Have you ever given any thought to what it takes to be a really good IT manager? I mean sure, you got the job, but let’s take a step back for just a moment. Assuming that your company wasn’t just trying to fill an open position and you just happened to be available, what are the business IT manager skills that are needed in order to be an effective IT manager?
Basic IT Manager Skills
A good question to start our discussion off is just exactly what makes a skill a “basic business” skill? Did you ever get any IT manager training on this stuff? Look, I understand that you became an IT manager because of your love of technology. However, in the real world you need to remember that you work for a larger organization.
What this means is that you need to have some basic business skills. The ability to be aware of what the company needs to do in order to create and deliver products will be key to ensuring that you are a successful IT manager. This is the knowledge that you can use as you go about doing your IT tasks.
The following 5 basic business skills are the ones that every IT manager needs to make sure that they have and that they are working to improve:
- Product Marketing: The success of the company’s current products requires constant feedback from the IT department on how the products are doing. Additionally, the use of analytics to show the company what new features customers are looking for is a key product marketing service that an IT manager’s team can provide.
- Direct Marketing: How a product is presented to new customers often comes based on what they’ve been able to find out about the company and the product online. An IT manager is ideally suited to managing the presentation of this information and going out and collecting information about the product that is located in different places on the web.
- Market Research: Market research can take on many different forms. More often than not, the challenge is not having too little data, but rather having too much data. An IT manager can help the rest of the company out by providing a place to store the market research that has been collected. Additionally, it’s the job of IT to provide the rest of the company with the tools that they’re going to need in order to process the data and turn it into actionable intelligence.
- Telemarketing: How are your phone skills? As an IT manager, you need to know enough about the company’s products that you can discuss them with other people. More often than not, IT can play an important role in convincing a potential customer to make a purchase. The questions that you’ll be answering may have to do with product delivery, issue tracking, etc. No matter, it’s how you come across over the phone that may determine if the company is able to close the deal.
- Promotions: Every company is trying to make their products stand out. It’s the role of IT to help make this happen. When the company launches a promotion, they need to get the word out about their offer. An IT manager can help make this happen via all of the Internet and social media tools that are now available.
What All Of This Means For You
Technology and how to use it to help your company do more is an important part of any IT manager’s job. However, there also needs to be a realization that you are a part of a business and that means that you also need to have a set of business skills in order to be successful in your job. Using these business skills can allow you to do IT team building that can involve how you work with the rest of the company.
Although you are not responsible for deciding what products the company will create, you do have an information gathering role to play. No matter if it relates to product or direct marketing, market research, or even telemarketing you have to have the skills to collect and pass on important information to the rest of the company.
An IT manager is in a unique role within the company. You have access to insights and information that very few other people get to see. You need to apply your business skills to what you do and find ways the company to do more, and do it quicker!
- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: What relationships are needed in order for an IT manager to full use his or her business skills?
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
The era of big data has arrived. IT Managers everywhere are swimming in a sea of data and only now are they starting to get the tools, the IT manager skills, and the IT manager training that will allow them to make sense of what they have. It turns out that there is another problem that has arrived at the same time and right now there is not a clear answer to how best to deal with it: how to back up all of that data.