There were many heroes in 2020 – front line workers, first responders, doctors, nurses, scientists, paramedics, grocery store staff. We are indebted to them all. Around the globe we recognized these heroes by standing at our front doors or on balconies to cheer, clap, bang pots, play bagpipes, even sing operas. Despite being physically in lockdown, collectively we came together to express our appreciation.
However, there is another hero who was less recognized yet without whom we would not have functioned. The Information Technology (IT) guy/gal.
Overnight IT departments at businesses, schools, hospitals, and retail establishments received emergency mandates to set-up remote working, online learning, and extended medical networks, to support new business models like curbside pickup. While the supporting technologies may have existed, IT was on the front line to make it happen, to deploy technologies and extend networks on a scale never seen before. The digital acceleration of 2020 was made possible by IT.
Let’s face it, IT rarely gets the recognition it deserves. They never receive calls to their support desks saying, “I want to let you know how great my Wi-Fi is”. They get called when things go wrong – my PC can’t connect, the connection is slow, this application is down, my device needs repairing.
And yet if we learnt anything from 2020, it is just how important the network is; it is the lifeline of an organization. And IT is the caretaker of that network. The one who deploys it, maintains it, secures it. The invaluable person behind the scenes who keeps the network chugging along, ensuring we all stay connected.
So, to all the people in IT departments who:
Thank-you! You are my unsung hero of 2020.