IT leadership faces new pressure in late 2013 – Hot Tech Online

IT leadership faces new pressure in late 2013

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As the global economy pushes into
late 2013, businesses are doing everything they can to get a leg up on the
competition and close out the calendar year legitimately. The interesting thing
about modern business is that we’ve progressed as a society to a point where
it’s not about what technology is present within a business, but rather how
it’s deployed and utilized.

 Most
competitive businesses have ingredients like fiber optic internet, state of the
art batch processing software and even BYOD options. It’s not a question
anymore to wonder whether a market leader has refreshed their technology, but
instead it boils down to how that company gets creative with those devices,
systems and applications.

This
situation, while admittedly a touch obvious, has a ripple effect. One area
specifically impacted involves information technology, particularly IT
departments within businesses. Back in the 1990s and very early 2000s, the IT
department of a business was isolated. The unit was called to fix things like phone
lines, network connections or computer software. These are the roots of the IT
industry, and while they are still planted deeply in a tech department’s
responsibility, the roles of both the profession and the employees within that
profession have diversified to the point of a revolution.

More is
expected of IT right now, and the IT manager or CIO handles the brunt of that
responsibility. Below are a few ways that the role of the office leader has
evolved, and what the transition means for the man or woman running the IT
show.

Business strategy analytics

Many businesses that are thriving
in the modern marketplace have increased the way that the IT department
influences and interacts with front line business strategy. For instance,
rather than having an IT department sit back and wait for something to break
down within the company’s technology, the tech employees are actively involved
with day-to-day business strategies. Whether it’s sitting in on meetings or
actively engaging with other departments, it’s happening.

This is a larger responsibility
for the manager because they are required to be multidisciplinary in their
approach. It’s common nowadays for an IT manager to be in on executive
meetings, discussing things like how data processing is affecting product
delivery at the beginning of the week. The reason is that with customer demands
at an all-time high, it’s no longer adequate to get the package to a client’s
door. It needs to get there quickly, and be tracked in real time over the
internet the whole way.

The demand for effectively used
technology is what separates the modern economy from the recent past. IT
managers must have an analytical mindset, and be willing to integrate it into
his or her everyday routine. This directly influences the way that every member
of an IT team impacts a business model. This helps businesses compete and get
traction in a slippery economy.

Multidimensional employee organization

As IT
managers find their department more involved vertically and horizontally within
a business model, the inherent need to reorganize employees comes to light. In
the recent past, IT departments seemed to have an employee base based around
unrelated roles and personalities. The systems administrator would do his work
and the data modeler would do her work. The system was that simple. This
one-track focus isn’t sufficient anymore as the competition demands that a
company moves forward as one, interchanging its parts to ride the current wave.

IT
managers have to not only hire employees with a diverse skillset, but organize
their teams in a way that allows for immediate transition throughout a company
depending on current need.

Make no doubt about it; this is a positive transition for
the IT industry. Very positive. The minds and talents that are housed in IT
departments around the world are unbelievable. Increased involvement beyond
routine data and communication maintenance is good for everyone, including the
employees. Everyone wants to contribute, and that’s the situation that many in
the profession find themselves in right now. If they don’t, they probably will
soon.

Our world is a swirling sphere of
people, ideas and developments. Our international economy has literally
ballooned to all corners of the planet, and it’s largely due to technological
advancements never imagined 20 or 30 years ago. For IT departments, this isn’t
the end, but the beginning. More capable technology will always need human
oversight to meet maximum efficiency, and that’s just a given based on the fact
that our market is operated and wavered by human activity. IT leadership is at
the forefront of this transformation.

Adam Kinsey writes for Silicus, a software outsourcing company.

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