Archive for June, 2011

What Motivates IT Professionals?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

In a 2010 study by Harvard Business Review, it was referenced that the number one motivator of IT professionals was progress.  According to the report, “when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are most positive”.

In several other studies I’ve read, the number one motivator was recognition for a job well done.  I’m still a believer that if you make a lot of progress, you’ll receive the recognition for a job well done.  So, personally, I like to focus on things that can help me make a lot of progress that can be seen on a daily basis.

The other factor I’ve heard from IT professionals over the years is that they want to work on new and interesting things so they can be challenged, learn more, and make them more well-rounded.

Personally, the thing that is universally important to everyone is time.  We all have a limited amount of time in our lives – whether it’s enough time to get our jobs done, spend with our families, relaxing, or doing things we like to do.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Overall, it sounds like a simple question – “what motivates IT professionals?”  While there are common desired objectives for different roles within IT, individual motivation factors often differ and are sometimes inconsistent with corporate objectives.  Quite often compensation incentives, perspective, and responsibilities drive different factors in achieving objectives for IT professionals.

Since so many stakeholders are involved with selection of software and/or development partners, this makes it challenging for IT providers to create offerings that are a “win/win” – because they often really need to be “win/win/win/win/win…”


FAST 8x Provides Something for Everyone

At FAST, we set out to help companies deal with legacy problems and expand their business capabilities while getting themselves into the right technical architecture in a cost effective, more predictable manner.  This is great for the bottom line and future of the company; however, we also want our involvement to benefit all of the individual stakeholders.  We want to create that “win/win/win/win/win…”

FAST 8x is our high performance software development automation engine.  It helps clients build individual components which can be deployed as standalone applications or as part of business process SOA architecture.
This platform brings something to the table for everyone.  In addition to helping companies, the unique capabilities of FAST 8x better allow individuals to meet their personal and professional goals. Let’s take a look a few roles within a company to see how they could potentially benefit:


Role Benefits
Java / C# Programmers
  • Improve efficiency and freeing up time
  • Able to work on more interesting differentiated code rather than dealing with monotonous areas of development
  • Full access to the code with no dependencies on 3rd party vendor applications
  • Have good, accurate, up-to-date documentation to work with
  • More time for learning


COBOL, C/C++, RPG, Assembly or Other Programmers
  • Quickly learn C# or Java
  • Leverage domain/business skills and be highly relevant
  • Spend more time building and less time maintaining


Application Development Management

  • Reduce risk on projects
  • Help keep developers happy because they’re working on modern technology and focusing on more interesting development
  • Alternative for, or improvement in quality from off-shore teams
  • Snaps into, or helps facilitate transition to AGILE development


Technical Architects
  • Promote and educate SOA to the rest of IT and business
  • Set coding standards that will be consistent across the board
  • Creates flexibility for the unknown future and reduces constraints when technology shifts – allowing for focus on future, not past
  • Provides technology choices for core platform, business rules, business process tools, database, and infrastructure


CIO / Overall IT
  • Provide alternative solutions to legacy system challenges
  • Better predictability
  • Provide more to business for less/same budget
  • Can scale organization without having to rely on “expert model”
  • Less tied to industry specific vendors
  • Better manage change in business priorities


Business Area Management
  • See development results more quickly (for iteration)
  • Get more features and functions
  • Allows business to participate in development, providing direct input and visibility
  • Allows SMEs to focus on business needs and differentiators rather than testing software
  • Agility, without major constraints for their business areas


I believe that projects and organizations can be most successful when everyone’s objectives are in alignment.  I think creating an environment where people can be highly productive will help them feel more productive, focus on more interesting work, get the recognition they deserve, and give them more of one of the most valuable commodities – time.


Tom Famularo