The New IT Benchmarks

Organizations are looking for well-rounded, enthusiastic people with tech "instinct" to fill their IT department ranks.

IT is a relatively new field, and its demands are constantly shifting. The IT department of five or 10 years ago does not resemble the IT department of 20 years ago. The IT department of 40 years ago didn't exist.

For IT professionals, keeping up is a daunting task. Over the years, they've been told to be everything from techies who work out of the dark room at the end of the hall to business folks in suits, driving the organization's growth strategy. They've been told to stock up on as many certifications as they could, and then were told that many of the certifications weren't more than expensive pieces of paper. They've been told to get really good at one technology, and then were told that being good at only one technology was a career-limiting move.

With so many moving targets, it is no wonder that IT professionals can suffer from an exhaustion that comes from having to constantly remarket themselves as the IT worker du jour.

When CIOs and IT managers are asked what they measure their IT hires by, their answers are surprisingly abstract. Few talk about, say, SAP skills or specific business skills-but not because they don't want those skills.

Simply put, CIOs and IT managers want from their staff more enthusiasm, more flexibility and a better ability to execute. Few of the people eWEEK interviewed for this story felt they had this ideal mix in their departments, but they were more than willing to build it themselves.