"IT professionals should be part of the future, not part of the furniture." Those were the words of Joe Baguley, VMware's EMEA chief technology officer at the vendor's vForum this year.
Baguley has a point. For years IT professionals have been relegated to technical support and simply sorting things out when there's a fault.
But in a highly competitive environment where businesses are striving to lead and excel in their operations, every little may help realise business ambitions. Technical expertise can be the biggest game changer.
IT support should be keeping up with technology trends to be ready to advise and guide businesses. We no longer want IT that simply supports what's already being used and maintaining the status quo.
Without a doubt innovation is vital, but it is only useful to businesses if one understands how it can help companies grow. This isn't easy to achieve. Keeping up with everything is a full-time endeavour.
However, making the effort to understand how an innovation works will help IT have the confidence to grab opportunities when they arise, and work with customers to see how new technology can make things better for everyone.
Yet communication between IT and the rest of the business is often poor. The IT team has specialist knowledge but are they working alongside the decision makers? Both parties have what the other needs to drive profitability and growth.
Businesses leaders may not have the training or may be simply too busy to stay close to the potentially phenomenal technical developments around them.
But they often know what they need to improve their services, such as better response times when things go wrong or increased flexibility to accommodate workers.
IT specialists have to be as close to businesses as they are to the technology to come up with IT offerings that enable change. It's all about partnership.
Richard Eglon is marketing director at Comms-care
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