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Help desk or business adviser? Today’s IT professional is more valued than ever

Mike Moore, Chief Information Officer –

The role of the IT professional has seen dramatic pendulum swings in the past 30 years. IT teams have moved from being the end-all, be-all for everything technology to seeing IT slip away from their purview and back again. How often do you think of your IT department as just a help desk? Or a group that provisions servers for that new project you’re working on? Or the people who clean up your virus-infected laptop? Today, in order for IT teams to innovate, they need to play more integral roles in the business, enabling the flow of information across departments and disparate systems as fluidly as the business itself moves.

While IT teams gain more strategic footholds within their organizations, there are two technology innovations that are giving them a boost:

  • Increased technical complexity: IT departments today are no longer just building and running in-house platforms; they’re also managing the deployment, security, accessibility and integration of many external platforms and merging those disparate applications and workloads into a single integrated business model.
  • Continuous need for efficiency: Advances such as virtualization and hybrid clouds are supporting the increased efficiency of deploying technology and managing more components with fewer staff. But the end result is a much more complex environment that has been deployed and must be managed by that same, much leaner, staff.

Both advances are fantastic, saving time, resources and money. And yet, these benefits also bring added complexity and reduced oversight. From the server down to storage, today’s environments are far more elaborate than ever before, making infrastructure performance management (IPM) critical. Until recently, a lack of tools has made the industry struggle to provide insight into improving performance or increasing utilization. Without insight, the common answer to any issue is to throw more infrastructure at the problem, resulting in an even more complex environment that is just as likely to be slower and more prone to outages. It’s like thinking that buying a Ferrari will get you home faster during rush hour traffic because the car is capable of going really fast, but you end up sitting in the same bumper-to-bumper traffic.

IPM allows IT professionals to look at the end-to-end environment from a complete system perspective, providing the insights needed to simultaneously improve performance and increase utilization standpoint in a much more complex network, preventing massive overprovisioning of the network and protecting the company from exposure to potential failure. Now you are increasing carpooling and adding metering lights; everyone gets home faster and you didn’t have to buy every commuter a Ferrari!

Finally, constant training and education is important for IT staff members who need to stay ahead of the technology curve to provide value to their organizations. To contribute the most value to their companies, IT professionals need to keep themselves fully briefed on new innovations in technology and in the business, allowing them to go beyond simply understanding the technology and positioning themselves into the fabric of the business.

So where is this trend headed? In coming years, the need for IT professionals’ increased integration into business processes will continue, making this an exciting time to be in technology.

Are you ready to position yourself more strategically in your organization? Welcome to VI University, where we provide training to make you a leader in IPM.