Tuesday, October 04, 2005

      Qualities of a Good IT Professional in a 'Flat World'

Support for internal and external customers is the sole reason for IT’s existence – The nature of IT is to support business functions. Hence the mindset of an IT professional should be to provide solutions to customers’ problems and/or to provide value by making processes or tasks easier to perform. The nature of IT is to shoulder others’ problem onto their own shoulders.

The caveat to this is that users are becoming more IT-savvy, coupled that human nature is seldom easily satisfied. Customers usually take services (in most general sense) for granted, and there will still be ‘complains’ for IT solutions that successfully serves their initial objectives. The mentality of a good IT professional should then be to take these as feedbacks for next round of improvements. In such a sense, a virtuous cycle of never-ending progress is formed. “There is always room for improvement”, is a principle that a good IT professional should live by.

We must recognize that the flattening world is empowering individuals in an unprecedented way; as the Industrial Revolution had empowered the ‘middle class’ in the 18th century. Today, the power of consumers are greatly amplified by the immediate extend and reach that the Internet offers. An IT offering’s success or failure very much depends on its ability to match the requirements of the customers. Otherwise, there will certainly be a competitor’s offering that will.

Increasingly, a successful IT organization needs to be willing to listen to customers and to really understand their needs. Good communication is hence a key skill that every IT profession should possess, yet still, very often lacks.

The last take-away is that no technology (no matter how complex or cool) exists in isolation from the context in which it can be applied and bring about a benefit to its users. This context forms the demands driving the technology. Hence technology, in its own nature, and its sheer existence is to bring about value, improvements, or betterment. A technology that does not fulfill this is termed a ‘white elephant’, that doesn’t really serve much purpose.


Anonymous florence said...

wise move to segregate your techies stuff from your personal development stuff. *wink

Great articles you wrote my dear :)

11:12 AM  

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