Being an IT manager – 5 great things about the job
Every day (well, almost every day) is different. From installing a new server, setting up a new office, troubleshooting a problem, helping users, managing finance, dealing with suppliers, analysing contracts, planning strategy, marketing, designing web sites, advising clients, researching and learning about new technology, attending seminars and conferences, travelling to different sites, analysing statistics, to managing IT security, and everything else. The role of IT management is pretty wide-ranging. If you like to sit by yourself, at your computer, and silently work on code, IT management is not for you. If you enjoy varied work, dealing with people as well as technology, and can understand and enjoy both short and long-term business strategies, you’ll probably enjoy IT management.
You get to play with, and actually use, new technology. Businesses today need to embrace new technology in order to stay ahead, or simply keep up with the competition. From the newest mobile handsets, cutting-edge servers and routers, to testing new software packages, it’s essential that you keep yourself and the business up to date. You’re still going to babysit old technology, but it’s always fun to test out new tech.
Sometimes, you can be a hero, of sorts. If a disaster occurs, it’s often entirely upon you to fix it, and people will be grateful to you when you get it sorted out. From an office being burgled, and having to quickly replace and set up new hardware, to restoring an important file from a backup when somebody accidentally deletes a presentation 30 minutes before they’re due to give it, you can step in and save the day. The flip-side of this is that it’s also your responsibility to ensure disasters don’t happen in the first place.
You’re constantly learning. The landscape of IT is completely different today as it was 5 years ago. And in 5 years time it will again be completely different. IT is probably the fastest changing industry in the world, and doesn’t suit people who don’t want to constantly learn and develop themselves. To be effective as an IT manager, you need to read technology and business news and information every day. You need to attend seminars and conferences. Most importantly, in my opinion, you need to network with other technology professionals, as the amount you can learn from discussion with others is far more valuable than from any other source. It’s also enjoyable, but it does take a lot of time (although it’s a lot easier now, with the use of Twitter and other social networking tools).
You’re important. From making people and processes more efficient, to cutting costs, to increasing turnover, improving profit margins, helping people work more effectively, helping people be more comfortable and happy in their jobs, providing tools to people, and effecting significant change in an organisation, you’re inevitably going to be one of the people in the organisation that everyone knows, and if you do your job well, you’ll make a big difference to the business, and everyone in it.