I.T. is Not a Protected Species

When you think about the world of I.T. - to the outsider it is full of innovation, new technology, exciting developments - things “all the cool kids” are doing.

The funny thing is, in most organisations, IT departments tend to be the slowest to embrace change and stick very-much to a “we have always done it this way” approach.

When I look around at other industries - I see the magnitude of change that has taken place. Think about containerisation of the cargo industry. Massive automation of production lines. The dramatic embracing of new approaches such as Just in Time Delivery, Theory of Constraints, Six Sigma, Lean, etc etc.

But too often I see IT professionals not looking at their own skill set, and the way in which they do their work. Also, taking the opportunity to “lift your head up” from your own industry and look to others - what is happening there? How have THEY changed? WHY have the changed?

As market transitions take place, demand for different skill sets also change. More importantly, practitioners who can successfully deliver results for their stakeholders need to evolve and change their thinking - and expand their abilities.

What was cool, useful or “cutting edge” 3 or 5 years ago - is not so anymore. That is not to say that certain fundamentals cease to hold true, but when things change you MUST look at your own thinking and see how/whether that should change accordingly.

One simple way to encapsulate this is a quote often atrributed to John Maynard Keynes (but the subject of much debate as to its true origin)

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

Is it time you reassessed some of those fundamentals or habits you use day to day? Are there things being done in other industries that you can adopt as your own? Are there macro trends in adjacent markets that will have a direct impact on your day-to-day life?

I.T. is not a protected species. Jobs will change and some will disappear. You need to be ahead of the curve (or right on it!) to be a beneficiary rather than a victim of change.