Wikipedia defines Information Technology (IT) Management as “concerned with exploring and understanding Information Technology as a corporate resource that determines both the strategic and operational capabilities of the firm in designing and developing products and services for maximum customer satisfaction, corporate productivity, profitability and competitiveness.” It should then fllow that those who practice Information Technology Management can typically be referred to as “IT managers”.
In some sense, all IT professionals manage IT, but some of us have been given the formal title, with it be IT project manager, IT manager, IT director, IT VP, or CIO. Our first responsibility is to manage rather than build, code, support, fix and research technology.
So as managers in IT, what do we do? What is our objective?
As Mark Horstman of Manager Tools relentlessly drills into the heads of his listeners and readers, the goal of any manager is to be effective. Peter Drucker said “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.” Scott Berkun, former Microsoft program exec and now author and speaker, said it’s about “making good stuff happen”. Accordingly, Information Technology managers have the responsibility of making IT effective and productive for the business it serves. IT does not exist without the business.
Managing IT is part technology management, part project management, part process management, and people management. A manager’s functional responsibilities will determine the mix and the specifics. As many resources exist to advice the IT software development manager, these pages will focus more on operations, infrastructure support, and infrastructure projects.
If you like stress, tough decisions, being put on the spot, forced to do a lot with a little, and have no real desire to be liked, this is the job for you (Tech Republic offers ten signs that it’s not).