How Technology Is Reshaping The Job Of IT Managers

Technology is changing how we do everything
Technology is changing how we do everything
Image Credit:
Eduardo Arcos

Something odd is going on. Right now, at companies everywhere, more and more firms are in the process of adopting brand new technologies such as cloud, mobile, and processing of big data. More and more these firms in many different fields are starting to look more and more like those flashy startup firms out in Silicon Valley. These firms’ adoption of the latest and greatest in new technology means that they are fundamentally changing how their companies are being run and we may not have the IT manager skills needed to deal with this kind of change. This is radically changing how these firms look – now they are starting to look like those internet ventures.

Changes To The Way That Companies Are Organized

As I’m pretty sure that we are all well aware of, in most companies each department pretty much exists on an island by itself. This has never been good and every company at one time or another has tried to get the various departments to work together. With the arrival of new IT data driven tools what we are seeing happen is that the barriers are being broken down between each of these islands. The result of this is that management structures are being flattened out. Production processes are being streamlined by the new data that has become available. The end result of these changes is that at many firms, the leadership roles are being redrawn and responsibilities are being redistributed. Is there any IT manager training for how we are supposed to deal with all of this change?

As a firm transitions from what it was, using a more traditional business model, to what it can be, a firm that is built around IT and technology, they are going to have to make changes. Specifically, what they are going to have to do is to adopt management practices that will permit them to support the evolution that they are undergoing. Technology experts who used to be distributed throughout the company can be used to fill senior leadership roles in both the business and product units.

Using customer data, throughout the company agile management techniques can be used in order to deliver shorter and more frequent development cycles. Firms need to learn how to move away from top-down directives. Instead, they need to have IT managers help their teams to leverage company data. What they are going to want to do is to use sharing tools and feedback loops in order to work to get IT products and projects completed as quickly as possible.

Changes To The Way That Companies Are Run

As you might expect, as more and more companies start to incorporate new technology this is starting to have an impact on how these companies are being run. One of the biggest changes that these companies are seeing is where their IT applications are being run. More and more of them are finding their way into both the public and private cloud. The result of this is that sharing and collaboration tools are now being powered by the company’s new digital capabilities. This is bringing sales, business, and even the IT departments together unlike anything in the past ever did.

These changes are having a big impact on the role of IT managers. What is happening is that the IT managers who oversee teams are finding themselves now moving away from dictating what their teams need to be doing. Instead, now they end up acting more like coaches who tell their teams to get the work that has been assigned to them done on their own.

The result of the changes that companies are making in the way that they are being run is that layers of approval are being cut out. This is resulting in teams being provided with the space that they need in order to work faster, change course based on end user feedback, or perhaps even “fail faster” and end up starting all over again. Most companies agree that once the use of digital technology reaches a certain stage, just about every company is going to find itself having to reorganize.

What All Of This Means For You

The one thing that I believe that we can all agree on is that the world in which we live is constantly changing. More and more companies are in the process of discovering just exactly what new technologies such as cloud, mobile, and processing of big data can do for them. As they start to use these new technologies, what is happening is that how the company is both organized and run is starting to be changed. This is going to end up impacting you, your teams, and how you go about doing IT team building.

The organization of companies that start to use new technology is being changed in such that departments that never used to work together are now starting to collaborate and use the new data tools. The way that teams are being managed is also changing from a top-down approach to more of a coaching approach. The new tools that use customer data are allowing different parts of the company to deliver shorter and more frequent development cycles. As more and more departments start to work together, IT managers are starting to assign work to their teams and then allow them to get it done on their own. Companies are streamlining their organization and improving how things get done.

The arrival of both more data and the tools with which to work with it are having a profound impact on companies in many different markets. IT managers need to be aware that these changes are happening and then we need to take steps to use the new tools and data to change how we are managing our teams. I think that we can all agree that change is good, now we just need to figure out how to make the most of it…!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to get your IT team work more closely with the other departments who need the customer data that you have?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Oh, oh, you’ve just discovered that you are now working for a demanding boss. More and more often despite your IT manager skills, you are finding yourself in a no-win situation. Your boss is assigning you projects that have due dates that are way too short. Or else your new boss is always trying to get in touch with you via email, text messages, or phone calls even when it’s late at night. Just exactly what you going to do about this: do you complain and allow yourself to be seen as a roadblock or do you go along with it and screw up your personal life? There is no IT manager training for how to deal with this situation.

Any time that we have an opening on our team, it becomes the responsibility of the IT manager to use our IT manager skills to evaluate candidates and pick the right one. However, it turns out that this can be much harder than it looks. Many candidates look fine during the interview process but turn out to be poor fits for our team. No matter how much IT manager training we’ve had, this continues to be a task that we find hard to do well. Could the arrival of mobile video games provide us with the answer that we’ve been looking for?