Tuesday, 7. May 2013
Congratulations to GM, Ford, Chrysler and MCWT for creating a wonderful program that was both informative and entertaining. It seems like it has been years since the auto industry CIOs have been together on stage at an event like this, and their message clearly demonstrated that autos have turned the corner. The joint message from GM, Ford and Chrysler was “we’re hiring IT professionals in southeastern Michigan”. Good news for every IT organization in the region.
In some small way, the entire southeastern Michigan supplier community breathed a collective sigh of relief knowing that with the new employees will come the need for additional hardware, software, network services, training and other professional support that is the lifeblood of IT suppliers. Those of us with more than a couple of grey hairs know that the departure of Kmart, Handleman, FTD and other large IT organizations from southeast Michigan combined with the consolidation of regional banks has taken its toll on the local IT markets. Whether it is employees looking for new career opportunities or salespeople looking for customers, the shrinking base of IT in southeast Michigan was bad for everyone.
News of the Big Three hiring IT professionals is an important bellwether for IT in southeastern Michigan. It provides a key message for college graduates, mid-career and late-career IT professionals: southeastern Michigan provides tremendous opportunities for IT professionals at all levels of the organization and for various IT positions, including hands-on development, management and sales-related careers.
As a member of the supplier community and one of Compuware’s 4,100 employees based at its headquarters in Detroit, I congratulate GM, Ford and Chrysler for their plans to hire IT professionals in southeast Michigan. The benefits to the region will help every IT supplier doing business here and every IT professional building a career here. I hope that other organizations recognize this bellwether and continue to invest in IT initiatives within southeastern Michigan.
Congratulations to MCWT for sponsoring this wonderful event. While MCWT’s mission is to make Michigan the number one state for women in technology, it recognizes that increasing the percentage of women in a smaller workforce doesn’t equate to the desired effect. Increasing the number of IT opportunities in Michigan combined with increasing the percentage of women represented is the right formula to produce the desired result.
Stephen Surhigh is a regional vice president at Compuware. He has over 20 years of operations, sales and management consulting experience. Throughout his career, Surhigh has served on various governance boards and strategic and operational committees for private and not-for-profit organizations in Michigan. He currently holds a position on the advisory board for MCWT.