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Why you need to hire IT generalists

Thor Olavsrud | Dec. 8, 2015
While IT specialists with deep technical knowledge in particular fields remain important, your IT team needs generalists with a broad view across technology areas and the ability to understand the interactions between them.

"Everybody seems to like it a lot," Matthews says. "It brings a lot of good, positive mojo into play."

At the end of the day, Matthews says, it's all about building an IT team that is empowered to think broadly and creatively, not just about solving IT problems, but addressing business challenges.

"We all know that if IT screws up something significant, the business suffers," Matthews wrote in a blog post earlier this year. "It can hurt the entire trajectory of a company. But if that's true, the converse must be true as well. As an IT leader, if I do things better and smarter, I can actually help the business grow faster."

"I have to look for those opportunities," he adds. "And more importantly, I have to invest in generating enthusiasm within my IT organization to look for and pinpoint those sweet spots."

Consider, for instance, a helpdesk technician who is helping a sales person tackle a technology problem.

"If that helpdesk technician has been empowered by their management to look for those opportunities to help the business do more business — and if they're getting rewarded for their suggestions — then suddenly the good ideas start to flow and everyone feels like they're a part of it. It's a team effort. It doesn't come from the top down, but the top can influence the thought processes. (On the flip side, if all your management is interested in is whether you check the right checkboxes at the right time, go find another job.)"


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