The Newest Skill Requisite for IT Pros

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During some recent conversations with IT-career experts, a common theme emerged while discussing tomorrow’s mandatory IT skills: The demand for business acumen in IT. Business acumen could be defined as an almost intuitive and applicable understanding of how an organization makes money. This includes an overall big-picture understanding of the business you work for, an understanding of what drives profitability in your organization, an understanding of a market-focused approach to business. So why is this critical in IT?

Well, it will enable you, as a strategic business partner to make better business decisions regarding how technology can improve customer service as well as the overall performance of your organization. Here are six questions to ask yourself regularly to stay in touch with your business acumen:


      1. What is happening in the world today? This question helps you understand some of the external factors that may influence—both positively and negatively—your organization, as well as some of the most significant trends affecting companies and industries.


2. What do the world happenings mean for others? This means putting yourself in other people’s shoes.

3. What does this mean for your company? Once you understand the big picture with the above questions, then you can address what it specifically means for your organization.

4. What would have to happen first for your organization? This means being able to prioritize and recognize strategic lines of attack to drive business results.

5. What role do we play in this line of attack? In IT, this means how your team or technologies will drive change, performance, etc.

6. What do we do next? This question should always be on your mind. Thinking ahead of the game is the only way businesses are prepared for the unexpected. In this competitive, global business environment, a proactive approach is required.

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