How to be an IT ninja


The following principles can help you hone your ITSM and ITOM ninja skills as we build the post-COVID-19 workplace.

Ninjas are known for their stealth and agility, skills that take much practice and study to master. They are never satisfied with their current abilities and always seek to improve. 

Those noble aspirations are not limited to secret warriors. In the current climate, IT leaders are also busy adding new capabilities to their skillset. In my IT Experience Podcast, I regularly sit-down with IT pros who have valuable advice for their peers.

The following principles can help you hone your ITSM and ITOM ninja skills as we build the post-COVID-19 workplace.

Keep a growth mindset - When I sat down with Khalid Kark, Managing Director at Deloitte CIO Program, he shared his research on kinetic leaders. A kinetic leader is always reinventing herself. 

It’s even more critical to maintain a growth mindset. Leaders can’t just focus on focus only on responding to traditional problems. Instead, view every new challenge as an opportunity to drive agility so you can stay resilient and innovate. A growth mindset will help you create value in difficult times, whether by deploying automation to keep employees productive or building intelligence to respond to customer problems faster. 

[Shameless plug: It’s one thing to be an IT leader, it’s another thing to use ITSM that’s a leader in the Gartner MQ.]

Align IT and business to deliver digital outcomes - IT transformation leader  David Stefferud,  used an analogy to explain why transformation projects often fail. Let’s say your business is looking to sell more canned peaches. But IT keeps asking for more money to upgrade their systems. The mismatch of goals and expectations creates contention among the teams, without advancing their common goal of moving those peaches. 

Instead, IT should come back and say, ‘I'd love to help you sell more peaches, but we need to rethink our digital capabilities to support that?’ 

Focus on intelligence versus data - Many IT leaders care about data collection. It’s true that analytics is useless without quality data. But if data collection consumes years of effort by expensive data scientists and then doesn’t yield useful results, it becomes a burden. 

According to Loom Systems founders Gab Menachem and Dror Mann, IT leaders need to build intelligent systems instead of just capturing data and then relying on lengthy analysis to surface the insights they need. 

Make automation your top priority - Thangavel Viswam, an IT ninja on the ServiceNow IT Operations team, shared how his team has automated resolution of VPN issues. Before they automated problem identification and i resolution, they used to have to resolve hundreds of incidents. Now they're down to tens and twenties. During COVID-19 when employees everywhere started working remotely, they hardly had to work on VPN issues. That freed up time for them to work on other strategic tasks. 

Put your ninja suit on and be ready to adapt and grow - IT leaders can drive business value by: 

  • Making allies in the business by understanding their business needs.

  • Creating common digital transformation goals. 

  • Develop their intelligence and automation muscles. 


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