Intellectual capital key for IT career: CBA's Michael Harte

Intellectual capital key for IT career: CBA's Michael Harte

YITcon told technical depth helps, but not necessary

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CIO, Michael Harte.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CIO, Michael Harte.

The desire to object to the status quo, coupled with persistence and an attitude focused on information neutrality have become fundamental components in contributing to the creation of business value, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) chief information officer (CIO), Michael Harte.

In a presentation titled I want to be an astronaut - now I am just a space cadet at the Australian Computer Society's (ACS) Young IT Conference (YITcon) 2012, Harte said that, although deep technical skill is helpful in establishing a long-term career in IT, it is not necessary.

Instead, the individual must be creative and disagree with the status quo, while presenting a blatant desire to create value.

"We should be about making people wiser in their spending decision," Harte said. "For if they spend well, they save, and sooner. The sooner they save, the more we can spread to further markets and take measured risk to advance our financial aspirations."

As such, IT cannot rely on staying in the lab, particularly as the availability to technology is more and more transparent and free, and, as a result, expansive.

Essentially, then, harnessing intellectual capital and investment are the most critical traits in making value, in Harte's perspective.

Another element is seeking contribution from individuals who will refine ideas and assist in their completion, rather than accepting 'no' as a response.

This is because IT has evolved to become applicable across all industries, and as such, that value chain must be promoted to enable investment for adoption.

Harte's presentation directly opposes (and contradicts) misconceptions that posit IT as a dull career proposition which operates on succint and linear processes, and one that is constrained to technology with no business or creativity overlay.

Unfortunately, such 'stereotypes' are generated by poor marketing where the value, creativity, or impact of IT in everyday life are left unaware, often on behalf of universities and institutions which are responsible for promoting them, Harte said.

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