You might consider IT professionals a conflicted group. On one hand, we have a reputation for being geeks, nerds, and data junkies. We like our bits and bytes and enjoy spewing off long soliloquies filled with technical jargon that no one around us understands. Or at least that’s how the story goes.
While there are definite kernels of truth in that caricature, the real truth is that IT people are actually a very creative bunch. During my keynotes, I ask how many people in the audience are in a band, or play an instrument, or otherwise actively engage in a creative endeavor. Typically about 80 percent of the room raises their hands. Even the job of being an IT professional is, in fact, often a very creative role. There is a lot of creating and creative problem solving within most IT organizations.
The great irony — and source of conflict — is that most IT people tend to put their creative selves in a drawer when they come into the office. For whatever reason, there seems to be this attitude that there is no place for creativity in the world of IT. But if Cameron Gawley is right, that may be way off the mark.
The future of IT leadership
In the most recent episode of The Transform IT Show , I sat down with Cameron to talk about his unique views on what the future holds for IT professionals. An IT professional turned digital marketing guru, he sees the worlds of IT and marketing colliding — and huge opportunity for IT professionals emerging as a result. He shared that there is really no longer such a thing as a Chief Marketing Officer, only Chief Marketing Technology Officers, and that this is spreading to every part of the business. That means that there’s tremendous potential for IT professionals willing to embrace their creative sides and combine that with a deep understanding of analytics.
Cameron’s basic message is that virtually every part of business is now being driven by technology and data. He believes that it will be virtually impossible for anyone to remain relevant and competitive without a solid grasp on data and how it impacts business functions. On the same token, IT folks must be prepared to dive into deep levels of understanding at a business level to be able to effectively leverage their technology and data analysis skills. In short, Cameron shared that we are now living in a data-first world, which means that the opportunities are wide open for the IT professionals who are willing to step into the gap.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cameron. He’s engaging, thought provoking and challenged my idea of what it means to be an IT professional. I hope you check his interview out. Make sure to watch the first and second parts of our interview as well. You can also hear how other IT professionals like you are reacting to this changing business landscape by watching the latest Transform IT Google+ Hangout.