Which One of these Coveted Business Leadership Roles Would You Like?
Want to move out of your IT role and into a more senior business role? In our last post we explored why you might want to consider moving from a senior IT role to a senior business role.
One of our peer advisory members shared his belief with me recently that the shift to the Digital Enterprise brings about new opportunities for both IT executives and the enterprise. For the enterprise, the job of creating more advanced, digital experiences is actually quite complicated, and IT executives should logically be in a great position to help their companies. He argued that companies with the strongest IT teams will have competitive advantage, and I agree.
For IT executives, moving to the senior business role brings about added respect, higher earnings and greater opportunity to have an impact on the organization.
We were fortunate to have Eric Dirst, President of Online Services at Devry Education Group, present his talk called “How IT Leaders Can Move into Business Leadership Roles” to our group. Eric shared the reasons for making this change, examples of the types of senior business roles you can move into from a senior IT role, and ways to position yourself for these roles. In our last post, I shared a few of Eric’s reasons for making this change.
Knowing examples of how you can move from IT to senior business roles is helpful, as it gives you the ability to think outside of your current role.
Here are a few of the examples of some of the senior business roles Eric suggests you can move into from IT:
Enterprise R&D. Interested in this type of role? Eric shared the story of an associate who started off in the developer/analyst type of role, then completely embraced the innovation concept, agile and the ability to run fast pilots. This passion led him to earn the Enterprise R&D role at their company.
VP Of Digital Transformation / Chief Digital Officer. You’d think these were natural roles for IT executives, and they should be! But Eric points out that many of these coveted positions go to marketing or product executives. Eric believes with proper positioning, more of these roles will go to IT executives. We’ll share some of his insights in the next post.
Operations Roles. A natural for Senior IT Executives and Other Senior Technology Executives who can demonstrate that they are excellent in running their own area. IT executives often move into the COO role because they may understand the whole system of how the company runs better than anyone else, especially if these systems are automated in some way.
Sales Roles. You wouldn’t think this was a role for IT executives, but Eric points to a case where one of their IT executives developed a strong passion for Salesforce and how to modify it to meet the company’s needs. He became the company’s internal expert and then started talking about their modifications outside the company and became known for his work. He eventually became VP of Sales Engineering, a role the company created around his passion!
Product Roles. Eric points to the VP of Product Engineering as an example of a common path for IT executives, especially in the technical, hardware or software services area of companies.
Inspired Yet? Great! In our next few posts I’ll share Eric’s tips on how to position yourself for movement into these roles.
Can’t wait? Watch the whole presentation here.