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7 Reasons IT Managers Have the Toughest Management Roles

No good management job is an easy job, but do IT managers have it the hardest? In an article for CIO.com, Mike Sisco explores why he believes this role is so much more challenging than other management positions. There are seven reasons why the role of IT manager is the toughest management role:

  1. Technology is constantly changing.
  2. A technical expert is not a manager.
  3. Success depends upon delegation.
  4. IT employees are difficult to manage.
  5. There is less help for an IT manager.
  6. The CIO must understand every department.
  7. Communication is extra difficult.

Managing on Hard Mode

Technology is always changing, and IT is the group responsible for noticing and caring. It can be difficult to keep up. For example, software-as-a-service (SaaS), bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and teleconferencing capabilities are all recent innovations that have affected the role of IT manager in a dramatic way.

Technical skills are great assets for IT managers, and important given their field, but they are far different from management skills. This difference in types of skills often comes as a challenge for IT professionals entering a manager role, who might need to exert communication skills much more than in the past. In fact, statistically, IT workers really do tend to be shyer and more introverted, so it is a shared problem.

The role of IT manager is likely to be filled by someone who knows what they are doing, and an expert in their discipline. When they take on the role of manager they are in for a shock when they learn they must delegate tasks to others and not do everything themselves. Letting go of control may feel counterintuitive, but to do otherwise will result in overwork for the manager and underutilization of employees. Managing people is a difficult task for anyone, but managing IT professionals is made more difficult by the fact that the professionals are often more knowledgeable than the managers. The CIO likely has to lean more on their team for information than any other manager.

In most organizations, IT is not the major focus. Consequently, this means that there is less help for IT managers because people like the CEO do not understand IT. Conversely, it is not enough for the CIO to understand IT; they need to have a handle on every department in the business. This is because IT is designed to support the rest of the organization. Maybe IT managers really do have it rough.

You can read the original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/3043613/leadership-management/7-reasons-it-managers-have-the-toughest-management-roles.html

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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