As IT evolves from craft to process to service integration — new jobs, new roles and new functions emerge. The current move toward mobile, cloud, apps or app-like data interfaces provided by XaaS vendors will create the need for IT people who understand essentially every part of the information technology ecosystem. To fill the new roles, IT people will have to know the technology, understand the services, create relationships with service providers, know the contract support language, and grasp the underlying architectures that connect a multitude of vendors into one shared interface.
Though the new roles sound almost impossible, IT people are smart; they learned their current IT skills and they will learn new ones. Many of the skills required for this new super IT person will come from day-to-day practices brought about by IT consumerization and social everything. For example, being the super IT person supporting a Twitter stream means that you first understand Twitter at a functional level not merely at the interface level.
What will we call these new super IT people? Create your own title for someone who knows enough about all the available IT services and systems to listen to a customer’s needs and then correctly guide them to the right technology destination every time. A simple title or job description might be manager of IT services. These new managers of IT services will also shape future technology and data offerings, as they become conduits between end users and developers. In addition, these new information managers will provide critical feedback to business analysts and human resources so they can quickly understand the impact of technology or business process change (when organizations are wise enough to seek their input).
How will we recognize these new super IT people? These new managers of IT services will be the calm voice in a data storm, making sure everyone gets the information and technology they need to be productive. The new manager of IT services will be deeply skilled in foundational IT with an understanding of the multitude of ways information can be delivered as well as an appreciation of the layers of confusion customers must navigate. While the request for such skills is super in context, these new mangers of IT services will not be data innovators; rather, they will be effective and efficient rapid learners and skilled teachers in order to guide users to the right technology destination. This distinction will identify potentially successful managers of IT services that your organization will want to hire.
These new managers of IT services will not simply appear — they will be hired, trained and positioned to fit each organization. Organizations with employee development and learning plans are better prepared for the new roles now and in the future. Those organizations have already produced beta versions of the IT service manager and will continue to refine the role as they add new production services and information requirements.