Up Close: IT Virtual Assistant and a Real Virtual Assistant

Torn between an IT virtual assistant and a real VA hire? Get closer to both remote workers and learn how having expertise makes a difference in your business.

Do you need a cost-effective but reliable sidekick to build your business? Well, don’t go looking elsewhere, because a virtual assistant is definitely the answer.

With their ability to multitask and take off your most time-consuming workload, they can ensure you get to be the boss while maintaining a work-life balance — minus the employee-related expenses.

Do they start to sound like your and your company’s lifesavers? They truly are, performing tasks you don’t want to do or lack the capacity to complete while asking only for a little investment on your end.

Virtual assistants are great allies to have when you’re building your business. But before you reach out to a virtual assistant agency, it’s necessary that you understand these types of virtual assistants and how different they are: a real virtual assistant and an IT virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant? Are Virtual Assistants Real People?

Virtual assistants are independent contractors who support individuals and businesses by offering business-related services from a remote location. They are remote professionals who can provide skills and expertise for your business.

Are they real people? Of course, they are. When you’re working with a VA, you’re dealing with a real person with experiences, personality and background that it would do you good to check first before hiring them.

So, when you’re hiring Anne from the Philippines, you are conversing with a breathing human being with hobbies and preferences —just like you.

What is an IT Virtual Assistant?

Now, an IT virtual assistant is a type of remote worker with a specific niche. They are VAs who provide technical support to companies across different industries.

Basically, IT assistants are certified individuals to handle all your IT and technology concerns.

What does an IT Virtual Assistant Do?

The job of an IT virtual assistant is to install, operate, configure and maintain communication systems and computer networks for a company, ensuring that it’s functioning well and updated.

They troubleshoot any issues with software and hardware, providing user assistance using their diverse skill sets.

But even though their main role is to keep the computer running and address all technical problems for many businesses, there are other office tasks that you can ask them to complete.

  • Communicate with clients and negotiate contracts with vendors
  • Write reports
  • Train staff on new technologies and how to use IT systems in the company
  • Monitor inventory
  • Create contingency plans in case the system fails
  • Data entry
  • Customer support
  • Maintain company documents
  • Maintain data storage

Depending on the size of your company and your current workload, the position of an IT virtual assistant could have fewer or more responsibilities.

Anyhow, with their expertise, an IT virtual assistant can make sure all computer users within the organization can use it effectively.

What skills and qualities to look for in an IT virtual assistant?

Here are the following skills and qualities that will ensure you get the most out of your virtual collaboration:

  • Tech-savvy
  • Communication Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Analytical Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Computer Skills

Difference Between IT Assistant and Real Virtual Assistant

In our previous blog post, we weighed on the virtual assistant vs. executive assistant. Now, we’re going to tackle another assistant “conundrum” between an IT assistant and a real virtual assistant.

Before we dive deeper into the subject, let’s break the ice by saying that these workers both help busy people, such as yourself, manage their most tedious tasks in the office.

Of course, these two online supporters have their own set of good and bad, limitations and advantages. And we’re going to look at the most important bits that you should do well to consider before choosing which VA to hire.

Our comparison will highlight two important factors: the job (tasks' complexity and variety) and the compensation.

The Job

A real virtual assistant is like a jack of all trades, offering a wide range of administrative services that you could ever think of. Yes, that includes some roles and responsibilities assigned to an IT assistant.

These projects that a real VA handles include scheduling meetings, booking travels, paying the bills, customer support, data entry, research, preparing reports, managing emails, proofreading and everything in between.

Generally, the job of a real virtual assistant is to make sure the company runs seamlessly by attending to the internal aspects of the business. This means completing the very time-consuming but necessary administrative tasks.

On the other hand, , an IT assistant is someone with more specific skills intended for a specific task. They are specialized workers with experience who provide support on a narrower selection of services.

The central role of an IT assistant, outside ensuring all computer systems are operating successfully, focuses on the external aspects of the business. They are tasked to create a positive brand image for the company by running marketing tasks.

Though it’s not always, an IT virtual assistant received training. Due to their profound and diverse skills, some of their tasks can include social media management, website maintenance, marketing and graphic design.

Here’s a quick rundown to highlight their “job” differences.

  • Task Complexity

    Real Virtual Assistant: Handles everyday administrative tasks, with no specializations

    IT Assistant: More specialized workers trained in the arts of solving all your technical issues (software and hardware), the main role is to provide technical assistance to its users

  • Task Variety

    Real Virtual Assistant: Handles a wide range of tasks, more effectively if they have skills and experience

    IT Assistant: Limited (but not always) to their specific niche and what they are trained for

Things to Ponder:

What is specialization? And why is it important?

Specialization is the practice of having a focus on a specific area. The biggest advantage of job specialization is the expertise an employee brings to the table. As they continually grow in their job, they perform more efficiently and offer higher-quality results.

The Compensation

The amount of compensation that you pay your virtual assistants is dependent on the type of work they do and the expertise they can offer your company.

Speaking of which, the compensation for a real virtual assistant is lower than what an IT assistant receives.

Since an IT virtual assistant offers specialized industry knowledge with training and experience to come along with it, they set a much higher rate as opposed to someone who only provides administrative work for a company.

Things to Ponder:

How much should you pay a virtual assistant? Is having a specialization worth the price?

We’re settled that hiring a virtual assistant is more expensive than its in-house counterpart. On average, a virtual assistant charges between $3 and $100 per hour. This depends on a variety of factors, such as skills and experience.

Remote workers with more specialized tasks come at a higher cost. Even so, the price more than pays for itself. Think about all the massive work they can do for your brand and reach, from web design and content creation to social media management.

A Real Virtual Assistant or IT Assistant: Which One Is Right for Your Business

If you’re just starting out or you’re a small business, a real virtual assistant can offer you a treasure trove of service options for an economical price.

Afterward, when your business starts to fly, you can add an IT assistant to your arsenal with the expertise to handle the more complex tasks in your business.

The great thing about hiring virtual assistants, though, is having the ability to scale up or down, depending on the demands. This means you can hire one for a short time without financial pressure.

Overall, they still offer a better bargain than working with an on-site employee with all the extra costs they carry.

Topic you might be interested in: Human Virtual Assistant vs AI Virtual Assistant

Taking Your Business to the Next Level by Hiring a Virtual Assistant Today

By handing over your most time-consuming tasks to a virtual assistant, you get to work on high-value projects and eventually drive your business to growth.

And oh, you don’t really have to choose between a real virtual assistant and an IT virtual assistant—you need them both as your company progresses.

What you need to prioritize instead is finding a skilled virtual assistant who meets all your business demands and produces high-level output. In this way, you can thrive on the best of what they can offer.

Make a solid investment for the future of your business and start the process of working with a virtual assistant today.