Head first out of the trench

The following is someone or something we can relate to.

It’s close to 10 in the morning and you have three missed calls. You’ve had that damned phone vibrate with that distinct pattern of a Help desk email. A morose glance at the phone fills you with a contempt. “Why won’t they learn?” you ask yourself. Mindless drones, corporate buzzards, C-levels, and contractors. You bristle with sharply witted answers and wield powers that make you seem like a wizard. The inner feeling of superiority courses your veins. You can configure an overlay network to accommodate a new customer, build a cluster with DRS, SRM, and Network virtualization without breaking a sweat. You can recite a plethora of RFCs and their relevant subsections and affiliates.

You think they don’t value you time as their inane babble about luxury cars, caffè lattes, and annoyance at the ‘pedestrian’ people around them in their cube fade out into white noise. You receive their gratitude yet the cynical side morphs this into a snide, ungrateful comment. A few more hours and you will be gone. A few jobs more and a cat video and it will be time to go.

You know what? If you keep that mentality up you will be gone. Fast. If you do not realise it isn’t about pure tech anymore you have it wrong. If you are purely technical you are a commodity. The world doesn’t revolve around your ‘gift’ of walking technical encyclopaedia. Times of changed. You no longer can wield a neck beard, a propeller hat, and chant in scripture. You need to find the balance between business strategy, customer services – including empowering them to be the best they can be, and an ability to translate this into business opportunity.

An understanding of what your business does, what its profit centres are, and how it operates will give you insight. With this knowledge you will find the blinkers of your position melt away, abstract yourself from your role, and gain clarity of the bigger picture. You will see your place in the bigger picture and understand the synergy between yourself and the business.

As IT departments act more like independent businesses, the traditional end-user becomes a customer. IT professionals must communicate with internal and external customers. A continuous revision of strategy should align and predict customer needs. There is no place for pure propeller heads in a service orientated world. Human engagement is critical; use it to your advantage.

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