Changing skills

While presenting at the Pivot Conference, Scott Brinker, president and CTO of ion interactive, explained why he believes organizations should take the next step toward digital proficiency by fostering a new breed of executives ??? the chief marketing technologist. It got me pondering on the new structures organizations need as various functions and technologies are becoming increasingly intertwined and extend not only to, but beyond, the firewall. In many organizations departments have traditionally selected someone who knew a little about technology to be the main contact with IT. The same approached happened with functions such as Knowledge, Marketing, Training etc. Now we require top-of-the-line technologists within departments, who are dually knowledgeable in both their specialist discipline and technology to really understand the way the digital environment works. It???s an area where intranet teams have led the way, being early adopters of merging business needs with the possibilities of the digital environment. As the digital world moves on the disciplines and roles of intranet teams will change. From the early days of intranets (we could trace this back to 1989 is we look at some of the early IBM work) the role of the intranet team has been based around the development, governance and maintenance of a database (or database apps). As intranets move away from the firewall the skill sets change. I believe we are looking more towards managing a users experience with content and relationships, in numerous areas, rather than managing a database that a user engages with. The softer nurturing skills will become more valuable, rather than development and design. Most organizations may be some years away from this model but times are changing and intranet team skill sets will change with them.

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