Information Technology (IT) is yet to be considered a mature profession. There is little previous work on articulating the professional framework of NZ IT practitioners beyond the technical, and this is damaging to individuals, organisations and the profession. IT is an enabler of business but its practitioners sit uneasily, being perceived as technical gatekeepers and barriers to progress while being expected to contribute to strategy and innovation. These tensions can be seen to be an interaction of several factors: a legacy as a service; the IT predicament, and an uncertain professional identity. Layered on top of this are cultural factors - both organisational culture and a largely ignored bicultural whitewashing. There is a need to establish positive and reasonable expectations for IT practitioners throughout New Zealand on several fronts: articulation of professional identity; tools and methods that allow for greater visibility and trust; and engaging in conversation about the nature of IT practice. The paper concludes with a research agenda. This paper will be of interest to practitioners, researchers and organisations who see value in clarifying and developing IT as a mature profession in New Zealand.
Jamie is a Chartered IT Professional and Applications Specialist from Dunedin, where he looks after the Terminal Operations solutions at Port Otago. Alongside his work at Port Otago, Jamie is currently studying through the DProfPrac programme of CapableNZ/Otago Polytechnic, with a focus on the concept of Professional Identity within the New Zealand IT Industry.