How’s your Shadow IT career going?

The harder I work, the luckier I get.  ~ Samuel Goldwyn

That the constant stream of new, emerging and disruptive technologies in all its forms and flavours is dramatically reshaping the way IT services can be delivered to businesses and consumers alike is well known. This in turn is having a large influence on the shape, purpose and intrinsic value of  IT departments within organisations, which has a knock-on effect to  individual’s IT careers.

For the first time, business users are spoilt for choice in the selection of enterprise IT systems without always needing to engage their internal IT departments.  While the well known ‘Shadow IT’ phenomenon brings with it a range of potential systemic risks to the organisation that places short term needs over the need for appropriate rigour and due diligence  in the selection process, it can have a positive influence on IT careers.

At the individual level, rather that seeing these disruptive influences as having negative consequences on things such as job security, the opportunities for doing different things and things differently are very real, and in many instances are hidden in plain sight.

In turning the spotlight onto the issue, here are a few pointers:

  • You are not alone. Recognise that the influences of disruptive and new technologies affects almost everyone,  not just those in the IT industry. The disruptive influences of technology occur at all levels, from societal to individual, and no industry is immune. Now, look around you and look at those that have been truly successful. Did they go it alone, or did they get input from a seasoned business mentor with extensive IT mentoring experience? Maybe ask them the question.
  • See opportunity in the destruction. Whilst change brings with it a range of challenges, there are also opportunities for the astute. Understand the drivers and implications of the changes, their impacts and opportunities created, then take action.
  • Darwin was right.  The forces of evolution are very much in evidence. Ignore the short, medium and long term influences at play in your industry, profession and society at your peril. 100% faith in that higher being, your employer, may be ill-founded. Take time to read well researched projections such as Global Trends 2030 report. Form your own opinions.
  • The pyramids area built on a broad base. Having an eclectic range of professional skills stitched together with relevant personal, professional and industry experience is a powerful antidote from being made irrelevant in the shifting sands of change

At the end of the day, successful, fulfilling and valued careers are a mix of good fortune, effort, persistence, influence, effectively applied intelligence and good decision making – often achieved with input from a seasoned, experienced business mentor with core competencies in the IT mentoring of successful IT professionals and leaders.