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In the Stratecast Executive Brief sponsored by IBM1, the cloud user survey showed that, when deciding on a cloud solution, business impact remains the top priority for both the CIO and CFO. What does this mean for the people in the IT department? As cloud service adoption increases, the IT professional who focuses on increasing his/her business acumen more readily becomes the trusted advisor. Consider these suggestions when you’re ready to seize the opportunity and boost your career.
Complement your technical skills with business courses. As an example, the University of MD Smith School of Business has a department of Decision, Operations and Information Technology. http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/faculty-research/academic-departments/decision-operations-information-technologies.
Some companies have created programs to help employees upgrade their skills. AT&T plans to transition 75% of their operations to the cloud by 2020. In the face of this major infrastructure change, employees are encouraged to retool their skill set. AT&T created Vision 2020 which is a program that combines on-line and classroom based program work in subjects like digital networking and data science. A partnership between Udacity (on-line learning) and George Tech is enabling some AT&T employees to receive on-line masters degrees. Check with your HR department to see if you company sponsors continuing education. Talk to your manager to see what new skills they need in the department.
In Q4 2015, Cognizant researched the most critical digital skills. The study included interviews with 422 executives in Europe and the US from a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. Currently, security and mobile/web development are most important. But 43% of these executives said, in three years, analytics and big data will be the most important digital competencies.
Study your own company’s supply chain and business processes and find where you can lend your perspective to help the business.
Pep Talk for My EDI Colleagues– The EDI Professional already fits the description of technical professional who understands business impact. An EDI Analyst understands the customer needs/concerns as well as the order processing cycle. When auditing the order-to-cash cycle and identifying the best supplier relationships, which group has the deepest perspective? The EDI team. If you are in EDI, use the knowledge you’ve gained through day-to-day business transaction operations to advise corporate leaders and give them new insight into supply chain influencers (and interrupters). Gaining new skills through continuing education and digging deeper into your company’s business processes will bolster your ability to successfully share your knowledge and help build corporate strategy.
1”Are Cloud Managed Services the Right Financial Choice for Your Business?” A Stratecast Executive Brief Sponsored by IBM, 2016.
For more about AT&T’s changes, see www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/technology/gearing-up-for-the-cloud-att-tells-its-workers-adapt-or-else.html
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