Hire sales people for the IT Function
I recently spoke at AT Kearney’s Winter CIO Summit in Grindelwald in Switzerland. It’s a wonderful location and the calibre of delegate was high. The event was notable for a number of reasons, not least the night time sledging by the Eiger. For me this was a series of near death experiences followed by a cheese fondue. The quality of the other speakers was also notable.
One of the CIO presenters talked about how his department have worked very hard at their brand perception in order to improve the relationship with the users. It was good to hear CIOs talking about brand, which is typically dismissed by IT leaders as something that the marketing function deals with.
It prompted me into thinking that IT functions should actively hire staff with strong selling skills. Future IT staff are more likely to become account managers than technologist as the Cloud gathers.
Such staff will need to be tech savvy, but their key skills will include empathy, influence and visioning. The question for the academic world is whether they are creating such individuals.