As IT professionals, we know our chosen area of expertise is an anomaly. In only a handful of decades, technology has become ingrained in all levels of organisational operations and strategy, with a rate of progression so rapid and unprecedented that we as practitioners often struggle to keep pace, let alone how technology interacts with the business world and general public.
We all feel these growing pains as our industry constantly changes, reacting to new developments and demands while simultaneously figuring out its own identity. For me, this is apparent in our war stories, the tales we tell of our daily exploits as practising technologists.
We all have them; stories of deleted data, expensive equipment dropped in the toilet, or overzealous users installing things they shouldn’t. Perhaps an under-informed executive board made poor technological decisions, then expected IT to fix the resulting dumpster fire. Maybe it’s a personal story of the underpaid, taken for granted IT expert reporting to a technologically disinterested superior and no voice in the organisation beyond maintaining operations.
Sadly, the IT industry is still in its infancy. Even so, we provide critical support to sectors and industries that often enjoy centuries, or even millennia, of development and lessons learned through multiple industrial revolutions. Given the speed of technological progress, we don’t have the luxury of time to allow our industry to mature as others before us, nor is our role in ongoing business success and mitigation of unacceptable risk fully understood by those we support. What ethical and sustainable methods and frameworks can we, as NZ IT Professionals, employ to improve the perception and maturity of our industry?
ICT Manager, Gallaway Cook Allan
With over 17 years’ experience in consumer and corporate IT, Jamie is the ICT Manager of Gallaway Cook Allan, as well as a Chartered IT Professional and secretary of the ITPNZ Southern committee. Having completed his Masters of Professional Practice (IT Management) in 2018, Jamie is now working towards his Doctorate of Professional Practice in IT and Organisational Management.
While still a work in progress, the research direction of his doctorate has focused on Professional Identity within the IT industry, in particular the maturity of our field. The aim is to identify what methods and frameworks that we as practitioners can use to improve the perception and reputation of IT as a critical business and organisational resource.
A born and bred Dunedinite, Jamie is an avid motorcyclist and occasional badminton player; however most of his time outside work and study is spent with his wife, Jeannie, and three sons, Corban, Quinn and Archer.