r In an IT shop everyone knows who the “experts” are. They are the first ones called in to design new services and the last ones called in when everything is broken. One may even call them the superheroes of IT. In our industry, an expert in a particular area of IT is often called a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Every company has its own SME program. Sometimes they are informal and in other companies they are formally organized. Within Intel IT we have a formally organized IT SME program that spans the world. I am the program manager for the IT@Intel SME program. As I talk with other companies, I know some are considering setting up their own IT SME programs and they sometimes ask me why we formalized our experts into a program.
It is pretty clear as to why an IT shop needs experts but exactly what are the benefits of an IT SME program?
With an organized IT SME program it is much easier to identify and find the right expert when you need them. I train and organize our SMEs to leverage their capabilities across our organization.
An IT SME program connects experts across departmental and geographic boundaries and, in effect, flattens the organization. This allows the IT group to respond quicker to customer needs.
As IT SMEs share their knowledge through mentoring and training their peers they increase the overall delivery capability of the organization. We are always finding new SMEs with unique areas of expertise to add the program.
For about ten years Intel IT has had a formal SME program with hundreds of identified experts distributed across a couple of dozen major technology and business domains of Intel IT. The demand for our experts is high. It’s exciting to be able to support our customers and content sites by matching experts to the needs of the business. Connecting experts across Intel IT is a great job because it provides me with exposure and insight into almost every aspect of IT.
If you have a formal IT SME program, let me know what you see as benefits. And if you are considering, what other questions do you have?