Career advice: 3 up and coming IT roles
Premier 100 IT Leader William Mayo also answers questions on combining international teams and the skills needed to become a CIO
Computerworld - Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader William Mayo Title: Senior IT director Company: Biogen Idec
Mayo is this month's Premier 100 IT Leader. If you have a question you'd like to pose to one of Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you see as the top five IT careers for the next 5 to 10 years? I see two distinct paths for IT careers over the next several years: companies where IT is the product, and those that use IT to deliver some other product. This distinction has always been there, but it is becoming more pronounced every day. In the first group, roles are not fundamentally changing. For the second group, I see the following generically worded roles as the most in demand (and sorry for only answering with these three broad categories):
1. The Uber-Business-Process Fanatic: Someone who is so firmly planted in the how of your business that he thinks constantly about how to improve the process and knows in his bones what really matters to success.
2. The Integration Guru: Someone who can figure out how to get that data that triggers that insight that is then exploited using that bit of technology and gets it to work on that cool new device.
3. The Tinkerer: Someone who understands the value of continuous improvement. Such people will have significant value in keeping a staggering amount of implemented technology well tuned. Too often something is built, digested into the lifeblood of an organization and then never given any attention again. Not everything has to be replaced.
After a merger, we've been told to turn two development teams, located in the U.S. and Europe, into one. Any advice on making this go smoothly? The trick here, of course, is the "into one" part of the directive. I am going to assume no constraints, so this will likely be a bit idealized, but these are the types of things to consider.
Just to get it out of the way, I will mention process. This is foundational in a "necessary but not sufficient" way. It also serves as a good way to get the teams working together on defining their own future. Forging groups that include people from both teams, have them define the common working processes they will be using going forward.
The rest is all essentially cultural in nature. Finding ways to get the teams leaning on each other is critical. (Note that I say "leaning on," not "relying on"; that can just lead to finger pointing about failed delivery.) Determine each group's specialty, and build that up so the two teams will seek each other's input. A corollary here would be to avoid trying to make the two groups exact duplicates of each other. There may be things that should be shared, and a little competition never hurt, but too much competition creates a winner-take-all mentality and, ultimately, bad behavior. Selective cross-staffing will also pay big dividends. Identify clear leaders (technically or organizationally) and move them from one team to the other. And as a leader yourself, be very clear about what you expect, and relentlessly recognize "good" behavior.
More Ask a P100 IT Leader columns
- Career advice: 3 up and coming IT roles
- Career advice: Positioning yourself for big promotions
- Career advice: Kicking your career off with no experience
- Career advice: Learn from your mistakes
- Career advice: Moving into Internet security
- Career advice: What separates leaders from managers?
- Career advice: Do IT pros need to know about business?
- Career advice: Initiating change from below
- Career advice: Where to focus? Data, data, data
- Career advice: Moving to the public sector
- Budd Van Lines Moves Data Closer to Home Shipping and logistics company Budd Van Lines uses Infinio to improve performance on their VDI environment. The company employs a virtualized datacenter based...
- Storage Performance with Cost Control As IT groups expand their server virtualization initiatives, central storage performance can become the bottleneck and create poor end user experience.
- Server-side Caching for the VMware Admin vExpert David Davis weights in on how best-in-class server-side caching solutions can drastically improve storage performance and reduce latency without the addition of...
- Move Mission-Critical Apps to the Cloud with AWS and F5 Read this paper to learn about adoption inhibitors of the cloud, potential solutions, and how advanced Application Delivery Controller (ADC) technologies are critical...
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All IT Careers White Papers | Webcasts
Our 28th annual survey results show which IT skills are in high demand and which are cooling off. Also, see how your salary stacks up to peers' with our Smart Salary Tool.