The second big skill needed in IT departments today is an understanding of business – both business in general and the business referring to the specific business of their own organization. As I said at the beginning of this article, IT is a business enabler. If IT professionals do not understand how IT relates to their business they will be poorly positioned to valuate IT needs and make recommendations in the context of the business. Everything that IT does it does for the business, not for technology and not for its own purposes.
With that in mind, what are some recommendations to improve one's business acumen from an IT perspective?
Hypothetical scenario: Someone has worked at a small IT shop for years and is a comfortable sysadmin, but is considering an IT administrative position at a much more "corporate" environment. Their role will involve a lot more interfacing with other departments or agencies, as well as driving "big picture" projects and purchasing decisions.
What resources could they use to improve their understanding of how to fit in in the business realm, and to develop the proper understanding of IT in such an environment? Are there any particularly good books on this subject?
This is an area where university classes can be really beneficial, if you have access to the right ones. Classes on communications, business, accounting, psychology and such can be huge. There are three main areas that I can think of that really matter:
And you might add on the more specific "understanding THE business" as well.
The more that you have any of these, the easier things get. Even if you are a great communicator, if you don't understand the business and its needs at all, you won't have much to communicate.
I don't know of any specific books around this. Maybe things like Open University or something would have resources.
I think describing the heads as moving in and out is more appropriate since they're mounted on an armature, like a record player, and not forward or backward. I often use record players as a description for clients when they ask how drives work.
In my writing, I try to avoid use 'but' and things like it (however, etc.). Replace the word 'but' with 'and' as an exercise to see how it changes your readers' perception.
You've got a couple sentences that are like Yoda. Eg, by doing this, and it's unnecessary.
Similary, the logical volume... You missed a comma. The same occurs in drive impressions, the stack.
A good article, and a great way to open discussion on SANs and how volumes, drives and RAID presentations can be partitioned or utilized efficiently.
I think that was basically my point. My key advice would be to trust no-one and recognise there is no such thing as a free lunch. I am surprised by the naivety of some of my colleagues, and how much they trust the advise of salesmen.
It's good to trust no one, but everyone needs advice as well. Remember these factors apply equally to the business listening to an IT department as it does to outside companies. So unless we understand bias, we can't understand recommendations and do our best to limit bias and to understand its skew.
@scottalanmiller Exactly, otherwise if you could get the real un-altered warranty stats from these companies it'd go a long way to giving you what you want. It'd be a frosty day in hell before they released it, but maybe you could get a NDA and a research grant, release the data in a decade so they are safe.