CIO Role

 

It wasn’t long ago that CIOs weren’t involved in product development until the produce was nearing completion. IT teams would get involved once the majority of the development steps were completed, connecting the product to the required internal and external systems to support sales and fulfillment goals while providing insight based on their technical expertise.

 

As products become more integrated with enterprise systems more quickly during the product development process, CIOs have to get involved earlier than ever before. This does not only ensure the project's ultimate success but to be a resource as development efforts proceed. To provide a higher level understanding of how upcoming trends are impacting the CIO role, here is an overview of what to expect.

Increased Use of Software

Software has become a key component in more products over recent years, providing key controls and defining operations. Any product that uses software at its core requires CIOs to determine the proper allocation of human capital to support development efforts early in the process and can increase the demand for new talent capable of furthering the goals of the project. As Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and DevOps tools become critical for more product development efforts, the involvement of technical professionals will continue to grow.

 

When a product with software-oriented operations starts the development process, CIOs will also be tasked with providing input during planning stages as well. Evaluating potential features, technological capabilities, and potential future developments will fall clearly in the hand if IT departments, as well as helping to establish project timelines based on the requirements created for the project.

Elevated Back Office Connectivity

As products become more connected, back office operations will experience increased workloads based on the need for enterprise integration. The user experience is often improved during these implementations, but require greater involvement from IT professionals working for the organization to support value-adding functions like real-time reporting, configuration monitoring, remote adjustment capabilities, and automatic updates.

 

Since tech employees will be expected to support the product during and after development, it is critical that CIOs become involved in processes for creating and identifying requirements. Additionally, they will need to work closely with their staff to ensure all internal systems are properly prepared and the support personnel are apprised regarding their duties.

As-a-Service Options

CIOs need to be aware of current and upcoming As-a-Service offerings as a method for supporting internal operations. As IT staff members become more involved in product development, As-a-Service solutions can reduce the strain on internal employees, allowing them to focus on core goals instead of tasks that may otherwise seem tedious or low priority. This ensures other operations continue as needed without hindering product development efforts designed to further larger business objectives.

 

These growing trends have CIOs entering the product development arena earlier than ever before, but having the right employees in place can help alleviate the strain associated with these changes, allowing your business to proceed with ease. If you are looking for skilled tech professionals to help keep your department on track, The Armada Group can alleviate the stress associated with finding the right candidates. Contact us today to see how our services can support your company’s product development goals.

 

Choose

 

As an IT professional, you may have tried to weigh the benefits between holding a full-time job or working on short-term contracts. While each can be viable options for your career, which is right for you ultimately depends on where your priorities lie. To help you sort through your options, here are some key points to consider about these employment opportunities.

Job Duties

Even if a full-time and contract position function with the same job title, the actual duties that will be assigned can be somewhat difference. Often, contract employees are given the chance to focus on their core skill set, since the positions are typically associated with a particular project or goal. This means you’ll spend less time on tasks outside of those core competencies, making it ideal for those who want to work in specialized positions without any excess.

 

Full-time positions often have duties outside of the core set. For example, software developers may be responsible for projects as well as providing a level of support to end-users and performing certain maintenance activities. This can provide a more well-rounded experience and may appeal to those who like diversity in their daily tasks.

Benefits

Most full-time positions come with a range of standard benefits, including health insurance, paid time off and retirement options. This allows you to coordinate multiple needs through your employer, and can provide a level of security to those who don’t want to manage these requirements on their own.

 

In contrast, many contract positions provided limited, if any, benefits beyond a paycheck. Depending on the length of the contract, you may have some opportunities for paid time off, but companies aren’t required to provide these benefits. Additionally, you’ll likely be responsible for managing your own retirement, healthcare, and even tax withholdings as a contract employee. You may have a chance to explore less expensive options for insurance or have more control over your retirement, but it will require you to be more hands-on than full-time employees generally have to be.

Workplace

Sometimes you don’t know whether a workplace is right for you until you are seated at a desk trying to get your work done. While full-time employees have limited options for leaving, often feeling they have to tolerate less than ideal circumstances for at least a year or so before jumping ship, contractors have a defined end date from the beginning. This means if the environment isn’t a great fit, you already know when you can head out the door.

 

However, if the company offers a great place to work, contractors might not have the option to stay regardless of how well they perform in the position. In some cases, you might be given the chance to sign on full-time, but that isn’t guaranteed. Full-time employees are generally hired with long-term potential in mind, meaning they can enjoy the workplace for as long as they choose.

