Ask the IT Consultant

Nov 30 2010   3:00AM GMT

The Evolving Role of the IT Manager – Part 1

Beth Cohen Beth Cohen Profile: Beth Cohen

Question: With emerging cloud technologies and more outsourcing than ever, how can IT executives benefit from understanding the forces that are shaping the new paradigms of IT service delivery?

As the world starts climbing out of the worse recession in 60 years, the pressure to deliver more for less has never been more intense.  Business executives are being asked to increase the productivity and efficiency of their organizations and drive ever higher profit margins.  In response, IT managers who have been producing miracles and driving down the cost of IT services while increasing the efficiency of companies for over 10 years, need to add yet more skills to their already overflowing laundry list.

Ironically, while IT does hold down labor costs and streamline business operations, and is clearly vital to any company’s survival, IT managers are still being asked to squeeze out yet more efficiency, while retaining the flexibility demanded of the modern commercial organization.  This pressure has given us: just in time inventory management and streamlined supply chains, decision support systems to allow for faster strategic business decisions based on real-time information about business performance, the virtual IT organization, global right sourcing, and a plethora of on-line business models and IT services to choose from.  If cloud technologies and outsourcing are viewed as more efficient services delivery models that offer flexibility and an expense cost model, the savvy IT manager can embrace the possibilities without sacrificing a leadership role in the organization.

For the IT manager who needs to achieve this level of services sophistication, it is no longer enough to be broadly literal in all the many technologies that make up the modern IT infrastructure.  Now it is even more important that the average IT executive gain a deep understanding of their company’s industry and organizational objectives, combined with an ability and understanding of IT portfolio management, project management, contract management, politics and leadership.  With this formidable combination of skills, an IT leader is ready to apply their strategic understanding of their company’s business to choosing the right IT services to their organization.

So, how are you going build those vital business skills, without sacrificing your technology currency?

About the Author

Beth Cohen, Cloud Technology Partners, Inc. Moving companies’ IT services into the cloud the right way, the first time!

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