to help strategize solutions to complicated problems up front. In archietectural blueprints, it’s always much cheaper to move the lines on the map rather than change the whole structure. The same applies fro IT in technological planning and systems.
- Technology is an ongoing investment. This is due to the fact that technology is constantly changing, needing to be upgraded or replaced. The justification depends on the full cost of the system.
- Remember that, at the end of the day, technology is a tool and not a means to an end. Make sure that the business requirements are very clearly defined first and then focus on the software and hardware. Remember that the sales people only get so much air time to make their pitches and may not have the time to paint the extensive picture of the complexity and cost factors of the project.
- Understand that the IT field is one in which the governmental sector competes with the private sector. This means that all agencies are ideally cross-training on a constant basis to keep all skills on the same page. However, agencies also need to watch for burnouts to prevent losing perfectly skilled staff to resulting health conditions or other jobs. Losing staff can temporarily cripple the developments but it’s often more than enough time to lose a lot of loyal customers. Even losing just one person can leave an agency vulnerable to high turnout rates. IT agencies are also not one-person companies.