Looking for a career challenge? Here are five new job titles cropping up in IT departments across corporate America, as well as a brief job description for each one.
1. Information steward
Reporting to the CIO, the information steward is responsible for how information is handled and stored across the company. The information steward determines who has read, write and copy access to information. This person is also in charge of how information is secured, backed up and archived. The position involves compliance with industry-specific regulations, as well as the new e-discovery rules for litigation. In an era of stolen laptops and exposed credit card numbers, the information steward is responsible for keeping the CIO out of the headlines.
2. Service delivery manager
The service delivery manager takes all the components of a company's technology - networking, servers, software and storage - and delivers them to a business unit or a group of users as a service. These managers are responsible for setting prices and defining service-level agreements (SLAs) for their services. They need to measure their performance against these SLAs and calm down unhappy customers. This job requires a jack-of-all-trades mentality: A service delivery manager is part project manager, part application developer and part contracting specialist.
3. Technology-business relationship manager
The technology-business relationship manager serves two masters: the CIO and the business-unit head. (Who have a desk in both departments to make sure they are working for both teams.) This manager helps the CIO understand the business perspective and serve business customers better, and jazzes up business executives about the capabilities that new technology can bring. Good communications skills and solid relationships throughout the company are key attributes of this manager. Here's what this position shouldn't be: a bottleneck.
4. Outsourcing relationship manager
The biggest change in IT shops in recent years is the rise of outsourcing. IT shops outsourcing domestically or offshore need someone on staff who knows how to manage these relationships. This position is best thought of as vendor management on steroids. An outsourcing relationship manager must hold outsourcing vendors to their agreements and fix problems when they arise. This person has to understand the technology links, communication and workflow between the company and the vendor, as well as how outsourcing affects the company's overall business processes. Strong diplomatic and negotiating skills are essential.
5. Mobile-application developer
Mobile-application development is as hot today as Web development was in the late '90s. This new discipline involves pulling together all the latest technologies - handheld devices, wireless networks, security, unified communications and collaboration tools - to support on-the-go executives, telecommuters and other virtual workers. Mobile-application developers need to understand the limitations of popular mobile devices and phones. Having a healthy paranoia about security is a plus. So is being a quick study: People who are too set in their ways will not be right for this fast-changing position.
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