Adopt, Adapt and Improve
Does anyone remember this Monty Python classic?
A robber played by John Cleese holds up a lingerie shop, saying, “Good morning, I am a bank robber. Please don’t panic. Just hand over all your money.”
The shopkeeper, played by Eric Idle, replies, “This is a lingerie shop, sir.”
“Fine, fine, fine…adopt, adapt and improve. Motto of the round table,” says the robber. “Well, what have you got?”
The shopkeeper lists the inventory, and the robber asks, “No large piles of money in safes? No deposit accounts? No piles of cash in easy-to-carry bags? No luncheon vouchers?”
The shopkeeper responds with a “No, no, no” to all of these.
“Fine, fine…well, um, adopt, adapt and improve. Just a pair of knickers then, please.”
You might be wondering what a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch has to do with your IT career. It’s Cleese’s motto—adopt, adapt and improve—that will help you make the most of your future path as an IT professional. With employers increasingly looking for IT professionals who understand their business beyond the technical side of things, it’s time for you to:
- Adopt: Adopt new ways of looking at the IT department. It’s not just a collection of hardware and software: It’s a complex combination of business assets that help increase your own and your employer’s success in the marketplace. Adopt new business skills that will help you communicate in the terms of those who run the show. Adopt new methods for marketing your skills and knowledge to current and potential employers to help secure your own future.
- Adapt: IT professionals need to be more and more flexible as technology becomes ever more intrinsically intertwined with business operations. You must adapt to the ever-changing environment of information technology. You must adapt to the ever-changing environment of business. How?
- Improve: You adapt by focusing on improvement. Improve your knowledge and skills in your specialty area by pursuing more advanced certifications. Improve your business acumen by attending training and earning some of the newer, more business-oriented certifications.
Many vendors now offer IT certifications that help relate technology to the business needs that drive its use. Microsoft, the Open Group and Red Hat, among others, all have architect-level certifications either in the works or available now to help you make these connections. Be on the lookout for a growing number of employment opportunities in the IT business analyst arena.
It’s not enough anymore to slave away behind the scenes as a network admin with no connection to the business operations—unless you’re perfectly happy being stuck in the server room forever. Nowadays, you need to adopt, adapt and improve if you want to take home piles of cash.