I just came back from the 2014 BMC Engage Global User Conference. We had a great time in Orlando, Florida, talking with customers and partners about all the great changes at BMC (lots of compliments on the new BMC logo and “look and feel”), new BMC products like Remedy with SmartIT, and the future of IT.
But the one overarching takeaway for me was that it’s a great time to be working in IT. Here’s why.
Reason 1: IT is Strategic to Digital Business
In 2003, Nicholas Carr asked the controversial question, “Does IT matter?” At the time, he made a reasonable case that perhaps IT was becoming a pure commodity and therefore companies should look to other areas for strategic differentiation. Regardless, his article in Harvard Business Review sparked a firestorm of controversy.
More than a decade later, we know the answer to Carr’s question: IT doesn’t just matter, it matters more than ever before.
In the past, IT has been a critical resource for business operation and efficiency. IT helped improve productivity and made the business work more smoothly.
Now, IT is the business.
For instance, recent research from IDC says that, on average, 54 percent of a company’s revenue is dependent on IT services. In some cases, that means that the company has highly-integrated business systems supporting the ordering, manufacturing, and shipping of physical goods. In other cases, it means the company’s primary revenue streams are largely digital.
Reason 2: Innovation!
As a result of IT becoming more strategic to business goals, there is a greater focus on IT innovation than ever before. IT innovation results in unique customer experiences and competitive differentiation.
Most IT folks are creative at heart. They love to create new solutions that help move business forward.
Now is your chance! Most of the senior management within your business already understands that digitization is happening, but they aren’t digital experts. They may not understand what the leading edge of technology is making possible.
In contrast, you’re the digital expert. Help them understand how your business can apply new technologies and lead your market with new capabilities and customer engagement.
Reason 3: New Technology
Which brings us to the technology itself. If you’re going to deliver leading-edge customer capabilities and engagement, you’re probably going to have to deploy some new technology.
If you want to become an expert in SMAC (social, mobile, analytics/big data, and cloud computing), here is your big chance. Most innovative new projects include some or all these technologies in combination.
But, you’re also going to have to figure out how to integrate them with the systems, processes, and technologies you already have. It’s quite common, for instance, to pull data from a mainframe, analyze it via big data technologies, and then display results on mobile devices.
The miracle, they say, is in the mashup.
Reason 4: New Skills
Along with new technologies come a new set of skills. This is great from the personal development point of view. IT is always moving forward, and it pays to keep your skills fresh and relevant.
Right now, SMAC skills are in high demand. As you manage your career, think carefully about how you can gain these skills and where you can best put them to use.
Now is the Time!
It’s a great time to be working in IT. Make sure you are taking advantage of the new set of strategic opportunities to show your value to your company. If you’re putting forward game-changing, strategic solutions to increase customer engagement and drive profitability, you’re going to find your career or a good trajectory with plenty of fruitful opportunities.
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