2 things I wish I had known sooner in my IT career

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Editor's Note: The Enterprisers Project asked Houston Ross, COO and Board Member for Czech Republic and Slovakia at NN Life Insurance Company, to share what he wished he had known earlier in his career. 

One thing I wish I’d known sooner in my IT career is the amount and frequency of communication, and the different levels of communication, that you have to do. And I mean continuous communication – the same way a politician works.

Before I took my first big IT role, I knew I had to articulate a strategy and a mission, but I didn’t realize how important it was to communicate successes constantly. If you don’t, you’ll run into situations where audiences in your company will say, "We would love to have this or that." And if you haven’t communicated about it, you have to step up and say, "But that was deployed three or four months ago. And in fact, this very department is using it." You just can’t assume that people know. Sometimes I feel the need for a communications person just for IT. People really need to know that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.

The second thing that keeps coming to the fore as something I wish I’d known more about sooner is security. We used to think of it in the same way we think of business continuity planning – it’s only at the front of your mind when you’ve got some kind of disaster. But as IT moves more and more to the front office and we try to enable the Internet of Things, we need to think about security and privacy constantly.

Houston Ross is Chief Operations Officer and Board Member for Czech Republic and Slovakia (formerly of Japan) at NN pojišťovna a penzijní společnost at NN Life Insurance, Ltd. Houston brings more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry with senior-level roles in insurance operations, investment banking and securities sectors.

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