“In this line of work, the most important skill is to be able to get along with different people and to accommodate each user’s needs with different technical solutions. This is also why we should have as many different personalities on the workforce as possible,” IT Specialist Mari Lackman of the University of Eastern Finland’s Digital Services says.
Lackman’s job description involves administering and developing the university’s Microsoft 365 environment. In addition, various software and applications, such as email and Teams, and their information security, are part of her job.
“Many internal service requests and incidents also land on my desk. If, for example, our first line of support is unable to resolve a customer issue, they escalate it second line support, and that’s us.”
According to Lackman, the benefits of working in a large community include that people are given opportunities to familiarise themselves with different technologies, experiment with various things, and deploy them.
“When I first came to the university from the private sector, people would tell me that everything here is slow, inflexible and bureaucratic. But that hasn’t been true at all! In a big organisation, some things will of course take time, but that’s not entirely bad. Quite the contrary: well-thought-out rules often come in handy.”
In any case, Lackman feels that the atmosphere in the university’s Digital Services is both forward-thinking and open to reforms.
“Thanks to our most recent directors, we’ve taken brave steps forward, and in some regards, we’re actually pioneers in the academic world. Another very positive thing is that we work in teams, which makes it easier and even gives confidence to implement various reforms, and having a team also means that you don’t have to figure things out all on your own.”
The team will negotiate and consider different perspectives, and everyone brings their expertise to the table.
“We have experts specialising in Linux, Windows and data communications, for example. Everyone must also have a really good grasp of information security issues, that is, all admins must always monitor the environment also from the viewpoint of safe and secure data processing.”