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IT-enabled business transformation and computer education

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This is a timely and important topic and requires some serious discussions among academia, business, and government. IT has been a major enabler for changes taking place in corporations, governments, and societies. Computer Science programs have been a major source for training IT professionals. Now the question is if those programs have been adapting their colloquiums and management systems to train new types of skills needed in this dynamic and flat world.

For example, let’s take a look at how corporations have been evolving structurally, operationally, and culturally in the last few decades. Through expansion, consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions, corporations have been transforming into globally integrated enterprises with an increasing demand for innovation, integration, and standardization in a world which is rapidly becoming boundaryless and flat. They have been on an IT-enabled transformation journey. The shortage of skills in a number of new areas has been one of their major challenges to shift into this new business model. This is not only an issue for large corporations. Small and medium size businesses have been suffering too. More than ever, those corporations need IT professionals who

- are system thinkers, have T-Shaped skills, know how to identify problems & solve them with right balance of technology, process, governance, & culture
- can collaborate and communicate with others from different cultures with different languages, in distant places, and different time zones
- can work in a service-based economy where the demands for integration, standardization, outsourcing, reuse, buying instead of building, and virtualization are increasing
- can communicate technical topics with non-technical people
- are aware of advancements in other disciplines and can adopt them as needed
- can innovate purposefully and systematically

Mastering in above skills requires many years of real-world experience and possibly some gray hairs too! But computer science programs need to be aware of the new demands and adapt their colloquiums, policies, and management systems to provide the right education and training aggressively and with a sense of urgency.

Students have already started asking for these changes. I am an adjunct faculty. I am usually asked by students what types of skills are needed in the real-world.