IT Careers: These Business Skills Become Priority Amidst Pandemic

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ByMindquest

Published23 June 2020at16:04, updated on19 July 2022at17:25

IT Careers: These Business Skills Become Priority Amidst Pandemic cover

Making it through uncertain and changing times requires companies to be nimble, act fast and keep a big-picture mentality. At the organisational level, that means implementing smarter resource management and allocation; cutting down fat and focusing on the most future-proof lines of business. Discover these business skills that become priority amidst pandemic.

Although it might seem counterintuitive to a business world that has grown accustomed to laying off personnel whenever there is a crisis. Doubling down on human capital is key to the success of this strategy.  

Companies need the best talent when venturing into uncharted territory and, as we have discussed before, having a strong IT department is vital for the post-COVID enterprise. But what makes a strong IT department? 

Business Skills: The importance of business acumen  

Soft skills like communication and creativity have become a must-have for IT professionals. Now, InformationWeek’s analysis of a recent study by training firm Degreed suggests that IT pros should look to acquire business-related abilities as well.  

According to Degreed, in the December-March period, the number of clients who searched for business-related trainings to upskill their workforce increased. On the other hand, queries for IT-specific trainings took a considerable dive.  

The change of focus makes sense. As higher-level business and management skills can help a great deal in navigating change and identifying new opportunities. For IT professionals and technical profiles, making a lateral career move to become more business-savvy can prove very beneficial.  

The most coveted business skills 

Based on Degreed’s data, these are the business-related skills for which demand has increased the most since the start of the pandemic, from least to most:  

Leadership 

This one is a no-brainer. Now more than ever, senior IT experts must know how to effectively take the lead to ensure the proper innovations are implemented across the board. Team management, setting goals and tracking progress, spearheading interdepartmental cooperation. These skills often make the difference between an IT expert and an IT leader.   

Compliance 

What used to be something for lawyers to worry about is becoming part of everyone’s work life. Especially in areas like IT or marketing, where data privacy regulations keep getting stricter; there is a clear advantage to having specialists who know how to avoid legal minefields in their day-to-day.  

In data science and analytics, for example, countless hours of legal review can be saved if those building the models know exactly what they can and cannot do.  

Data analytics 

Speak of the devil… as we have discussed above, not everything in data analysis is about data acumen. In fact, successful data analysts and scientists possess a combination of complementary skills. For technical profiles, being fluent in the business domain where they operate is key to delivering better and more actionable data insights.  

Microsoft Power BI 

One of the most prevalent and accessible data visualisation tools out there. Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence platform that caters to business users. As an IT professional, knowing your way around MS Power BI will make you a great asset in today’s enterprise. There is always going to be someone in need of an expert to help them set up the environment, train end-users and troubleshoot.  

Coaching 

Helping others succeed should be every coach’s main goal. This is achieved through motivational support, understanding and the potentiation of individual and collective strengths. Being able to help in that regard makes for a great addition to the team.  

In IT, the emergence of new standards of working and team organisation; like Agile or Scrum; is making the figure of the coach an even more important one.   

Six Sigma 

Devised by Motorola engineer Bill Smith in 1986, Six Sigma is a set of tools for process improvement. Its focus: to streamline business processes while minimising the probability of errors. Six Sigma is now standard for many companies, so it can be worth picking it up.   

Change Management 

As this whole crisis is demonstrating, managing change is no easy task. One of today’s most repeated business terms, change management refers to the series of processes involved in helping an organisation or industry transition to a new reality. Change management takes into account all stakeholders involved in and necessary for this transition; employing a mix of communication; training and restructuring to effect change.   

Design Thinking 

Based on how designers are taught to approach problems, design thinking is a way of looking at the world as much as it is a method for developing better and more efficient solutions. The strategy parts from putting oneself in the shoes of the end-user, designing the product for what it needs to be in addition to what we want to be. Clearly, a useful methodology when designing apps and platforms.   


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