Could technology consulting be right for you?

Technology isn’t an industry with definite parameters. It needs people from every discipline – from ethics to engineering – to succeed. That’s why people without typically technical skills can still enjoy a fulfilling career in the field.

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Digital transformation is continuing at pace, with emerging tech changing everything from how we deliver food to the ways we conduct surgery. More recently, it upended how the vast majority of us do our work.

But to keep up, companies need the right people with the right knowledge to help them streamline their processes, adopt more efficient systems and react positively to change. That’s where the technology consultant comes in.

If you’d like to sit at that cross section, to liaise with companies and customers about their tech needs, then technology consulting may be for you.

Today, tech consulting is an integral part of big consultancy firms. At EY, for example, there are plenty of people working with different clients and programmes with the ultimate goal of technology delivery. Here, three of them share their tips.

Insights from experienced professionals

Paul Scullion is a senior manager for tech delivery in technology consulting at the company. Most of his time is spent with financial services clients, helping them with project management.

What he enjoys most is working with transformation programmes across the country, he said: “Change programmes that are built to have a positive impact on the end customers’ lives and on the environment definitely instil a sense of personal pride in the work that we do.”

And there’s no time like the present to join the industry, according to Scullion – particularly at EY. The company is broadening its client base, he said, making it an “extremely interesting time to join”.

“I would say go for it,” he added. “It’s without a doubt the most positive move I have made in my career.”

Emily O’Brien, a senior manager in technology consulting, agrees. O’Brien has been worked at EY for six years, but the “new capabilities” and “new offerings” at the company help keep her job exciting.

However, finding the right team and working environment is also important for a tech consultant, she said: “What I love most about working with EY is the people. It’s getting to bring your full self to work every day.”

Entering technology consulting as a graduate

What’s it like to join the world of technology consulting as a graduate? Leanne Cassidy completed the graduate programme at EY just over two years ago. Now, she works as an operations engineer for the company’s technology transformation team. She gets to work on Ireland’s “largest infrastructure project”, she said, which involves troubleshooting, data analysis, testing and PBI reporting.

Cassidy particularly enjoys the new challenges she’s faced with daily: “Working with a live system leaves room for daily challenges, which excites me.” But from a wider perspective, the industry as a whole is continuously changing, too.

“Technology consulting has expanded to incorporate a whole new range of technologies, including SAP and AI,” she said. “Since joining, I feel like I have gone from being part of a company that works with technology to being part of a technology company.”

‘If you are looking for something that is challenging, rewarding and exciting, technology consulting is the place to be’
– LEANNE CASSIDY, EY

Though Cassidy is an engineer, she recommends a career in tech consulting for “anyone with an interest in technology”, whether you’re a “technical project manager, Java coder or a data specialist”.

“If you are looking for something that is challenging, rewarding and exciting, technology consulting is the place to be,” she said. “It’s meaningful work every day, using the newest technologies to make a difference.”

Thinking of a career in technology consulting at EY? O’Brien shared some practical advice: “Look at what the different services do, look at the different opportunities that are there and consider what you’re passionate about and what suits your skillset best.”

The post Could technology consulting be right for you? appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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Building relationships remotely, and not technology, has been the key to handling the pandemic, Dell and Slack executives say

Summary List PlacementWhile technology has been integral to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, building relationships among employees has been even more important to a successful work-from-home model, human resources executives from Dell and Slack said during an Insider event.
At Wednesday’s “Workplace Evolution,” hosted by Insider, Najuma Atkinson, the senior vice president of human resources at Dell, and Dawn Sharifan, the vice president of people at Slack, shared how they’ve continued to work with and onboard employees during the pandemic. 
In the session, titled “The Big Shift of 2020,” Atkinson and Sharifan said when their companies went fully remote last year, they had to weigh how to keep employees feeling supported, how to help managers lead a remote workforce, and how to build culture and community.
“Yes we use Slack; yes we use Zoom.” Sharifan said. “But I think really continuing to build that community is the most important thing regardless of what technology you use.”
Atkinson added that, “While technology is our enabler, the other key factor is about the culture.”
Working remotely has opened up opportunities for companies to hire new employees wherever they are, instead of location being a major factor, they said. Work is no longer tied to where we are physically, Atkinson said. “Everyone has a seat at this virtual table now. Because we are remote, you have more access versus less access to senior leaders and to opportunities that you may not have had,” Atkinson added.
People no longer have to leave their communities and homes to come work for a new company, she said. As for Dell, the company is using the remote opportunity to hire under-represented populations, such as women and minorities. The company has even launched a new effort to hire people on the autism spectrum to add to the talent pool. 
The playing field has been leveled for everyone, Sharifan said. One of Slack’s first moves amid the pandemic was to make all current and open positions remote. The company hired several hundred people during the pandemic who have never been into the office. 
With most people working from home, companies have been forced to think about the actual deliverables and skills needed for a job, as opposed to the amount of time spent in the office, Sharifan said.
“It’s less about butt and feet time,” she said. “You’re allowing more space for the moms and dads of the world that also need to be with their kids and don’t need to be seen in the office until 6 or 7 pm at night.”
Making sure employees have the ability to take care of themselves while working has also been key to success during the pandemic, the panelists said.
“Put on your own oxygen mask and take care of yourself,” Sharifan said. “It’s more important than ever for us to be thinking of the entire employee.”Join the conversation about this story »

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