I started out my career working in the IT department for a large networking company and during that time I watched IT go from being king of the castle, pre dot-com bubble burst, to a commodity, in a relatively short period of time.
Fast forward 15 years, the same warning signs that were there for the IT Professionals are once again appearing for the Web Analyst.
IT Professionals developed a superiority complex, where they felt that without them the business would simple cease to operate. This came out in concerning ways as private mocking of “the business” became more visible with public displays illustrating the utter stupidity of business users. We as IT Professionals were so much smarter than the suits attempting to run businesses, if only they would wake up and put us in charge…
We were the talented. We were the skilled. We would hold the business hostage with our superior knowledge. Because we were all so brilliant, because we already had all the answers, there was really no motivation to improve. Why invest in training, learning new technologies, or pushing outside our comfort zones if we had already reached the knowledge summit? Of course it was all a lie but our superiority complex wouldn’t let us believe otherwise. We already ruled the world, if only in our own minds, so there was little motivation to achieve more. We had reached the ultimate level of success…
LIVE FOR CRISIS
As an IT Professional, we lived for the next crisis and if one didn’t come around, we created one. I think there were a lot of reasons why this happened but I believe the major driver was our lack of confidence, a lack of confidence that we would never let others see, in our ability to be a truly strategic part of the business. If we were always in crisis mode, if we were always seen as parachuting in and solving the business’ problems, the business would see us as heros rather than questioning our lack of strategic value…
Today many business organizations reluctantly work with their IT departments, in order to get their projects accomplished but many IT departments are being outsourced or worked around. Does this sound familiar, “does your product allow me to do X without having to get my IT department involved?”
The writing is on the wall, it’s not a matter of if but when the traditional Web Analyst becomes a commodity, just as happened to their IT counterparts years ago — the ones who didn’t take action when the warnings appeared. So it’s up to each of you to either take the warning signs seriously and do something proactive about it or seek comfort in the status quo and watch as the business looks to outsource your job and your role becomes a commodity.