The role of IT managers has changed dramatically over the past few years. With increased standardization and commoditization of core IT services, there is an increased demand from management for tangible strategic and tactical value from IT initiatives.
Most IT managers also see themselves at the center of a radically reshaping business landscape and believe their unique end-to-end view of business allows them to see firsthand the role of technology as an enabler and source of competitive advantage. As a result, they yearn for a greater voice in capitalizing on that opportunity.
With IT playing such a critical role in most organizations, how can you tell if your IT management is on the right track? Here are four common qualities among high-performing IT managers.
- They have a strategic focus. Successful IT managers understand their organization’s strategic focus and participate in shaping that strategy. These managers have the ability to think outside the box, not get stuck in the weeds, and are able to architect solutions that leverage IT as a source of competitive advantage for their organizations. They also have the ability to successfully translate strategy into a tactical set of priorities and are agile enough to change course as needed based on changing business realities.
- They are technologically savvy. Staying on top of the latest changes in technology and your industry is important. As IT systems are evolving, successful managers participate in webinars and industry conferences to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. It is not possible to make effective IT decisions for the organization without being knowledgeable about the latest developments and without access to a professional networking ecosystem that can be tapped for expert advice.
- They pay attention to details. IT systems have become more complex and, as such, require a high level of attention to detail with respect to proper planning and execution of projects. Failing to have a highly disciplined project management and process-excellence approach will result in unmet user expectations, system failures, downtimes, and reduced confidence in the IT function.
- They have leadership abilities. Successful IT managers are able to lead their organizations through the rough seas of technological innovation, bring teams together, and keep them motivated to achieve desired results. These managers possess effective communication and collaboration skills and are able to work alongside other managers to implement change within their organizations.
Managing the IT function is not only a highly rewarding career for IT professionals, it is also increasingly becoming a highly critical management need for most organizations. Without the right talent navigating the IT ship, organizations will not be able to harness the power of technology to maintain their competitive advantage.
Sassan S. Hejazi can be reached at Email or 215.441.4600.