ICT Skillnet: MSc Leadership Innovation and Technology

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Linking leadership and innovation in technology, careers in global business services and new network engineers



13 December 2018 | 0


MSc Leadership Innovation & Technology

Linking leadership and innovation in technology

The link between leadership and innovation is well known, but less well understood is how leaders at every level can build and sustain innovation within an organisation. What helps leaders be innovative and how does good leadership foster innovation? What most distinguishes innovation leadership, suggests Harvard Business School Professor Linda Hill, is recognition that innovation is a “team sport”, not the act of a sole inventor.

“Truly innovative groups are consistently able to elicit and then combine members’ separate slices of genius into a single work of collective genius.” Or, as Hill puts it in her book title “Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation”, “conventional leadership won’t get you to innovation,” and we could add that a strong innovative culture does not, of itself, create good leaders.”

This MSc is targeted where leadership and innovation within a technology driven enterprise meet, interact, co-exist and serve to co-create value for the organisation. The programme gives participants the tools and techniques that will allow them to connect these two dynamic and decisive business elements.

It is grounded in the integration of personal, professional and organisational development. It addresses key themes in leadership, organisational behaviour, strategy, innovation, personal awareness, change management, emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship, creativity and critical thinking.

Participants have said of their experience:

  • “You learn the theory but also the skills of organising, analysis, interpretation, and communication”
  • “You become immersed in current management practice”
  • “You get an integrated view of innovation in different operating contexts”

The Level 9 Masters’ Degree was developed by the DIT’s College of Business in partnership with Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, and is delivered part-time over two years mostly through live streamed lectures online with additional face-to-face and online workshops and tutorials.

Companies involved to date include: Amazon, Anthony Nicholas Group, Citi, Fujitsu, IBM, LM Ericsson, McCabe Pharmacy Group, Mozobi, Novartis, Optum, Sunbeam House Services, Tableau Software, TerabIT, Three Ireland, WhatBox.

The programme is highly practice focused and concentrates on the personal and professional development of the participants by honing their analytical, conceptual and critical thinking skills; developing personal, consultancy and research competencies; and building a detailed understanding of the tools, methodologies and frameworks to support advanced management capability.

Programme Structure: Delivered in two-phases, the first includes a suite of six modules (detailed below) addressing key development areas for leaders and entrepreneurial professionals in tech enabled companies. The second phase working on an applied and structured project.

Modules: Innovation Management & Creativity, Problem Solving & Critical Thinking, Personality & Leadership, Strategy Tools for Competitive Positioning, Strategic Management of Technology & Innovation, Team Leadership and Change Management.

The next course starts in April 2019 – for more information: info@ictskillnet.ie


Career pathway in Global Business Services

Revolution in the back office

A revolution is taking place in what used to be called the back-office. Shared service centres, traditionally supporting middle and back office operations encompassing Finance, HR, Procurement and IT have widely been utilised by companies of different sizes and sectors. The old shared service centre model is evolving from a standalone functional transaction model to a strategic value model.

These centres support multiple functions and a new generation of global business services (GBS) are taking shape. The aim is to create an integrated business services model, focused on improved customer outcomes, delivering higher-value, enterprise-wide services that are consistent, of high quality and cost competitive.

New digital capabilities including cloud computing, robotic process automation (RPA), analytics, machine learning, and blockchain are transforming the infrastructure that underpins these services. Some are concerned these technologies will replace workers but companies are keen to retain trusted employees and promote re-skilling and up-skilling to exploit the new technologies.

At the same time, a generation of employees now entering the workforce is full of new ideas, hungry for more collaborative and agile workplaces, and also keen to gain appropriate training and certification. Responding to this demand, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet with DIT, the Hackett Institute, the IDA and the American Chamber of Commerce has created a globally unique GBS Skills Career Pathway which started last September with more than 60 participants.

This is the first fully accredited, third-level education programme of its kind anywhere in the world, specifically geared to staff in GBS and shared services centres. This professional career pathway offers four integrated and certified higher education courses at Level 8 and 9 leading to a MSc in Global Business Services.

The courses are delivered part-time, primarily online with face-to-face workshops. A key feature is no formal exams, and the learning can be applied immediately in the workplace ensuring maximum value for the participant and the company.

GBS is a significant employer in Ireland with over 200 GBS sites and some 45,000 employees.

The next intake starts in February 2019 – for more information please email gbs@ictskillnet.ie

New network engineers 

Companies find it hard to fill vacancies for network engineers in traditional networking, configuration, administration and security, as well as data centre and cloud-based disciplines. Direct recruitment from graduates and the labour market are unable to keep up with demand and are increasingly costly and time consuming.

Learn + Work is a pioneering programme in Network Technologies by the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) that fills the knowledge gap to provide a steady pipeline of highly motivated, committed, skilled and work-ready candidates that are fully qualified and work ready.

Companies select participants from a pool of candidates supplied by ITB and commit to the 2-year programme by agreeing to provide them with 8 months work experience each year. In each of the two years the participants do 4 months of full-time study in ITB and then return to work for 8 months with one day each week back in College. At the end of (or at any time during) the 2 years companies can offer the participants a job but there is no obligation to do so.

Designed in collaboration with Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, this 2-year programme offers companies the opportunity to hire and mentor a student with in-demand skills.

Bernard Hickey, operations and service delivery manager, Damovo, the ICT solutions and services provider, has identified the Learn + Work programme “as a perfect fit to enable us to develop the right competence and skills. In partnership with ITB, Damovo are confident that the trainees will achieve the required skills to quickly become valuable and productive members of the Operations team.”

Course content: Computer Systems Infrastructure, Business Communications, Routing and Switching Essentials, Systems Administration, Scaling and Connecting Networks, Network Security, Virtualisation, Server Administration, and Mathematics for Computing.

What makes this course different is the commitment to achieve industry certifications, including:  CompTIA A+; CompTIA Security+; Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician; Cisco Certified Networking Associate; Microsoft Certified Systems Expert (MCSE); Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS); Linux Professional Institute (LPIC – 1); VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA – Cloud).

Typical participants are jobseekers without a primary degree but usually with some experience/knowledge of computers or electronics. Many have a background in electrical or technical work with an interest in making the transition to the ICT sector.

“A new recruit needs to possess excellent communication skills,” said Patrick Cotter, CEO, Fleetconnect, “be adept at solving problems, take ownership of their job and be able to react to situations swiftly and confidently. This is why we joined ITB’s Learn + Work programme. We believe it’s a win-win situation because students get the opportunity to grow, learn and build a portfolio, while we get to avail of the best staff in the business.”

The next group of students will go into companies in January 2019 so if you have places to offer contact Mark Keyes, Industry Training Co-ordinator at mark.keyes@itb.ie or (01) 885 1035


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