Hewlett-Packard has created a certification, focused on skills needed to implement cross-department IT initiatives, as a way to achieve business goals. It’s another indication that technology departments — and technology staffers — are being incorporated into business units as opposed to being operations unto themselves. The Accredited Technical Associate-IT for Business certification (ATA-IT) will provide coursework and practical experience on business-driven technology initiatives.
Last fall’s Business Intelligence Congress called for more real-world experiences in college curricula to prepare students for careers in business intelligence and business analytics. HP cited students’ need for more technology insight in announcing the credential.
Though not yet privy to the details of the certification, Barbara Wixom, associate professor of commerce at the University of Virginia, said it could be of great value to BI and business analytics students if it provides experience that’s based in reality.
One example of this melding of tech and business is the increasing “cross-pollination” of It and Marketing, says retail analyst Jerry Sheldon of researcher IHL Consulting Group. “As marketing is around more social media and things more tied to IT… we’re seeing marketing having more and more influence over IT spend itself,” he explains. “You really need people who understand how the business operates and the interactivity between these cross-functional teams.”
In its predictions for 2013, market analysis firm IDC said that 50 percent of new hires in Marketing will have technical backgrounds to support data analytics.
Delivered through the HP Institute and the Certiport network of testing centers, the certification will be available to students at a number of universities. HP developed the course content, which is not product-specific, by drawing on the expertise of chief information officers, information security professionals and educators.
The course covers how to enhance performance with new technologies, financial models for IT services used by business, and how to quantify the business impact of that technology.
Teachers and schools can register for the HP Institute’s preview program at www.certiport.com/HPBusiness. It’s available in English, but will be translated into other languages later this year. More details will be released in June.