 

Whether you should choose full-time or contract opportunities depends on what you value. Both approaches to your career have merit, so there is no inherently right or wrong answer. Instead, consider which advantages appeal to you most and whether the drawbacks are tolerable. Then, shape your career in that image. In the end, if your original choice isn’t the right one, you can always choose to change directions.

 

If you are looking for either a contract or full-time opportunity, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us today and see what is available in your area.

 

Fears

 

Fear is designed to keep us safe; it helps keep us aware of physical and emotional dangers, allowing us to take action to stay safe. But too much fear can cause trouble, especially when the situation causing the feelings of anxiety aren’t as severe as we perceive them to be. And, when those feelings affect our jobs, it can actually halt career progress in its track.

 

To help you overcome fears that are holding your career back, here are two of the most common ones and what you can do to overcome them.

Fear of Rejection

People aren’t solitary creatures; we often crave the support of a group who accepts us. But finding a new job opens us up to fears of rejection, as we don’t know whether our new co-workers will accept us into the group once we start a new position. However, there are ways to make transitioning into a new team easier, increasing the chance you’ll be seen as an asset instead of an outsider.

 

Take the time to listen to those working around you. Many people start a position and want to share their ideas with their new co-workers. But, it is often better to hear their perspectives first and to learn why current processes are the way they are. By taking this approach, you are showing respect for the current standard, and you get a chance to really see what makes the place tick.

Fear of Failure

A fear of failure can stop us from trying anything new, including finding a new position that might be a better fit. Often, it leads us to procrastinate, or even give up on our goals, as it seems like a better option than having a less than favorable outcome.

 

In most cases, our fear of failure has us believing that the results could be catastrophic, even if that isn’t actually the likely result. To get beyond these concerns, examine the situation objectively and consider the likelihood that, even if it doesn’t go well, the worst case scenario is actually going to happen and if it is actually that bad.

 

Often, when it comes to a job search, the worst outcome is being passed over for a position. While this can be upsetting, it doesn’t generally do much harm. And, when compared to the benefits of scoring that new job, it can seem like a risk worth taking.

 

While trying to land a new job can be scary, our fears regarding the situation are often unfounded. Instead of focusing on the potential negatives, try and keep the benefits in mind. Finding the right job can be invigorating for your career and you personally. Before you decide to step away from your goals, see if what you could gain doesn’t make it seem worth it in your eyes.

 

If you would like help during your job search, the recruiters at The Armada Group can support you through the process. Contact us today and see if the right job for you is just around the corner.

 

Monday, May 22 2017

The Value of Digital Disruption

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Digital Disruption

 

When companies think of digital disruption, they often focus on the businesses that used technology to change a notable paradigm within the business world. How Amazon changed retail, Netflix changed retails, and Uber changed transportation are all examples of digital disruptions in their respective sectors, with their development fundamentally changing how business is done.

 

But digital disruption isn’t limited to companies that change the game. Any technology that enters the world and affects how goods and services are produced or delivered can qualify. For example, the prevalence of mobile technology, the rise of IoT, and the increase of cloud services are all digital disrupters that provide value to businesses operating in almost every sector. And they are often critical for growth.

New Operational Models

Digital disruptions often force companies to update their operational models to stay competitive. But, along the way, they allow businesses to have opportunities to become more efficient. For example, mobile devices have changed how people work and how consumers shop. While adapting to the new technology required significant process changes, the result provides opportunities for increased productivity and higher sales.

 

As a new technology enters the market, it allows companies to refocus. They can take advantage of what the tech provides to improve operations and reduce costs. Then, the business can reinvest in areas critical to their development.

Increased Opportunity

Developments in IoT have exposed companies to more data than ever before, and that means increased opportunities to capitalize on the information. Add to that advances in big data and analytics, and businesses can find answers to questions that may have seemed impossible to answer even a few years before.

 

The ability to learn about how customers think and buy, or how operations are completed during production, give organizations a chance to adjust more quickly than previously. Real-time information can provide feedback in a way that supports immediate action, making businesses more nimble within their market space or in how they do business.

Proper Management is Required

To make digital disruptions work for your business, it is important to view them as opportunities worth exploring and not just challenges that must be dealt with. Consider how these technologies can improve your operations and see if it make sense to integrate them into your workplace.

 

If you are looking for IT professionals that can help you take advantage of everything today’s digital disruptions have to offer, the recruitment experts at The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates based on your hiring goals. Contact us to see how highly skilled workers can help you keep pace with today’s advancements.

 

DevOps

 

Demand for DevOps engineers is on the rise. Companies look at the approach as a method for automating processes, saving both time and money through increased efficiency. But since DevOps is more of a strategy than a defined process, it can be challenging to determine what skills they businesses are actually focused on when hiring.

