“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

It’s been bugging me this question for a number of years, and I’ve thought about the parallels between the IT department and the Force for some time but never really written a blog about it. Funny as at times I go through periods of writers block and this would have been an obvious one…

I can’t take credit for it resurfacing though, I went to see a potential customer last week and we were talking about ERP implementations and how his was going and he made comment with regards to the IT function having the full view of the business. I dare say if you’re keen enough to trawl through my past posts, I’ll have made reference to the very same a few times.

I was talking about it to my better half at the weekend and the Star Wars quote got mentioned (okay, if you think talking about either IT or Star Wars quotes with your other half is a poor show, then I should point out she works in Advertising and I have to hear about lots of boring things).

Thinking about my past life as an IT Manager, even now as an IT Services Provider – we get to know more about an organisation than most individuals within. Let’s face it, when it comes to ERP projects, you need to know every department and almost every business process within an organisation. I think this is entirely natural for any IT Director, Manager or even Technician worth their seat in the company. We’re inquisitive creatures that just have to know everything and we’re very curious how things are done, why and how we can make them better.

What’s worrying is there is a very dim appreciation for that. I’ve been accused of being nosey even when I’ve asked what people were hired as, even though as an IT guy I needed to set up security permissions. I hear of trainee IT guys at the start of their careers make sound business suggestions and their company owners and directors won’t back them and will continue to do things the way they’ve always been done.

More worryingly I believe is the lack of IT professionals that go into the leadership of companies, yes a CIO and CTO is important, but how many make it to CEO. It’s been sometime since I saw any research, but last time I did – CEO’s generally came from Sales and Marketing or Finance. Believe me, most good CIO’s will have full visibility of both those functions and know intimately how things are done as well as everywhere else in the business – are they not the better candidate for CEO material?

I know there is a geeky image of IT too, and we sometimes don’t help ourselves. We like our air conditioned, darkened rooms. Meetings and stuff, not really our thing? Perhaps, but that doesn’t apply to everyone. The most successful business improvement consultants I’ve ever met all have solid IT backgrounds. Knowing what tool in the Swiss-Army Knife that is IT to deploy in any given business situation, earns quote a lot of people good money.

So if you’re a managing director of a company, an owner and you’re feeling as if IT isn’t all that important and they just spend money for the sake of it. Maybe it’s time to think about how your company could be an industry powerhouse without the Force and the Jedi’s in your IT Department or at your IT providers.

If you want to Unleash the Jedi’s in your IT department or just want to know from your own perspective and your own inner Jedi what It’s like to get on with a IT company that understands your pain – then reach out to us!

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