There is a tendency amongst some recruiters to label Project Management professionals as either sitting in business or technology change and there are certainly roles which lean more heavily on one skillset than the other. However, increasingly, the boundaries are becoming blurred and I would like to explore the reasons why, and more importantly the consequences of this.
It is no secret that for centuries the progression of technology has changed our lives – from the invention of gunpowder to the invention of the internet, and this has accelerated at a pace that none of us could have imagined over the last two decades. We are at a point now where I cannot think of a single business sector which could function effectively without technology. Equally I know of no major change programme which has not impacted upon or required input from IT Systems. Nevertheless there remains resistance in some circles to putting the adequate level of investment into IT Systems. Time and time again I listen to consultants who are frustrated as their projects or programmes are tripped up by under investment in IT Systems.
It should be noted that the reluctance to invest in technology is an understandable one. If an individual’s success is based upon the bottom line then it is a natural reaction to seek to minimise expenditure and IT implementations can be expensive and if mismanaged costs can spiral out of control. It is also important that a thorough and efficient cost benefit analysis takes place – there is no point having a state of the art application if it doesn’t deliver clear business benefit.
Yet in my experience most IT professionals (and certainly the most successful ones) understand that IT Systems exists as an enabler to the business and that their challenge is to engage the requisite stakeholders and win their sponsorship. Increasingly this appears to be the case. Over the last few economically turbulent years expensive investments in IT Systems might have been seen as vanity projects; however it can now be said with some confidence that, on these shores at least, we live in a post-financial crisis world. As a consequence of this purse strings are loosening and businesses are able to ensure that they have up to date, reliable IT applications which provide tangible business benefit.
I firmly believe that it will be the businesses which understand the importance of technology and which put the correct IT investment in place that will deliver the most successful results, whether this be in mobile applications, digital banking, data analytics or any other cutting edge technologies. Those which strike the right balance in delivering business and IT requirements will be best placed to succeed in the future as technology takes us in a new direction again. If this sounds like your business, or if you would like to share your thoughts then I would be delighted to hear from you.