As an IT manager, you oversee the operation of an entire department. As a result, you often have to identify priorities, allocate limited resources, and determine which projects result in the greatest benefit. In order to do that, you need to be able to think strategically.
Strategic thinking involves being able to look at the landscape before you and determine which steps are not just best for the department, but the company as a goal. Additionally, it combines being aware of the present with the ability to consider the future, ensuring decisions move the organization in the best direction possible without neglecting current needs.
Managers spend a surprising amount of time negotiating. On the employee level, they may need to discuss fair compensation, a topic that can result in a lot of back and forth. From a business perspective, vendor contract management, licensing agreements, and similar activities also rely heavily on negotiation capabilities.
Plus, IT managers have to negotiate with upper management as well. They may need to convince others that they need additional funding or support, and that requires skills in this area, as well.
While IT managers might not be responsible for certain high-level decisions, when it comes to the team-level, they are. They need to be able to examine a situation, consider possible approaches, evaluate any potential risks, and sign off on a direction. This can be a complex process, requiring additional traits like technical understanding, confidence, and analytical thinking. However, without it, nearly any IT manager would struggle.
Technology changes quickly, and so do company priorities. IT managers need to be able to do more than roll with the punches; they must have the ability to embrace change, adjust their course, and adapt to the ever-evolving needs of the organization.
At times, this also means being willing to “get their hands dirty.” When the situation needs immediate attention, IT managers need to be open to jumping into the trenches with their team, ensuring objectives can be met.
IT managers have to use their time wisely. Not only do they need to be adept at overseeing their schedule, but they also need to be skilled at remaining engaged, estimating timetables, and knowing how much time needs to be allocated. That way, they can plan effectively, increasing the odds that they, and their team, will excel.
Push Your Career Forward with The Armada Group
If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to be a great IT manager, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today and see how our job knowledge can benefit you.