Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 14th 2016 Contents JANUARY 14 • 2016 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
TECHNOLOGY | BG17
IT departments need to be a state of
constant evolution to keep pace with
the rapid changes of today business
environment. But, are the really keep-
Today's workers demand constant connec-
tions, mobility and flexibility; business execs
require IT to do more with less; and customers
expect access to products and services at their
Younger workers, in particular, used to online
connections and activities, are entering the
workplace expecting the same type of envi-
ronment. They seek information and profes-
sional connections electronically and instan-
taneously. The often forgoing e-mail and other
corporate communications systems for the
immediacy of instant messaging and conven-
ience of social media interactions. They think
nothing of using mobile tools and third-party
platforms to get their work done, often to the
consternation of corporate IT.
Customer expectations are also changing.
Consumers expect more from the companies
they patronise. To stay competitive, businesses
need to connect with customers on their terms;
whenever and however they want to conduct
IT leaders are required to delve deeper than
most into these technologies trends and devel-
opments. They are expected to consider how
these trends impact human interactions, busi-
ness processes and even societal shifts.
IT leaders are required anticipate and advise
on the technology innovations that will help
boost productivity, save money, improve marker
share, drive revenues and expand market share.
Why? Because IT now extends into every
aspect of the modern organisation and it is
radically changing how work is conceptualised,
organised and performed.
Technology is increasingly becoming core
to production, service delivery, marketing, and
customer engagement. Technology can now
provide unprecedented visibility into business
metrics---enhancing financial reporting and
Process automation, once the top focus of
IT organisations, is now jostling with new
high-value IT areas like cloud computing,
mobility and data analytics for attention and
Supporting this range of businesses demands
requires new approaches to IT learning, think-
ing and practice, not just within IT departments
but across the entire organisation.
Technology competencies exist as one of
the only business skillsets that are needed
regardless of industry, department or job title.
Whether you're working in on the production
floor or in marketing, or in a leadership posi-
tion, having basic and some advanced tech
kills is an essential key to success.
For IT professionals, companies today are
looking for a different set of IT skillsets than
they were even just a few years ago. The need
is greatest in areas such as cloud computing,
security, network engineering, social media,
mobility, analytics and embedded technologies.
Traditional back-office and infrastructure sup-
port skills are in less demand.
"The consumer technology market is influ-
encing the corporate IT space like never before,"
says Richard Wall, CIO at ArkiTechs Inc, an
IT systems integrator with operations across
"Staff and business partners alike are expect-
ing near-instantaneous support for the slew
of product that coming out for smartphones,
tablets, the web and traditional desktop plat-
forms," he says. "The challenge for IT exec-
utives is to figure out the best technology tools
and systems for people need to do their jobs."
To meet that challenge, IT workers must
possess a broader set of skills than they've
needed in the past, says Ernest King, an HR
consultant and the executive director at
Trinidad-based TSG Consulting.
In today's technology-enabled world, its
becoming increasingly clear that IT has to take
the lead in empowering the modern work
force. The top five priority areas of IT are:
2. Cloud infrastructure
3. Workforce enablement
5. Software as a Service (SaaS)
These are the areas that should be engaging
any IT unit serious about taking its business
"Today's IT organisation has to be very sen-
sitive to their business needs and to what their
users expect and find innovate ways to deliver
that, whether those users are on the shop floor
or in the executive suite," King says.
"If IT departments are to deliver meaningful
solutions, understanding and anticipating users'
interactions with and attitudes toward tech-
nology must become a top priority."
Simon Alexander, IT manager at the Organ-
isation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),
holds a similar position. He has seen a shift
in how staff at the OECS secretariat commu-
Many more people now using Web-enabled
tools to host meetings and get the Secretariat's
business done. This, in turn, is shifting how,
where and when employees work. It's also
changing the profile of the devices and software
the Secretariat must now deploy to keep work-
The bottom line: The boundaries between
work and personal life are becoming increas-
A Trinidad-based employee, for example,
can collaborate with colleagues in New Zealand,
South Africa, London or Lima; all from their
homes in the early mornings or late evenings,
once there is a decent Internet connection,
without much fuss and without much IT sup-
The way we use technology to interact with
our environment is changing, at home and at
the office. What it means is IT pros have to
keep up, not just with tech for the workplace,
but with developments in tech consumer space
as well. They have to have develop the skills
and the insight to keep business competitive,
workers empowered and consumers engaged.
Ready or not, this is the new normal for IT
in the modern enterprise.
Bevil Wooding is an internet strategist
at Packet Clearing House, a US-based tech-
nology research firm. He is also the chief
knowledge officer at Congress WBN (C-
WBN) a faith-based, international, non-profit
organisation where he is responsible for
technology-education, knowledge manage-
ment and outreach initiatives. Twitter: @bevil-
Keeping up with IT
Mastering new tech skills for business success
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