On Wednesday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Panel Event on the topic, So Just How Important Is Technology? A huge thank you to our panelists Sridhar Koneru, VP Information Technology (CIO) at Winnebago, Francois Charette, Optum Digital CIO at Optum, and Bridget Lindner, CIO North America at DLL for sharing their thoughts on technology today. Thank you to everyone who joined us as well!

Below you will find an overview of the most popular questions from our members and a summary of what was discussed.

The supply and demand in IT is getting wider every year. Why is that?

The demand for IT is greater than the supply we are given. It’s also challenging while trying to incorporate diversity into teams when the supply of people in IT is so low. A main reason as to why the supply of people in IT is so low is because there is no education around what you can really do in technology. IT is more than just coding, there is a business aspect to it that people don’t really talk about. Technology is all about solving problems whether it’s technology problems or business problems.

How would you “sell” IT as a major to high school students?

To sell IT as a major to high school students it’s important to change the mindset of what many think IT is. IT is more about helping others than it is about sitting behind a desk and coding. Another sell to IT would be how you work within a team and you can create something that helps the whole business. All industries are using technology one way or another. Also, give high school students real life examples of what a day in the life of a technologist is like. Sell IT to be about problem solving and don’t overcomplicate it.

How much are you seeing a transition from centralized IT to more of a distributed “think IT” in which technologists are embedded in business areas?

As we progress over the years you will see a big transition in technology. Engineering will need to expand, and we will start to hear the word “digital” more. The process for IT is to focus on the people, then the process, and then the technology. That is what will round out the business.

What is the biggest misconception business partners you support have about the true IT department services?

The biggest misconception about the IT department is that they are not a part of the business. To be an effective technology leader, you need to be in the business just as much as you are in IT. Technology is just a way of solving a problem. Business is getting more technically savvy.

As the future of technology evolves, it’s important to understand that being in IT does not mean just sitting behind a computer all day. The all-around business of companies is getting more technical, and they will continue to look for teams that they can grow to support their business.