Well, the easy answer would be to say that my position was eliminated (i.e. I was laid off), and I never looked back. But the reality is, I stayed around corporate IT for a few years after that. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began getting more involved in the business-side of the business, and less involved with traditional IT. I worked with operations, engineering, support, and most notably, sales.
The transition wasn’t easy and many of my IT friends wonder what I’m doing. I’ve even had people say “you are a hard guy to figure out”. Yeah, I guess I am.
The problem I see with most traditional IT shops (but not all of the individuals, this is an over-generalization), is that most of them look at all problems through their particular lens. For example, if you are a BI guy, then the solution to every problem is a report or dashboard. If you are a C# developer, then everything can be solved with some code. If you are a Unified Communications Engineer, then every problem can be solved with better communication tools.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. 20 years ago, Cobol programmers and DB2 DBAs looked at the world through their own lenses as well. You see, if the only tool in your bag is a hammer, the solution to every problem looks like a nail.
I was fortunate enough in my early career to learn the business side of the equation. A leader I worked with taught me that IT exists to serve the business, not the other way around. Once I discovered that, my perspective on business and technology changed forever.
Now when I see a business problem (or opportunity), I approach it with an open mind. I love finding ways to apply technology to solve the issue. But I’m not stuck on one approach or one technology. If IT would learn to do that, I believe they would be much more relevant in businesses today. And maybe they wouldn’t think I was so strange!! What do you think?