Business Management – The importance of industry certifications for a business

Old 5 Comments on Business Management – The importance of industry certifications for a business 72

This is another installment of my Business Management posts, geared towards those of us who are business owners and/or consultants.

Those of us in the technology industry know that there are a lot of certifications and pieces of paper that are pretty much useless and don’t mean much in terms of abilities. For example, having A+ doesn’t make you a good IT technician. Having Network+ doesn’t make you a good LAN manager. As Eli the Computer Guy has said on numerous occasions, having a CCNA doesn’t really mean much.

Given this, I will say that as a business, being able to list certifications actually is important. As you know, my business provides 3rd party IT support services to clients. As I’m sure you’ve been able to deduce, these clients don’t have on-staff IT employees and don’t have the internal expertise to manage their networks and handle all the “tech stuff”. I’m not trying to sound rude or anything, but not being in the industry, these clients don’t really know what the difference is between an A+ certification, a Network+ certification and a CCNA certification. They don’t know what an MCSE is, and they don’t know what CISSO stands for.

So, when clients are looking for a 3rd party technology services provider, they’re simply looking for a business that is experienced and knows what they’re doing. You could advertise that you’re A+ certified, CCNA certified, CCNP certified or MCSE certified, and these will realistically mean the same thing to them. All they see if the word “certified” and they think ‘alright, that company is certified in their industry, great!’. Very few, if any, potential clients will actually go and research and compare different certifications from different providers. All they care about is that you advertise that you have certification(s) from your industry. That’s it.

When it comes to the situation of a business in the 3rd party support industry, certifications are important, if only for aesthetics and reinforcement of your business’s abilities. Remember, most of your potential clients aren’t involved in the technology sector and don’t know, or care, about our certification streams and what means something and what doesn’t. They simply want to do their bit of due diligence and feel confident in their selection of a provider.


Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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  1. Ali Green August 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I got a CCNA so that I could find out about TCP/IP, the tech stuff regarding networking and also to show to a potential employer giving me a break into the IT industry I am a fairly competent person regarding the ability to learn new things. I have heard from several different people that “CCNA ‘arnt much cop” But surely for the reasons I have outlined, I was not wrong to get this certification?
    I am studying for the MCSA Server 2012 at the moment for the proposes of learning about servers and Microsoft stuff, are you suggesting that all the hard work I am having to put into these studies because I’m a noob is only going to result in me having a bit of “sugar” rather than respected and useful certification?

    • Martin Lehner August 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Ali,

      My post was specific to certifications for a business, not any one single individual. When you’re a business, for example like mine, providing 3rd party IT support for clients, certifications and designations are important for business image and professionalism.

      I will be writing another post about the importance of certifications for individual people 🙂

  2. Jeff Newman August 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Do you see any value in a business becoming a Microsoft Partner, HP Authorized Reseller, etc.?

    • Martin Lehner August 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      In my personal experience ? No. In the 3rd party support world, clients hire you because they don’t want to deal with making decisions on what hardware or what solutions to implement. They simply have a goal (remote network access, for example), and they want to be able to achieve it. They don’t really care how, or what hardware / software you’re going to be using, they only care that it works and that it fits within their budgets. As long as you can provide that ‘air of professionalism’, that’s all that matters.

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