guestblogger Adam Cole (Toronto, Manager Applications and Development for McKesson Canada)

Are IT professionals doomed to become relics of the past? The author of an Info-Tech Research Group survey posits that "the future of the IT professional no longer lies in acting as an important support system or innovative visionary but as a “utility”". There is no question that as IT grows increasingly specialized, certain specific skills will be absorbed into different business units. But I wonder, will there ever be a time when IT is reduced to simply providing "utility" support? What do  you think?

Personally I see many changes for IT, but IT will never lose it's strategic significance. Unlike power and telephony, IT will always be subject to evolution, providing continuous innovation and strategic differentiation opportunities. As such, no competitively-minded company can afford to divorce the strategic potential of IT from the strategic vision of the company.

Regardless of the future of IT, there is one point with which I absolutely agree with the author, He suggests "that IT professionals join networking and industry associations to hone interpersonal skills and get a feel for the range of technological pursuits and the common aims of other businesses in the enterprise and how their IT staff is coping with them".

I have personally benefited immensely from my active involvement with CIPS (an industry association). Similarly I encourage my staff to actively network and participate outside of the office. It is a simple win for everybody, but most importantly for the individual's career.

Referenced from an ITWorldCanada article:

http://www.itworldcanada.com/Pages/Docbase/ViewArticle.aspx?id=idgml-3be39e3b-82dd-4bcb&Portal=1fa35bf9-d296-4571-8fff-c665a851ec1d&sub=1511504

CIPS: http://www.cips.ca