Chris J Powell

Know your Role – Redux

Last July I spread out a view of the Future of IT Roles over a 4 Part Series titled IT Roles Get a Boost but with the changing face of IT over the last 9 months I thought it was worth a Revisit.  The original Series was based on an article in CIO Magazine that brought me to sharing the Slide Presentation in the original Know Your Role post.


Just as the WWE has changed to something that is next to unwatchable (if it was ever really watchable in the first place) so to has the IT Department for nearly every company in the world.  The challenges that are being faced by IT Pros have them having to rethink their position, their role and their interaction with the business in general.

It has been said many times that IT needs to reinvent itself in order to remain relevant in a world of BYOD, Cloud Computing and Mobility.  There is a great deal of innovation happening in both the smallest companies that I work with but surprisingly the shift is also affecting the most stoic big companies as well.  The change is not just a fundamental shift in how the business looks to IT but how IT builds, supports and interacts with the business.

I had a client tell me that when he started in IT (30+ years ago) he needed to be able to code in COBOL, understand the Network and keep abreast of the shift from Mainframe computing to the PC era.   That was a challenge but when he was interviewing for a replacement Network Admin and looking at the skills and abilities of graduates from University Computer Science Programs…he realized that the expectation of who and what he was hiring today is a lot closer to what the expectation of a CIO was a lifetime ago.

If we look to that statement that a new IT hire needs to have a similar skill set to that of a seasoned IT Professional 30 years ago that is in many ways a scary thought but at the same time the requirements of Business Analysis, Project Management, Advanced IT Architecture and Relationship Management can truly make or break the ability of an IT Department to manage the onslaught of new and emerging technology trends.

It is actually truly amazing that today’s graduates have lived their entire lives for the most part with the Internet.  Rarely if ever were they told to “look in the Dictionary” it has for them been “Google it”.

Is it safe to say that the landscape of IT will change in the coming years?  Well for those IT Leaders who steadfastly hold on to the memory of yesterday…I think extinction is a very distinct possibility.  Embracing the changes that are happening and interacting more with the lines of business can ensure that not only will IT flourish but will survive both the Post PC Era and any thing that may come down the road in the future.

Just as I did with the original Part One, I thought I would share one of my favorite Monty Python videos…Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.


Chris J Powell

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.