Today, Information Technology is not just about the technology – it’s about understanding the business and what drives it forward. While senior BD professionals talk to the client CIOs and CTOs, you interact with the client’s IT team on an ongoing basis. This is why, an IT professional needs domain competency to provide effective solutions.
Clients are not looking for a low cost IT shop anymore! They are looking for IT partners, who can understand and solve their business problems. Therefore IT companies, in turn, are paying much more importance to building teams, with better business domain knowledge, those who can speak in the client’s language, ask relevant questions, and understand the project goals well. The technical knowledge, combined with an understanding of the business domain, makes an IT professional, a well-rounded employee.
Suppose, you are working for a Banking project. The client’s IT team says “As this module connects to an RTGS settlement module, real-time General Ledger updates are a must”. If you don’t understand this, what are you going to do? This is why, an IT professional needs domain competency in order to grow in their career.
So, what kind of domain knowledge must you build? –
So, an IT porfessional needs domain competency in which fields? Obviously, that depends on which industries Indian IT typically gets business from. Here is a list of important domains for IT professionals, in descending order of their revenue contribution to the IT sector:
- Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI)
You see that BFSI comes first. That’s because the Banking and Finance industry contributes 30-40% of an IT company’s revenues! So this THE best place to start. The other big advantage is, if you are planning an MBA, this domain knowledge will really help – that’s not true of the other domains.
Right..but how to build the required domain knowledge?
Look at the business goal of the project –
Sitting at your desk and writing code in isolation is not a great idea, in the current business scenario. First, try and understand what this project is trying to achieve. Do some reading on what you don’t understand, in every team meeting you have with clients, take notes of business terms, and look up the terms you don’t understand.
This will help you understand the scope of the project better all the while enhancing your domain knowledge.
Do a good certification course –
This is very effective, as it not only reflects in your knowledge and performance but you also gain a certification for your CV. For instance, if your client is in retail domain, a certification in Manhattan Inventory Optimization tool or any BI tool will be very useful.Similarly, if your client is in BFSI (which is the highest revenue generator for most IT companies), get a certification that is good from an international perspective.
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) along with FLIP, offers 3 such programs:
You can take up these certifications based on the projects you’re working on or the clients you’re curently providing solutions to.
If you’re looking to go for such a certification, here is a guide to the ‘Best certification courses in Banking and Finance, for IT Professionals’.
If you have any suggestions on enahncing your domain expertise in the BFSI or other domains, do let us know in the comments below.