Will IT Lead the Comeback?

by John W. Stout

It has never been my habit to dwell on economic news. Frankly, I never considered that I could rely much on standard news reporting anyway. A news writer too often relies on what others have said in lieu of personal observation and research, so facts that get relayed in news reports—when you can trace down the source—turn out to be opinions or misunderstandings.

One interesting item that I’ve seen popping up in economic publications, Kiplinger’s among them, is that information technology will be one of the key industries to lead an economic comeback. It’s an encouraging report, and, although the methods of this leadership and who in the industry will really provide that leadership are subject to opinion, it’s worth further comment.

Having been in the IT business for a long time, and having grown a viable company through many economic environments, it remains clear to my staff and to me that fundamentals of business and career success do not change much with the environment. Those fundamentals apply if you are an IT team member or team leader, C-level executive or administrator. The emphasis on money as an economic indicator is often misplaced. Productivity is a far better economic indicator. As such, personal productivity, as obvious as it may or may not be, is the keystone of economic success.

For a software developer, that means generating a flow of rock solid, maintainable code.

For a hiring manager, an effective management process that keeps communication flowing through the team is essential to productivity. An efficient hiring process that identifies and selects best-match candidates without wasted effort supports that.

For someone involved in IT sales or proposal writing, upfront qualification of customer interest and capability is essential. How much time and money is wasted in preparing proposals that will never be accepted? I hear about companies that have “lots of proposals out” to potential customers, without any advance notion of how the customer will respond. I wonder how much effort and cost went into preparing those proposals versus the understanding of the customer’s actual needs and ability to act on the proposal.

Aside from personal responsibility, IT productivity depends on a few factors:

  • Effective training of technical people, either by school-based education, certification or boot camp.
  • Aligned individual efforts through the right level and methodology of project management.
  • Open communication within teams and with customers.
  • Use of metrics that measure productivity. On this latter point, we maintain weekly productivity metrics for every individual and division within our company; these are monitored and used to identify and rectify areas of concern—as well as to spot heroic work. Feel free to contact me if you want more information about we what do in that regard.
© Copyright 1995-2022 - STOUT SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT INC. - All Rights Reserved
envelopephone-handsetlaptop linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram