Engagement and IT: You Can No Longer Have One Without the Other

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

cloud computingToday’s buzzword of the moment is “engagement.” If you’ve spent more than five minutes “engaging” in social media these days, you can’t miss it. If we’re not talking about “communities,” we’re talking about “engagement.”

What Does Engagement Mean for IT?

Gone are the days of the IT department huddled together in some back corner of the office building, lost in its own world of Geek-speak…an enigma to the rest of the company. As the lonely child of a programmer, I can remember those times when my father would take me along to work with him, where he was very involved wth VAX machines. The discussions were seemingly intense and high level, and no one outside of the department looked too comfortable venturing in.

Today, this same man, the CTO of a small accounting firm, is now lost in discussions of cloud computing and virtualization, but this time, it’s less with colleagues and more with “non-techies,” finding ways to convince them that IT is more than just the computer on their desk and the network they log into each morning, that it is truly the backbone for how they do business and that it effects the firm’s bottom line.

The other day I came across an article written in Forbes called 8 Careers Built in Relationships. I noticed that IT seemed to be distinctly missing from this list, and it made me wonder whether the tide is really changing for this sector. Are relationships (and not just with other techies) becoming more essential to building a successful career in IT? Is engagement truly the wave of the future? Or is there still room for the mastermind Geeks in the back corner, spending all day with their heads in the clouds?

What say you? We’d love to hear from you.

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