Ten Steps to Reinventing the IT Professional
(ARA) – For years, information technology professionals enjoyed the
Midas touch: Everything they touched turned to gold. Business
leaders needed their knowledge, expertise and skills and were
willing to pay just about any price to get them.
Times have changed. The business conditions that
initiated the information technology spike -- the Y2K nonevent and
the bursting of the dot-com bubble -- were deemed unable to sustain
the flood of IT prospectors seeking fame and fortune.
“In the past several years, we have witnessed the
transformation of the IT profession,” says Andrew Trestrail, vice
president of Kelly IT Resources, a business unit of staffing company
Kelly Services. “But the profession should emerge from this
experience with a stronger sense of purpose and mission. The
experience has rewritten the rules for what it takes to succeed.”
These rules include a new set of skills and
motivations that IT professionals need to recognize in order to
succeed and prosper in today’s more conservative operating
environment, says Trestrail:
1. Business Insight -- IT professionals need to
free themselves from the functional myopia and try to understand the
business and cross-functional responsibilities of other departments.
Technology solutions must be analytically, creatively and
strategically developed and deployed. Businesses can no longer
afford the luxury of investing in technology for the sake of
2. Financial Discipline -- Those who succeed in
today’s corporate world demonstrate consistently that they can
manage the corporate resources. They have been entrusted to improve
the business. And through the shrewd practice of financial analysis,
they must prove an adequate return.
3. Innovation -- IT professionals traditionally
have shined when it comes to unleashing their talent for creative
and innovative solutions. These skills have not diminished. In fact,
applying technical knowledge to a broader set of abstract business
challenges still holds the prospect for creating sustainable
leverage in the marketplace.
4. Systems Integration -- Businesses can no
longer afford a patchwork of IT systems that optimize individual
components of the business. Instead, solutions must bridge
technologies and systems.
5. Teamwork -- IT professionals must view
themselves as a consultant to the business. “Companies who call on
Kelly IT Resources want people who can deploy a broad range of
cross-functional skills, analyzing business conditions,
recommending, implementing and managing technology solutions, and
cooperating with all segments of the business,” Trestrail says.
6. Versatility -- In today’s environment,
technical aptitude alone will no longer suffice. The successful IT
professional will have to demonstrate a broad portfolio of
cross-functional skills, aptitude, insight, context and experiences
that can be combined in various ways to create business value.
7. Management Aptitude -- IT workers are no
longer just highly sought after programmers. Very few organizations
are hiring entry-level people anymore. Everyone is hiring at a
higher level -- they want experience. IT professionals need to
understand project and contract management.
8. Customer Orientation -- Once armed with a
solid awareness of organizational culture, goals and objectives, the
IT professional must demonstrate keen problem-solving skills. This
involves the blending of technology in a way that improves business
processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
9. Communication -- For many years, IT
professionals worked in their own functional silos, often speaking
their own language that few in the organization could recognize.
This won’t wash in today’s business climate. They must be effective
communicators, able to translate the technical aspects of their job
easily with others.
10. Interpersonal Skills -- In addition,
successful IT professionals understand that they no longer will be
measured solely on their competence, but also in accessibility,
accountability, affability, flexibility and reliability.
“As IT professionals have witnessed the severe
peaks and valleys of demand for their services, they have had to
reinvent themselves to be more marketable to prospective employers,”
Trestrail notes. “Those that understand how the job is changing --
both in terms of demands and expectations -- will be better prepared
to attract attention.”
For their part, as businesses demand more
versatility from their IT workforce, they must commit to
identifying, hiring and advancing people with both the requisite IT
skills and an improved understanding of general business dynamics.
For more information about Kelly Information
Technology Resources visit
Courtesy of ARA Content