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Tech professionals - looking for roles outside IT services companies?

Having worked with IT services companies as a developer, project manager and now a delivery partner, Jagadeesh started to think of job options outside the IT services companies.

During his research, he found that role choices depend on the technical acumen of the role seeker.

Those who are hands on in technology delivery can pitch for many roles, both with enterprise and platform development companies.

On the other hand, those with operational skills are better suited for program or partner management positions, more likely with CIO organizations.

Technology professionals – hands on in projects and technology

Technology professionals who are architecting, constructing or enhancing platforms in an IT services company can explore similar work in an enterprise or a product company.

Working in the professional services arm of a platform vendor is another option.

Technology evangelist with an enterprise or product company

Services companies set up centers of excellence in emerging technologies to investigate, experiment with and propagate emerging technologies.

Similar groups exist in other organizations too and these are often housed in a CTO group.

Someone deep into tech and interested in exploring / evangelizing emerging tools and technologies can aim for a place in this CTO team.

Project delivery with an enterprise or product company

Companies invest their own resources when exploring new technologies and in the first iterations and releases of their platforms on these new technologies.

Once the initial implementation(s) is done, odds are that a partner or partner resources will get significantly involved in the scaling, enhancements, and sustenance.

Interest and proficiency in emerging technologies and in prototyping / rapid, iterative development are prerequisites for anyone looking for work in the technology delivery arms of enterprise or product companies.

Up and down the chain, these are roles for hands on technologists.

Application / infrastructure / platform roadmap ownership and oversight

Lifecycle management is an opportunity to participate end-to-end from understanding business needs, applying technology solutions to address them, and charting the roadmap as needs evolve.

Those in this function are responsible for the roadmap, technology path, budgets, and resource / partner management.

In order to propose paths to modernization, these roles first require specialization in the technology (analytics, application or infrastructure) using which a platform has been built.

In addition to technology proficiency, an understanding of the processes which are supported by the platform.

On top of that, essential to success is the ability to actively engage with business users, understand their needs and how those can be addressed through technology applications and infrastructure.

The professional services team of a product platform vendor

Companies like SFDC, Snowflake, Oracle and AWS build, run, and sell products and platforms.

An important role for their professional services teams is to participate actively during sales cycles to demonstrate the benefits of the product/platform and its ability to integrate with  the existing technology environment of clients.

This participation can also extend selectively to pilot implementations.

After that, very likely some partner will take on the larger rollout.

The product vendor PS team may participate as part of the program office but it will be in a smaller and directional / oversight / troubleshooting role.

A role in the professional services arm of a platform vendor is for those looking to specialize in that technology platform, work as an evangelist for it, and in short cycle projects.

Technology professionals – who have moved into operational and oversight positions.

There are many in technology services firms who have moved into roles providing oversight to operations, resource deployment, and overall health of customer engagements.

They are a step away from project implementation and technology but still engaged in the direction of programs and often carry ownership of success.

For those in this line of work, program manager roles with an enterprise are an option. These roles too are required to provide oversight to technology initiatives and, without getting into the technology trenches, ensure that programs are resourced appropriately and are on track.

A role in partner management is another option. This can be a strategic position with organizations which have large engagements with partners or are continuously evolving their systems with active participation of partners.

In closing

Investigating roles outside the IT services industry, Jagadeesh discovered different options.

Architect and project leader roles with product companies, enterprises, and the professional services arms of product companies are options for those who enjoy working hands on in technology.

For those who engage well with business leaders, are technologically proficient, and can lead the evolution of a platform or product, lifecycle management positions are a good choice.

Program management will be a fit for those who are past technology delivery but excel in ensuring programs are resourced right and delivered on time. Management of partner ecosystems can also be an alternative role for those with these skills.

In his career working with services companies, Jagadeesh had been given frequent opportunities to move to new technology initiatives and programs. The learning was ongoing and active.

In enterprise and product companies, role rotation opportunities are fewer. New technology adoption, intensity of activity, and learning are governed by the speed of change in business needs. For those aiming for continuous learning, the faster growing industry sectors will be the better places to seek roles in.

Happy hunting!

You may also want to read - Role options for IT delivery professionals


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