The Changing Role of an IT Manager
In years gone past the job role of an IT Manager was very much centered on the hardware, software and smooth running of their company’s network. In other words infrastructure focused. There is still the huge challenge of keeping up-to-date with the latest technology; but today IT Managers face additional challenges that require them to engage on a different level with their colleagues outside of the IT department.
The IT Manager must be aware of the Business Strategy in order to align the IT Strategy and forward planning of the infrastructure. New business skills may be required including people management and negotiating budgets.
With large volumes of data being processed electronically this can potentially have an effect on the performance of a network. The IT manager needs to make employees aware of how the data they capture is to be used and encourage them to process it accurately. Buy in will be achieved when staff appreciate how the speed and depth of information from reports will make their jobs easier.
Return on IT Investment
With budgets tight, there are ways in which the IT Manager can get more for their money out of current systems. There is evidence that systems are only used to 30% capacity. This means that there is room for improvement with very little cost.
Understanding the issues that employees have with the way they use their systems can very often be resolved by demonstrating existing features that were unknown to the user.
Departments working in silos restrict the flow of information around an organization. Integrating systems and allowing the sharing of information need not be a costly exercise and allows the business as a whole to function more profitably.
The more information that is being accessed and processed, the higher the data security risk is to the business. The IT Manager’s role must now include educating employees to the implications of a breach of security and explaining what procedures are in place to avoid these risks.
What’s the role of your Outsourced IT Supplier?
Just as the role of the IT Manager has changed so too has that of the Outsourced IT Supplier. If questions are not asked about the business and IT strategy, alarm bells should be ringing. If the IT Supplier is not coming up with solutions to reduce the running costs of your IT department, move to the next one. If the IT Supplier is not looking to create a long term partnership, strike them off the list.
One size does not fit all. Every business‘s IT requirements are different. This means that the IT Supplier must be flexible and have the ability to work with the client either as an extension to their IT Department or as their outsourced IT Department.