As 2003 begins, the analysts at Gartner, Inc.have named eight resolutions for IT professionals looking to keep their careers on track.. The career blueprint is decidedly business-focused as IT teams see the need to demonstrate the business value of IT during the prolonged challenging economic climate.

"In 2003, IT professionals who maintain only a technical toolbox will be at risk," said Diane Morello, vice-president and research director for Gartner. "Executives will seek out and elevate those IT professionals who demonstrate a knowledge of how the firm can apply technology to achieve business goals."

The eight IT professionals' resolutions, according to Gartner, are:

  1. Take inventory of your technology and business knowledge. Be honest about bare spots in your portfolio and expand your knowledge in the coming year.
  2. Get smart about the key drivers of your company's business. Build awareness by examining your organization's press releases, annual report and public statements. Network with business counterparts to discuss their financial and operational objectives. Become the business knowledge liaison to your IT team.
  3. Identify required services. By understanding your business you will be able to identify and implement required services that will help drive the success of the business. Integration, process insight and versatility will be watchwords for 2003.
  4. Become an evergreen professional. Pursue emerging and enduring knowledge, competencies and experiences. Technology is always changing. Business is always changing. By constantly positioning yourself and your IT skills as they apply to your business's short and long-term goals, you will stay aligned with the strategic road map of your organization.
  5. Seek leadership opportunities and accountability. This is not the year to lay low. Reach out to the business units. Mergers and acquisitions, consolidation and globalization will increase the number of projects and internal initiatives. Step up to the plate and take on an emerging role.
  6. Strengthen your knowledge of business principles. There are dozens of ways to gain business acumen: accounting, communications, financial analysis, marketing, cost management and so on. The addition of business know-how will enhance your career and increase your credibility in the business units within your firm.
  7. Get connected. There are project leaders and champions in every organization. Network with them. This is not a political agenda item. In 2003, careers are built on both what you know as well as who you know.
  8. Find new value in prior IT investments. Revisit the applications and technologies that have been deployed and re-apply functions and features to new processes. How you successfully apply these components will depend on your newfound knowledge of business processes, customer markets and financial goals.

"When it comes to careers in 2003, this is no time for complacency," continued Morello. "Honestly face your strengths and weaknesses, immerse yourself in the business and demonstrate leadership in good times and in bad."

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