Government // Mobile & Wireless
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Rob Whiteley
Rob Whiteley
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Why You Need To Rethink Your IT Job

As new technologies change behavior, IT pros must attain new skills or risk being ignored.

Three Recommendations For When The Shift Happens To You

What can you do to keep pace? Focus on new skills.

IT must find a way to add value or risk getting ignored. Traditional values like availability, scalability and security are necessary, but they are not enough. Moving forward IT needs to deliver better, faster and easier experiences for users.

Here are my recommendations for keeping pace when the shift happens:

1. Focus on "easier" if you're in an app development role. Applications are the primary way your users will experience IT, and applications are inevitably going mobile. We've seen a huge upswing in mobile application development skills in HTML5, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, Objective-C and many others. But raw development alone is not enough. Supplement coding experience with good design, user interface and ergonomics skills.

2. Focus on "faster" if you're in an IT infrastructure role. In this new era, true infrastructure value is in performance, security and availability. Of these skills, performance is the one people understand least. Strive to become a performance architect who can advise the business on how to accelerate and manage IT services.

3. Focus on "easier" if you're in an IT operations role. Put simply: Embrace DevOps. DevOps focuses on the handoff between development teams and the production environment where apps run. DevOps automates the application lifecycle, as well as program infrastructure, to be more agile. Both are critical to improving efficiency and removing what I call "human latency" -- the time it takes for IT ops staff to manually change infrastructure configurations.

All of these technological changes and behavior shifts will compel IT staff to evolve. Technology has never been more relevant to business success. So learn new skills. They will put you center stage as your company transforms.

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User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2013 | 4:09:19 PM
re: Why You Need To Rethink Your IT Job
I hate to be pessimistic but the H-1B visa was created to address this issue because most corporations are grass hoppers not ants. They need what they need when they need it. Not much investment in people these days in preparation for change.
Shane M. O'Neill
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/30/2013 | 3:19:12 PM
re: Why You Need To Rethink Your IT Job
I like the emphasis on behavior over technology in this column. If IT pros focus too much on the technology they will lose sight of how the tech is changing the habits and needs of users and business leaders. Anticipate behavioral shifts and stay ahead of the curve.
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