Pamela Rucker, President, The Rucker Group and Co-Chair, Executive Women in IT:
Early in my career, I learned first-hand how much value I could add to my company if I understood the total life cycle of our operations. I was initially focused on being the best application developer and architect available, always delivering pristine code that wasn't rejected by QA. As I moved up through the ranks and had a chance to manage projects from requirements to implementation, I found that I often had questions about why we were developing applications a certain way. My knowledge of other applications we had previously developed prompted me to ask probing questions about why we were redeveloping the same functionality into different systems. As I began to dig deeper and understand how the company functioned, I saw many opportunities for business process improvements using technology. It was the beginning of a lifelong affair I've had with "the business."
I truly believe that the concept of moving your company forward using technology is rooted in understanding how to change people's behavior. In order to do that, you have to understand your industry, your business, your employees and your customers. It's easy to hop on the latest technological trend (like cloud computing), but you're a far more effective leader with strategic vision if you can describe how the implementation of that technology will increase market share, change your customer segments, redesign the way you interface with your customers, or increase their spend with your firm.
To do that, you have to know your business from every angle, and not just the technology that supports it. You have to understand why you operate the way you do, what your challenges are, where you can beat your competition, where you can't…and why. If you're effective at this, you can impact your bottom line, and catapult your career. To hear more about this and other advice for executive women in IT, join me for one of CIO Executive Council's Executive Women in IT breakfast series across the country "Lead with Impact – Key Advice for High Achieving Women in IT". Sponsored by Dell, these workshops are designed specifically for women IT executives and will take a deep dive into the topics from the Council's Top 10 Most Important Pieces of Advice for Executive Women in IT. We will examine the top challenges and pressures that influence the career and personal decisions of high achieving women like yourself. You will walk away with executable strategies that can be immediately applied to your current business role while helping to further your future career aspirations. We will be visiting Boston on May 10th, San Francisco on June 9th and Chicago on July 12th. I hope to see you soon – click here to learn more!