"It's a blended role -- a combination of business analyst and project manager," he explains. "Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time finding someone to fill it."
Hyde attributes that difficulty in part to the job market -- IT jobs are numerous and talent is scarce in his part of the state. But he also points out that the new job requires someone with a particular kind of personality. He's holding out for a person who has a blend of tech skills and business process re-engineering capabilities.
For the right person, this midlevel job has great growth potential, he notes -- and not just within the confines of traditional IT. "The job in and of itself is IT-based, but it uses and cultivates skills that could lead to a job in operations or other non-IT areas," says Hyde.
Technology Solutions Engineer
Erik Cummings, director of IT at NetSuite in San Mateo, Calif., is so hot on the new job title he's introduced -- technology solutions engineer -- that he's in the process of transitioning two existing employees into the slot and hiring a third from the outside.
Why the push? "We need people who think business solutions, not just problem-solving," Cummings says. "We need IT to be the kind of organization that, if you're on the business side, we know your problem before you know it."
Cummings says that there's no question in his mind that technology solutions engineers are a unique breed. Their characteristic trait boils down to one thing: flexible thinking. "These people are not only the Swiss Army knives of IT, with a breadth of experience in various applications," he explains. "They can sit down and show me that they understand what a business problem consists of and [produce] a bunch of creative ways to solve it."
The kind of people who do well in this job are those that feel a personal investment in the success of the organization: "They have an unwavering tenacity to get it right for the business," he says.
The new hybrid IT job titles are a reflection of the larger shift that's taking place across the tech sector.
"Six to 10 years ago, people looked to hire subject-matter experts," Cummings says. "Now the smartest thing someone in this field can do is to multitrack their career. Above all, realize that IT isn't just a service organization anymore."
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