 

If you are interested in landing a position in DevOps, here are the skills you need to have to get further in your career.

Experience with the Right Tools and Languages

When looking for a DevOps professional, companies target those with expertise in the right infrastructure automation tools and programming languages. Being familiar with tools like Ansible, Chef, Docker, Puppet, SaltStack, and Windows PowerShell DSC is going to help you stand out from the crowd. Additionally, experience in web languages like Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby are considered essentials for workers focused on DevOps.

Strong Soft Skills

Collaboration is fundamental to the DevOps approach to projects. Professionals with multiple specialties are involved in the development life cycle, and being able to communicate effectively with everyone involved is critical to the success of a project.

 

Additionally, the ability to consult with clients and build business relationships is also critical. At times, even negotiation skills may come into play.

 

DevOps professionals need to display their expertise in areas like problem-solving, team-building, and other interpersonal communications skills to be considered a top candidate for an available position.

Understanding of Continuous Integration

A fundamental part of DevOps is continuous integration (CI). The process allows source code updates to be rolled in whenever the need arises. The focus is on continual improvement and simultaneous input from all teams instead of completing a product from beginning to end, with each team taking their turn then sending the product on to the next group. It also provides a method for increased engagement across all team members through the development of the project.

 

Various CI tools that DevOps worker should learn include Bamboo, CruiseControl, Jenkins, ThoughtWorks’ Go, and Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server.

Project Management

At its core, DevOps is an approach to project management, so experience with the latter supports your efforts with the former. Whether you choose to pursue formal training and certification or have the opportunity to learn the skills on the job, demonstrating your prior experience with project management will help you qualify for DevOps jobs more easily than trying to go forward without them.

 

Other IT skills can also be helpful in DevOps, including experience deploying code, programming applications, managing databases, and more. However, those listed above can be seen as some of the most important when you are interested in developing a career dedicated to DevOps.

 

If you are interested in finding a DevOps position, The Armada Group can match you with relevant opportunities in your area based on your level of expertise. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our professional recruiters today.

 

Wednesday, May 17 2017

Why Your Team Wants to Work From Home

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Work From Home

 

The idea of working from home appeals to workers in almost every field, with tech professionals leading the way. Having the opportunity to work remotely either full-time or a few days a week is one of the most valued job perks an employer can provide, even beating traditional offerings like health benefits. That means, if you want to attract top talent, giving telecommuting options is a surefire way to get some attention.

 

But what about remote work do tech pros find so appealing? Here are some of the top reasons why your team wants to work from home.

Increased Productivity

Many companies fear telecommuting leads employees to be less productive, but the opposite is actually more likely. Working from home significantly limits interruptions throughout the day and ultimately makes it easier to stay on task.

 

Instead of running between meetings that run long, dealing with co-workers dropping by, or focusing through the distractions caused by other activities in the workplace, remote workers have control over their home environment. This gives them a chance to work more effectively, especially on tasks that require high amounts of concentration and attention to detail.

 

The benefits of increased productivity can be even more notable if your company uses open office designs in the workplace. While 70 percent of employees work in this paradigm, almost no one likes the design. There’s a lack of privacy or sense of personal space, and it is easy to become irritated by extraneous noises coming from all across the floor. In that regard, working from home is an appreciated reprieve from an otherwise stressful environment, letting them focus on their job instead of what is happening around them.

More Comfort

Telecommuting gives employees the ability to be more comfortable within their workspace. Most offices provided limited options when it comes to body positioning, leaving workers in the same seated position for an entire shift.

 

When working from home, people can get up and move whenever they need to without having to worry about distracting their coworkers. They can put their feet up, shift around, change chairs, or pace around the room whenever the mood strikes. It removes the certain expectations regarding how you are expected to physically be while working, allowing them to do what it takes to stay comfortable while getting work done.

No Commute

While your employees might work for eight or more hours a day, their functional workday may start much sooner. Many employees spend an average of 25 minutes each way commuting, an action that is rarely stress-free.

 

If they have the chance to work from home, their commute is completely eliminated. This means they don’t have to start their day by battling traffic, only to end it by doing the same. Your employees also have more time to manage other tasks, as they essentially get almost an hour back that isn’t spent sitting in a car, train, or another form of transportation just to get to work.

 

Almost any tech employee would appreciate the chance to telecommute, and the advantages of the arrangement can lead to mutual benefit. If you are interested in finding new IT professionals to join your team, including by working from home, The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates. Contact us today for more information about our employer services.