Project management in engineering is as vital as it is potentially
misunderstood. Like it or not, many project managers have had to learn the hard
way that their job is less about frontline engineering work and more about
taking a mindful, deliberate, top-down approach to directing projects of all
kinds and sizes.
If it sounds like a dusty office job, it’s anything but. Like a
project engineer, project managers oftentimes find themselves on jobsites or in
the coding trenches if their work has taken them into IT or software
development. For the most part, though, project managers have to
understand human nature and know how to apply it to the process of solving a
problem or getting a product to market. This includes developing some of the
internal processes being used, ensuring clients’ needs are top-of-mind and
generally making sure all the moving pieces work well together.
In today’s world, data is one of the most valuable resources of any business or operation, which is why it’s being harvested and monitoring about everything. Retailers collect data about their customers, purchase histories, market performance, and even competing brands. In construction, data is used to monitor workers, manage duties and complete projects. In marketing, its used to understand various campaigns and identify valid, successful strategies for advertising and promotions. Honestly, this list could go on forever.
This has been brought about by the widespread digitization of modern industry. Every field from manufacturing to healthcare is growing increasingly reliant on modern and mobile technologies. Of course, at the heart of this change is the IT and development world.
In every industry, maintaining high or positive levels of employee satisfaction are incredibly important to building loyalty. But in IT, it is even more crucial to do this especially if you want to secure highly-skilled and experienced individuals. The reason being, the market is competitive.
There are so many IT and development opportunities available, that IT managers, engineers, and workers really have the upper hand. At any given time, someone on your team could leave their current position for an opening that is more appealing or enjoyable, regardless of monetary benefits and pay. It is important to stress that while, yes, salary and wages do play a considerable role it’s not the only contributing factor to a satisfied workforce.
You can’t keep everyone happy, all the time, but you certainly can strive to provide a more engaging, healthy work environment and culture for your employees. In that vein, here some methods you can use to keep your best IT workers under your wing:
It’s no secret that IT departments and team members are often tasked with handling complex solutions and systems, some of which can affect an entire group of users and therefore have varying degrees of consequences. Of course, it explains why nearly everything and anything implemented in the field is rigorously planned out and strategized first.
It’s also a field where troubleshooting and unforeseen consequences are common. Many times, in fact, issues can arise and cause delays in development or operations. So, converting any IT team into a more productive cog in the wheel can be a monumental task.
To that end, here are three tips that can help you foster a more productive IT team or department within your company.
Many people are familiar with the gig economy and its influence on the transportation sector. Now, anyone with a car can apply to drive for Uber or Lyft and potentially make money with their vehicle by getting people in their communities where they need to go.
But, the gig economy is thoroughly disrupting the IT industry as well. Let’s take a look at some of the things already happening.
The IT industry is vast, with hundreds of career opportunities and plenty of room for personal growth and achievement. It also happens to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Many organizations, businesses, and even smaller teams need IT professionals with experience across a variety of languages, devices, platforms, and software.
But because it’s so massive, and because there are so many choices, that makes it a difficult career path to choose. Boiling your options down to a single opportunity is difficult, especially when the list of choices is seemingly endless. Information technology — or the general industry — is much too broad to focus on. What do you want to do specifically?
Would you like to be a software developer? Are you more interested in modern cybersecurity or network operations? Would you prefer to be a support analyst or consultant for any number of IT firms? Then, there’s the matter of skills. What would your IT and tech talents be best suited for?
Thanks to modern technologies, lots of incoming and outgoing data, and plenty of newer, optimized management systems the healthcare industry is seeing considerable growth in regards to IT and related services. In fact, many organizations in the industry are considering implementing their own, on-site IT services—if they haven’t already. When you look at the sheer demand and scope of the systems they require it makes sense to have a locally placed, and highly capable IT network available.
But a local system or network isn’t the only solution. IT services can actually be outsourced, or remotely connected to your organization. This places the burden of maintaining the system and hardware in the hands of a third-party.
According to a recent poll conducted by Black Book—which involved 1,600 hospital executives—34% expect to increase their current levels of IT outsourcing over the next few years. 58% have plans to retain their existing outsourcing setup through 2019.
Just like any department, IT is not immune to the looming threat of automation. Seven percent of U.S. jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation by 2025. The United States isn’t the only country being affected as IT service hubs like India also project automation to replace low skilled jobs within the next five years.
To some, these doom and gloom forecasts represent the end of IT jobs as we know it, but the future doesn’t look so dark for those who embrace change and prepare for it.
There’s something to be said about the power and nature of diversity in an industry. It’s easy to generalize an entire group or demographic, but a lot of times, that’s how things naturally work out. For instance, the tech industry is primarily dominated by white males with a toxic masculinity behind their decisions and actions. This leads to the question of whether or not the startups and tech appearing in said industry are largely driven by these influential leaders. Would a female or African-American leader come up with a completely different type of device or platform, for instance?
More important to the systemic operation of the industry is how diverse individuals are treated and welcomed into the space. There are multitudes of stories and tales of sexual harassment, abuse and even neglect by influential professionals in the tech world. There are far-reaching implications for anyone working in the industry regarding these problems, but there’s another aspect of it all — though not necessarily one you may expect.
The correlation between artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity in the current IT landscape is divisive. Some cybersecurity experts and analysts believe AI will improve security and privacy for many, especially in the enterprise world. Others predict exactly the opposite: It will harm the industry, making it easier for hackers and the unscrupulous to carry out attacks. You cannot fully understand either side of this argument, however, without delving further into their supporting points.