Is Your IT Career Stuck in Darwin’s Waiting Room?


Take this quick quiz:

  1. Can you convert your IT projects into hard cash flows?
  2. Do you know exactly how money works and flows through your corporation?
  3. Do you understand how executives make investment decisions?
  4. Do you believe all of the above is critical to your future as an IT professional?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, especially number 4, it is time to take a very serious self-inventory and reality check.

According to both the Gartner Group and Forrester research, 85 percent of all IT budgets and decisions reside in the Executive / Line of Business in organizations. Gone are the days of executive leadership handing the CIO an almost-blank check.

Most CIOs have a significant portion of their compensation tied to the measureable financial / business outcome results of IT projects. Failure will harm their pay or result in dismissal. Having amazing technology skills and knowledge is not enough anymore. Let me be clear: I am not dismissing the brainpower and skill required to be a razor-sharp, effective IT professional.  The technology “black belts” I come across every day amaze me.

These IT black belts need to realize there is a huge opportunity for them to use that brainpower to get smart on finance.  An IT professional who understands how to link technology to drive desired financial outcomes will become a 10th degree black belt in the high-tech world. So how do you get out of Darwin’s waiting room to become the next-gen apex competitor?

Here are three quick tips:

  • Get smart on fundamental business finance.
  • Understand how to think, speak, and act like a business owner.
  • Realize you don’t have to figure it all out on your own: Executive management wants more business, customer retention, and lower costs. Being an IT professional who finds the resources to figure this out and bring it to the company will be smiled upon and valued. Similarly, being the person who “can figure it out and knows where to go to get the answers no matter what” is very valuable.

There are many ways to learn about fundamental business finance as well as how to think like a business owner. Search for classes online or find some basic business books at your library. I also teach Executive Relevance Selling (ERS) to help you turn Cisco solutions into hard cash flows. Find out more about ERS here, or visit the Comstor Academy to see all the courses Comstor offers.


  • David McNicholas

    With more than 15 years of success leveraging a sales methodology that weighs technology solution against financial investment, business outcome, and corporate growth goals, David McNicholas has created an Executive Relevance Selling (ERS) approach that has proven successful for many sales teams. ERS is a formal, comprehensive approach to empowering resellers to sell profitable solutions into sophisticated, competitive markets, growing revenues and profits by 20%+ through investment-centric quantifiable business outcome assessments. David regularly shares best practices and advice on how to grow your business.

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