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Celebrating Our IT Professionals

As we celebrate National IT Professionals Day today, it is important to take stock in the value you, as IT professionals, infuse into every organization. Data center IT professionals—including technicians, project managers, network engineers, system administrators, infrastructure engineers and more—have a tremendous influence over the capabilities of businesses and individuals. You are responsible for operating and maintaining the technology that allows us to connect and perform digital tasks. Without your skills and dedication, we could not interact on social media, work remotely on laptops, communicate via email, stream content, or engage the analytics and automations that enable strategic business decisions and countless competitive advantages.

The IT role is not an easy one—especially as we grow increasingly dependent on technology. Standing quietly behind our digital operations, you ensure our systems, servers, networks, applications and automated processes work flawlessly—all while keeping a keen eye on the pulse of innovative technologies that can enhance and ease our personal lives and business outcomes. In many cases, we may not recognize the work you are responsible for until something goes wrong.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you became the glue that held corporate productivity and personal relationships together. You worked tirelessly behind the scenes to quickly set up virtual desktop environments that allowed us to work remotely and to ensure bandwidth was appropriate to support the influx of online activity. In many cases, you remained in the office, working long hours and adjusting to new environmental and technical requirements to help your organizations adapt, and ultimately, survive.

So today, I recognize and appreciate the services you provide and offer some advice as you continue your vital roles within our organizations.

Be Part of the Business Strategy

As the world around us continues to change, IT professionals have a depth of knowledge and critical insights that others lack. This expertise can help businesses grow, adapt and succeed. Businesses rely more heavily than ever on your experience. Use your knowledge to recommend new ways to integrate technology to improve situations, develop forward-looking IT strategies and deliver continually improving business results. The way we did things in the past may not get us where we need to go. Be that change for your organization.

Continue to Tackle Challenges

A mentor once told me, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Solving technology issues—or even implementing new technologies—is rarely quick or easy. Like the rules of a rugby match, where you have to pass backwards to make forward progress, do not be afraid to take that step back to assess a situation and make adjustments that can help overcome a challenge or drive an initiative forward. Learn from past experiences to expand your knowledge to help address challenges, continually add value and drive effective change. And, do not forget to enjoy the challenges along the way. They help you grow and become a better IT professional.

Be Part of a Strong, Future-focused Team

Any successful business leader will tell you that a business’ people are its most valuable asset. This makes building a strong team critical. Yet, finding and retaining top IT talent can be a challenge. A strong, focused and satisfied team begins with a positive work culture and a team-oriented environment. Help your organization build this environment by being a team player and advocating for the resources you and your team members need to be successful. This will not only strengthen the team, but will serve you—as well as your business and its customers—in the long run. And, again, do not forget to have fun along the way. My fondest memories of my past successes are grounded in my relationships with my co-workers.   

Never Stop Learning

Perhaps the most important advice anyone can offer is to never stop learning. Technology is always changing, and your skillset and knowledge must change and grow with it. Learn from every experience you have—whether a success or failure. Be willing to listen and reflect, and never assume you are done learning. Often this requires a level of humility and the ability to check your ego at the door as you take on new challenges and experiences. Find a mentor to help you navigate your path and surround yourself with other knowledge-driven professionals. In our era of digital transformation, learning should be a never-ending responsibility.  

To all the IT professional out there—and especially our team at Flexential—thank you for the expertise, dedication and value you provide every day in both our personal and professional lives. Your contributions are immeasurable, and we appreciate them.

How do you plan to celebrate National IT Professionals Day? Let us know!

Chris Downie, Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Chris Downie

Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Chris, who joined Flexential in 2016, is responsible for setting and managing the strategic priorities of the company to drive profitability and growth.