IT Career Tip: Learn How to Think Like a Business Owner

By Keith Millett | Aug 03, 2018 | Insights

The function of any organization’s IT department is to allow businesses to get to their information as quickly and reliably as possible. As an IT employee, you help bridge this gap and resolve any issues that might prevent company goals from being met. Although you’re given the opportunity to think critically, you aren’t always encouraged to think strategically—that is, beyond your specific role as a business owner would.

Understanding what IT resources your business needs is critical to setting up the right kind of infrastructure for delivering assets to upper management. In order to do this, you need to change the way you think about your job and its goals by thinking more strategically and looking for ways you can improve upon processes, not simply going through the motions to get the job done.

While it may be tough at first to think outside your comfort zone, there are several questions you can ask yourself to learn to think like a business owner. Let’s take a look at a few.

Thinking Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Thinking like a business owner is all about looking past the limited scope of your tasks. Instead of simply implementing a patch or routine backup, think strategically about why you’re doing what you’re doing; think about what you do every day to help your business be successful. This thought process encourages continued education. Not only should you seek out articles regarding IT best practices and improvements, but you should also regularly complete relevant certifications that can help you advance your position.

Advance, of course, is the key word in this advice. While some people might prefer to do the same work day in and day out, many want to advance their position over the course of their career; they want to be challenged and grow as a professional and a person. Thinking strategically is one critical way to show your dedication to your company.
To begin thinking like a business owner, seek ways to:

  • Reduce operational expenses and pave the way to increase revenues
  • Easily provide access to information
  • Ensure systems are secure and properly and regularly backed up
  • Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all information
  • Make sure all systems are operating at highly efficient and secure levels

These kinds of intentional thoughts help you analyze how your team’s actions affect the business as a whole—not just whether you’re checking off another item on your to-do list. After all, it’s not enough to design systems that work for today. By thinking like a business owner, you can make sure that your company is ready for the future with flexible hardware and software that will let you keep up with rapid changes in technology and business. As an IT professional, you too will be future proof, not left behind in the past.

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that technology does not sit still—it’s always evolving, moving forward, even when you think it’s reached its peak. If you choose not to challenge yourself, especially in terms of how you fit into your IT team and organization at large, you’ll quickly become obsolete.

Instead, you want to stay abreast of new technologies and best practices by reading on your own, completing certifications, and even going back to school for a degree in the IT world. These strategies not only help you think beyond the repetition of your role, but they also position you for upward mobility in your company, allowing you to get a higher understanding of what business requirements include.

Contact us today for more information about continuing education in the IT world.