Long gone are the days when IT was hidden away in a backroom, unknown to the rest of the organization — except, of course, when something went wrong.
In today’s modern organization, IT not only keeps the lights on, but is also leading the way in which we do business and drive new revenue streams. However, the IT department is still often the unsung hero, quietly working in the background to make sure it’s ‘business as usual.’ If your role and responsibilities still seem to sit in the shadows, how can you level up in your career and get noticed by leadership?
In other words, how do you become the ‘rock star’ of your IT department and, in turn, your organization? Here are six actionable tips to get noticed by your management team:
1. Don’t just perform — Study your theory
If your organization offers training (or has the budget for external training), be the first to sign up. If not, you can further your development by attending workshops, conferences, trade shows, and other industry events. Staying up-to-date with industry trends — such as how AI could be used in your vertical market — will make you the expert others turn to when rolling out a new digital strategy.
2. Write lyrics people connect with
For those who don’t work in IT, technical jargon can sound like a second language. When talking to colleagues in other departments, there’s no need to get into the nitty-gritty details of the technology unless required. Instead, identify business pain points or drivers that tie into the overarching objectives, and explain what the technology will do to help achieve those goals. This will highlight the commonalities in your roles and reaffirm that everyone is working towards the same outcome.
3. Collaborate with featured artists
Businesses are moving away from siloed departments to more collaborative, team-based models. Whether it’s finance, HR, marketing, sales or operations, every group in a modern digital-business needs IT to keep their systems running, leverage new software, manage devices, and communicate effectively with internal teams, partners, and customers. Make yourself known to key staff in these other departments by asking for their input on strategic IT initiatives or offering to work in cross-functional teams. This will also help cut down on shadow IT, helping you do your job better.
4. Don’t be a solo act
A rock star might be the face of the band, but still needs an entire team to put on a show — from musicians to managers, sound technicians and roadies. In the IT world, it’s no different. If you have limited resources, work with a trusted third-party provider that can help you achieve your goals and prove ROI to leadership. Bring that trusted partner into the conversation as early as possible so they can help you evaluate your network architecture, uncover roadblocks and challenges, problem solve, and help develop your business case with immediate solutions and long-term vision. Also, recognize when to reach out to a trusted partner and leverage their expertise — be sure to take credit for establishing and building that rewarding relationship.
5. Boost business for your label
Play an active role in helping to meet business objectives. As part of your organization’s digital transformation strategy, look at ways to improve outdated business processes in order to move ahead. If your business is shifting to cloud solutions, understand the migration options and the cloud services available to meet business needs. Target specific strategic challenges and propose solutions that will have measurable results — whether that’s cost savings, a positive ROI, an increase in production or enhanced data security.
6. Take center stage & steal the show
Most people don’t pay attention to IT unless they’re having a problem. So when you’ve achieved a specific business outcome, communicate that to leadership. “Higher-ups won’t always have the bandwidth to proactively check in on you, so occasionally communicating your wins could be the only way for them to see how much of an impact you’re having,” according to Glassdoor. As the role of technology expands from keeping the lights on to driving digital transformation, it’s important to highlight successes and your role in making those happen. To truly showcase your value, remember to showcase how you’re helping the business achieve its goals — whether that’s protecting mission-critical data, creating new revenue streams or speeding up production cycles.
Don’t be an unsung hero — be an IT rock star!
Find out more about leveraging the right cloud solutions and partnerships that can help you meet your business goals. Download the free eBook, “Is Your Cloud Evolving the Right Way?”