CIOIT Staff & Team Building

Grafters with a Hint of Genius: What Makes a Really Great IT Pro?

A great IT professional is someone who has the right attitude. That attitude (despite and sometimes in spite of aptitude), is what makes the IT employee successful at their work. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels interviews various technology executives about what constitutes today’s ultimate IT pro.

Innovate or Get Out

Jim Anning, data analytics head at British Gas Connected Homes, is unambiguous about the current state of the industry:

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that IT people could specialise in one technology area and make an entire career out of it. Given the scale of our ambitions at Connected Homes, that’s never going to be the case. We constantly have to find the balance between thinking about the future and delivering in the here and now – and that takes a special breed of IT person.”

It’s not a secret that business and IT are becoming one and the same entity, so from the IT end this means cultivating an ever-stronger business orientation. The stereotypical IT pro, disdainful of the inept end user as they are socially awkward in their presence, is a remnant of the past by necessity. The current business climate, simply put, no longer tolerates that image.

Geek cum Visionary

Unfortunately, the image itself persists like an imprint of residue on glass. To wipe it away, IT pros must embrace the posture of a leader who can be trusted to deliver upon promised goals. This, of course, requires effective communication. If they are a geek, all the better, but they need to be a geek who can function as part of a team.

Samuels’ interviewees seem to collectively suggest that innovation is a personality trait more than the application of some technical genius. The ideal IT pro is entrepreneurial in the sense that they don’t just discover better ways of doing something. They deliver on that vision. And lastly, IT may encompass a wide range of diverse skills, but the best IT pros are the ones who can take their prior experiences and quickly apply them to new situations in order to get up to speed with unfamiliar challenges faster.

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