In this blog post
Demystifying the Application Support Role
In the recent past, I have had the opportunity to work with many young and bright minds. While all of them are passionate about building a career in technology, some are reluctant to start off in an application support role. Application support is one of the pillars of the IT industry. Contrary to some myths, this role helps shape you into a technology leader. In this article, I will explain how.
Here are some skills that you develop in this role –
Customer Centricity – Being a key member of the team, you get an opportunity to work closely with the end-customers when they raise any issues in application. By working with them you understand who is using the application, how they are using it, what issues are they facing and how can the experience be made better. This gives you exposure to customer relationship management, a vital skill for all who aspire to climb the corporate ladder.
Learning a Variety of Technical Skills – This role gives you an opportunity to learn all the technologies that are used in the application. As part of solving an issue or request, you start understanding user interfaces/user experiences (UI/UX), application interfaces (API), Data processing (ETL), database interactions (DB), various data delivery (Reports), server configurations (IT admin), network configurations (Network Admin), security configurations (SecOps), deployment configurations (DevOps), among others. A developer may not get the opportunity to learn this entire range of skills. These skills will help you leverage technology to improve business performance and strategy. Performing this duty well on a consistent basis can fast track your career.
Cross-functional Team Collaboration – This is the only role allows you to work with multiple cross functional teams. When you are resolving a problem, you will end up in a call with all the IT support functions such as Business Operations, IT helpdesk, IT network operations, IT security operations etc. This will help you understand an organization’s computing systems. It is impossible to understate the importance of collaboration in this age. Learning how to collaborate seamlessly is key to succeed, as demonstrated by various organizations – big and small.
Soft skills – Climbing the corporate ladder requires one to learn some key soft skills along with honing their technology skills. In this role, you are bound to pick up some of the following soft skills –
- Communication (Verbal and Written) – Managing all stakeholders expectations
- Collaboration – Working with various teams, across geographies and time zones
- Ability to learn fast – Managing multiple apps with different technologies
- Critical thinking and problem solving – Issue resolution
- Multi-tasking – Debugging, providing updates, coordination with stakeholders
- Ability to work under pressure – Resolving critical failures within Service Levels
- Accountability – Owning the issue
- Empathy – Understand customers and other support functions pain points
- Flexibility – Facing customer issues any time
- Passion – Moving to customer satisfaction and delight
Application Support role is a great role to start one’s career with. The skills and the exposure will prepare you for many other roles and take you a long way in your career.