The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

Data Bed.png
Disaster Plan.png
Cloud For Dummies.png
Twitbook.png
It’s Magic

The Many Hats of IT Managers

In years past, the IT department of most large organizations was much like a version of Middle Earth: a mysterious nether world where people who seemed infinitely smarter than the rest of us bustled around, speaking and typing languages that appeared indecipherable, yet, which made our world work. They knew things. They were always incredibly busy, and you felt a surge of privilege when it finally became your time to have an audience with one of them.

IT Wizard 

IT-wizard

I remember the first time an IT wizard came at me with his claws. I was a student, running spreadsheet formulas in Lotus 1-2-3 (yes, I am that old) for the Forex trading floor of a major bank. Looking up from my black and green screen, I saw the head IT guy coming at me with a set of hand operated claws, like a prop from Edward Scissorhands. He plunged the points of the claws into the carpet next to my chair. It was then that I discovered I had been working upon a false floor. The claws lifted a square carpet segment up and out of the way, to reveal a maze of cables, pipes and blinking lights. Middle Earth. He dove halfway down into the space, wrestled with something unseen, and emerged upright once again. He then retreated into his climate-controlled server room, protected by magnetic door locks and the ever-present threat of a purging blast of Halon gas.

Driving Transformation

The modern age has changed much of this. The IT department is becoming a different entity – one in which secrecy gives way to openness, in-house gives way to cloud, and perhaps most significant of all, its status as a cost centre has changed to become a business. As such, IT Managers and IT executives face a serious modification to their business model. They must now wear many hats.

survey-cloud

First, the adoption of cloud technology, especially hybrid cloud, means that much of the work that IT managers used to do directly is now handled by outside experts. Security, maintenance, upgrades – these are now the domain of the managed services provider. The IT manager becomes the buyer, the client. Such a shift requires greater business skills than ever before, to identify and scrutinize key providers and delegate work accordingly. The wizard’s hat is being replaced by the entrepreneur’s hat.

The IT manager must keep this entrepreneur’s hat on while investigating consumer trends. In both the B2B and B2C worlds, customers are demanding a more personalized, engaging experience, in which big data and predictive analytics further the sales relationship at an unprecedented level of quality. Responsive websites, adaptive mobile and smartphone sites require a mindset that is both strategic and technically adept, if the competition is to be held at bay.

The IT manager must also have an Executive’s hat nearby, because a seat at the boardroom table is now a necessity. No company dare make strategic decisions anymore without input from IT. The IT department is no longer there to “make it so” once a decision has been made, the IT department must be part of that decision.

IT must also wear an HR manager’s hat, since strategies BYOD and CYOD will have profound impact on attracting and retaining key talent as well as ensuring productivity from the workforce.

Time Management Skills

Time management has always been an essential skill for IT managers, but now a great deal of this must be more proactive than ever: keeping up with trends and technologies, instead of retaining the tradition of reactive time management that came along with help desk calls, firefighting and service tickets.

IT must also offer a greater awareness of human factors engineering in assessing how technologies will be used by mere mortals once deployed. There has long been a disconnect between those who held the secret knowledge of which key was the “any key” in software instructions and why certain dialog boxes tell users to click “OK” to cancel a command, or “Cancel” to continue. In earlier years, people simply proceeded as best they could, or took time out of their day to take a course. Now, however, each and every one of them is at liberty, unofficially, to go online and find something better that suits them, whether it fits with the corporate mantra or not. This too, spills over into the BYOD and cloud debates.

IT Managers must display great amounts of political savvy when dealing with CEOs and large ERP-based organizations; for although technology continues to surge ahead, there is a great deal of legacy and traditionalism to wade through.

Finally, an IT manager must feel a relentless hunger for the best. The world of business continues to roll along with dizzying swiftness, and an acceptance of this pace of change is the lynchpin to ensuring a company stays on top of the game in satisfying its clients, both internal and external. It’s still black magic, but it is now a great deal more diverse.

This post is brought to you by The CIO Agenda.

KPMG LLP is a Delaware limited liability partnership and is the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. The KPMG name, logo and “cutting through complexity” are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.

By Steve Prentice

Kelly Dyer

Healthcare Data Security: Why It Matters

Healthcare Data Security Today, electronic healthcare data exists at every point along a patient’s journey. So frequently is it being processed, accessed, and shared between multiple providers, that we’d be forgiven for forgetting the highly ...
Shells.com – Your Personal Cloud Computer

Shells.com – Your Personal Cloud Computer

Personal Cloud Computer Shells, a robust virtual desktop infrastructure, ensures better performance by enabling its users to incorporate a layer of virtualization between the control server and any device that they choose. This way, it ...
Lauren Brunson

The Growing Need to Consolidate Multi-Tenant Environments

Consolidate Multi-Tenant Environments Over the past four months, countless businesses and universities have scrambled to the cloud to enable their employees and students to work remotely during the global coronavirus pandemic. Managed service providers (MSPs) ...
Mining Data

Cloud Mining and the GPU Shortage

Cloud Mining Cryptocurrency seemed to take a jump this year to a new level of internet hype. Bitcoin hit $60,000 and Elon Musk’s tweeting about Dogecoin made millionaires out of memelords. Alongside this new wave ...
Gary Bernstein

Mapping Crime Though Big Data – Leading Sources

Online Crime Maps Online crime maps is a set of tools used by law enforcement agencies to map and make an analysis of crimes and incidents in order to find possible patterns in them. Online ...

TECH ELEARNING

The CloudTweaks technology lists will include updated resources to leading services from around the globe. Examples include leading IT Monitoring Services, Bootcamps, VPNs, CDNs, Reseller Programs and much more...

  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.