The Most Important Skill That IT Engineers Must Have

IT and technology industry is shifting dramatically from being service desk focused to decision making focused. It means IT engineers are no longer compensate to keep the network and applications up and running, that is a default expected behavior.

The days that IT engineers and technologists used to walk in the office and ask people if they have any issues with their computers or applications are long gone. With Automation and AI, now IT organizations can implement self-heal networks that can take care of any disruption or human mistake and bring everything back to normal in the matter of seconds. Downtime is still a big thing for organizations, but with proper Business Continuity strategies and Big Data and Business Intelligence technologies and tools, organizations now can move towards 100% up time in their networking infrastructure. This means users will not experience downtime and they can continue work without any interruption.

This means IT organization now have more time to spend on more strategic initiatives rather than being only service desk. The way that IT organization and IT engineers can bring more value is becoming more business focused rather than technology focused.

What it means is IT engineers now can partner with marketing, HR, sales, legal, engineering, supply chain and other business units, depending on their personal interest, to give them consultative technology services so that Line of Business can perform better and eventually drive growth.

For example, IT engineers can start working closely with marketing to generate more qualified leads, improve branding practices or even rebuild the company brand, or adapt stronger social media strategy. They can bring analytics and intelligence to content creation and get more visibility on keywords that are being used in search engines to optimize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) projects.

IT engineers can partner with sales team and help them reducing sales cycle by automating demos and proof of concepts, design and deploy intelligent sales and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools and get better statistics and sales conversion. To take it to the next level, engineers can shift their career and even start to sell. They can become trusted adviser and thought leader in the market place and start delivering value for their customers by bringing analytical skills and improving sales process.

Technologists can act as customer success representative after sales happen, and drive exceptional customer experience and identify upsell and cross sell opportunities and drive growth and revenue which is a unique skill.

IT engineers can help strategy office and Chief Strategy Officers to build strategies and implementation mechanism to monitor the progress of organization on strategic level and deal with more abstract concepts about the business.

They can improve engineering and product management processes and not only participate in product development, but to deploy DevOps and continuous delivery methodologies to reduce time to market from product management perspective.

If a technologist or engineer can drive revenue and growth and can impact tangible business metrics, they will always still relevant in the market place.

Raising capital will be another valuable skill that can help startups to grow as well. If IT engineers are willing to work in startup environment, this is the single most important skill that you should have in terms of taking the business to the next level.

Public speaking is the other skill that engineers should be able to become comfortable so they can become thought leaders in their space and industry.

Content creation and blogging will be another tool in your tool set helping you to express your opinion and add more value to the industry as well.

IT engineers can help HR (Human Resources) to improve employee retention, building great and unique culture, adopting analytics and integrating it into HR processes to improve employee experience.

Here is a great article by David Green ( @david_green_uk ) on how to achieve this goal:

Here is how Nicolle Merrill ( @pdxnicolle ) is seeing the market shift in what we consider future jobs and skill sets that technologist will need:

Here is some career advice from top business leaders which are interviewed by Jacob Morgan ( @jacobm ) which is a well known thought leader in future of work space:

As can be seen, technology and digital now is a must for each organization and having IT engineers that can take care of technical side of technology is now a considered normal. We need more business-focused engineers that can drive growth and scale for enterprises and startups and only in this way, they stay relevant in the market place.

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