January 06, 2015

As an IT professional, you work in a field that is inherently exposed to change. Every day, technology continues to grow more diverse and complex making it more difficult to manage and balance. With powerful tools such as Big Data, mobility, “The Cloud” and all of its components constantly reshaping the IT landscape, roles are expected to naturally grow and evolve to adapt. This being said, you may be required to become more of generalist rather than being specialized in one discipline. While this spells promise for those who can leverage a broad skillset, it can also limit those who can’t or don’t keep moving. Combining business skills with meaningful technology skills and knowledge is a great way to ensure you stay on top of the game and remain in-demand. Let’s take a look at four IT roles that are evolving and growing their skillsets to do just that!

1. Business Analyst:

Simply put, BAs bridge the gap between business and IT. Business Analysts are becoming involved at an earlier stage of project work where they can not only define the business requirements, but outline the current state and future state of the business as it relates to the business problem and solution. BAs are at the forefront of competitive advantage because they can speak not only to the technical solution, but also to how that solution should be implemented to meet market desires.

2. Infrastructure Architect:

A large part of this role means being able to translate the business needs and requirements of the organization into concrete projects for the IT department. This role works closely with Business Analysts and, as described by one architect, this position “figures out which technology Lego bricks we need and how to click them together in order to deliver a service or a project1.”

3. Applications Liaison:

As data centers continue to evolve and network devices become more programmable, this role can and should take advantage of this. The liaison is someone who understands IT infrastructure and can work with the applications development team to help leverage all of the technology that the applications can utilize. 

4. IT Generalist:

Generalists have to work hard to keep up with a wide array of technologies and changes in the market. This is similar to the business analyst in that it’s about connecting the dots and filling in the gaps; but, instead of translating between the business and IT, it’s about translating between different technologies and vendors to make different solutions play nicely together. Unsurprisingly, it’s also helpful for an individual in this role to communicate and collaborate well with others.

Overall, this doesn’t mean you have to be a Jack-of all-trades (and master of none), but you can expand your knowledge into new and complementary areas. For example, if you are a network administrator, start looking at software-defined and cloud network technologies. Getting a grasp on these new concepts with help to come up with fresh business strategies and make you more relevant. Learning to do so may take you out of your comfort zone, but being able to communicate effectively with business leaders is an important skill to have.    

This evolving landscape doesn’t have to be a threat to your job security. Instead, view it as an opportunity to make yourself indispensable!

In what ways will you evolve with the changing IT landscape?

Posted By: Ariana Hampton-Marcell

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