Guest Post: The Rise of the IT Pro

 This month’s theme has been “The future’s here… what are you waiting for”, and to compliment that, we’ve managed to secure the thoughts of Dave Coplin, Microsoft UK’s Chief Envisioning Officer (and recent author of our featured book The Rise of the Humans) on what he feels the future holds for an IT Pro, exclusively for TechNet UK.

The Rise of the IT Pro - By Dave Coplin

Here’s a quick test for you to try at home.  Find someone who doesn’t know what you do for a job, and ask them about the IT department where they work (better still, find a way of anonymously asking some of your own customers in the “business”).  I guarantee you’ll see more eyes roll, or hear more things like “what, you mean the department of ‘no’?” than you will hear gushing praise for the genius technology wizards that help people do great things.  If you don’t then I am envious of you, but if you do, then you should take it as a big signal that something needs to change, and quick.

The role of the IT Pro is fundamentally to serve the business and to find new ways for technology to help the business evolve and become more successful.  We are needed now more than ever but we have to respect that our customers are different, their expectations and aspirations of technology are different from before, rather brilliantly, they’re much, much higher (in some cases higher even than our own).  Instead of fighting this or even simply being complacent about it we should instead be celebrating it.  Trust me, having customers that actually want more from what you have to offer is a far, far better place than having customers that are oblivious or uninterested.

I know what we’ve learnt is important – things like resilience, disaster recovery, data regulation, and security are crucial elements of our past but they cannot be used as they so often are, as the excuses that ultimately will only succeed in sealing our demise.

I’m not arguing for a minute that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and forget all of our hard learned lessons.  But we have to remember that our job now is simply to find the right balance, we need to figure out just how much of the policy, structure and process we can strip away to help keep our people and organisations safe, productive and efficient whilst at the same time getting back to our original day job of helping our customers transform their business.

We must realise that the future success of the IT Pro is in our own hands, we have to rise up and stand high on the shoulders of the digital giants we have helped to create. We need to leave behind the comfort of the flashing lights and the reassuring hum of the fans in the server rooms and instead implant ourselves back at the heart of every aspect of the business we serve. 

The time for IT Pros to rise is now, our future and the success of our businesses depend on it.


Why not try the test above - either at home or at your company, what response did you get? Do you agree with Dave's views, that now's the time as IT Pro's to take control of our future and business? Let us know in the comments section below, or via @TechNetUK

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