William M. Akin IV
Imagine this. You’re running a multi-million-dollar company. Everything is running smoothly, then suddenly, your entire information technology department is no longer available to you. This impact would be, for sure, immediately devastating to all people involved in your business. Connection issues would spark up, important documents and files could be lost or would need to be updated, and certain systems and software programs would now no longer have people running them.
These are just a few examples of how and why the department of information technology is so critical and so crucial in any company or business in today. Even small businesses need I.T. personnel to help connect others to them, know simple software, network the company’s important information internally and externally, and maybe even know some social media platforms to help launch and/or maintain their businesses virtually.
I had an intriguing conversation with Ms. Joi Akin, who is a clinical systems analyst for Summit Medical Group (SMG). We spoke about what she does beyond her job description, how she helps benefit physicians and doctors for whom she works, and how important her information technology department and personal skills are to SMG.
“My clinical I.T. group takes part in assisting several doctors, nurses, and vendors with maintenance, troubleshooting, or enhancement problems/issues. Not only do we talk to doctors, but we communicate with different members of the staff, managers, directors of different companies, technicians, VP’s, and sometimes the president of companies. So, it can be intense sometimes, but it’s also rewarding because I talk to a lot of people from different levels of the organization.”
Ms. Akin also touched on the significance of knowing how to operate elaborate computer systems and what they are used for in her line of information technology in the medical field.
“Our main computer system is called Athena… which houses and holds data on numerous billing structures, patient structures, and patients’ electronic medical records which includes anything about their visits, vitals, labs, and tests that were administered to them.”
Ms. Akin goes on to say that she is “…one of the many analysts’ that maintain this highly intricate program. So, when doctors or nurses use different systems at other locations and need access to their patient’s information on certain files, or have trouble accessing them, they call our information technology group, and we help guide them to solve those problems.”
Although the job description for an information technology position might sound like just pressing on a bunch of keys all day long, Ms. Akin’s job title puts things into perspective. Not only in this field of work do you help assist co-workers and your boss, but highly sophisticated and essential workers, like doctors, might need your skillset as an I.T. professional.
The global department of information technology never stops at an office desk and a chair. Never is this worldwide support system of data, connection, and information limited to one type of I.T. job.
I also spoke with Mr. Neal Carter, as he is an I.T consultant in charge of his own company, along with more than 40 years of technology experience. He told me about his background and upbringing into the workings of information technology.
“I started out on wall street, worked at brokerage firms, and Chase bank. I’ve worked with everything from programing, communications, and networking…
I’ve been a person who plugs a device in, to a person who manages a team and an organization.”
He goes on to say that early in his career, as an employee, realized that the corporate world was not for him.
“One thing that I learned in the corporate world is that you can be really good at your job and do everything perfectly, but something could happen within the organization and you could lose your job. It can have nothing to do with your performance. So, early in my career I decided that I was going to be not just a consultant, but an independent consultant and go for top dollar… As I went that route and continued working for large companies, I received more exposure to more technology and, as a consultant, was required to perform a lot more than the average employee…”
I also asked Mr. Carter his thoughts on Covid-19 affecting the technology industry, and his consultant business personally.
“Covid has forced a lot of these major companies to get up to speed with their programs. These companies are going to have to become dependent on stronger and faster networks as well, due to people now working remotely… In today’s time, when I get job opportunities, I now have to take in account the type of environment I am going into. Most of the job offers available now are the ones that are physically testing, calling me to install server racks in a data center or cabling in a communications room.”
As one can see, Mr. Carter’s I.T. job is a little different from Ms. Akins’. He has to know different areas in his field, from knowing how to cable a server room properly so that the companies he works for have a stable connection, to him knowing how to set-up server/computer racks where most of the company’s important information is stored.
Even though both of these job titles might have different priorities and parts to them, the importance of knowing and applying information technology is the same. Both Mr. Carter and Ms. Akin connect whomever they are working for, or with, to important data and information they need. Both need to know how their systems work, whether it be an online database, or a physical data center.
Technology is “always fluidly evolving,” in the words of Mr. Carter. Programs are always being updated and applications are always getting faster. However, the significance of the I.T. field will always be a priority to companies and businesses. The ultimate goal of I.T. personnel, no matter if you are a consultant or a clinical systems analyst, is to assist others and to help them carry out their work. To make sure that everyone on your team achieves their objectives within the organization. If technology is frequently evolving, so must the world of information technology.