IT managers handle a tough job as they leverage people and technology in the workplace. On one hand, they ensure software, hardware, and data systems are secure and efficient, on the other, they also manage IT budgets and costs. Apart from adopting new technologies, IT managers also make sure that everyone–from executives to employees–knows and use these tools to make their jobs easier.
Moreover, their role is more important now that businesses are geared toward adopting technologies that can help them gain a competitive edge. As more and more businesses go digital, IT managers may find themselves prone to committing mistakes. While these are embarrassing, to say the least, some of these errors not only affect day-to-day operations but can even impact the company’s existence.
Thus, it’s best to know these pitfalls and how to fix them in case they happen.
1. Unclear business objectives
Business objectives provide direction–they guide the company’s efforts towards a specific goal. In the case of IT, common business objectives include operational efficiency, product innovation, or enhancing business-customer relations.
However, there are times when IT managers don’t understand how they and their respective teams can contribute to accomplishing these objectives. If ever they do understand them, IT managers may find themselves struggling to fulfill competing objectives.
The solution? Examine the company’s business objectives and identify ways IT services can make it happen. They can devise a strategy that aligns skills, technologies, and resources to support these goals. Managers are in a unique position to demonstrate their business case and rally the support of executives to prioritize IT spending on cost-effective projects.
2. Hasty IT adoption
Having an IT system is imperative these days. Talks of AI (Artificial Intelligence), machine learning, cloud computing, and other trending solutions are all the rage for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Your company may already have one of them, but with technology evolving at a rapid pace, it can be tempting to grab the trendiest technology to make sure that you’re ahead of the game.
It’s understandable that both internal and external pressures compel IT managers to adopt the latest innovations, but this doesn’t mean that you need to go all out. Decisions regarding IT transformations require careful deliberation. Hence, examine if the IT solution is a great fit for your company’s needs and if its value can outlast tough times.
Check if the technology can address your business needs and if it complements existing systems. It shouldn’t only support your business objectives but also provide additional means to put your company forward.
3. Prioritizing technology over people
Sometimes, IT managers are so focused on acquiring technology that they forget its true purpose–to address employee and customer needs. They become too engrossed in the product that they expect employees to catch up when all they provide are a few training sessions. They may even compel workers to adapt to the technology at once, failing to realize that its success comes in time.
IT managers need to understand that digital transformation isn’t only limited to upgraded hardware or networks. More than newly installed systems, IT innovation also requires patiently teaching employees how they work and allowing them to see the benefits for themselves.
4. Hiring and promoting less qualified IT personnel
Aside from ensuring appropriate technologies for the business, IT managers often find the lack of talent as a common pitfall. They may rush HR into hiring less qualified individuals, which can result in poor employee performance and less than ideal workplace relations. When this happens, the company ends up wasting time and other precious resources.
The same is true with promotion. Assigning a person to a crucial position must be based on performance rather than loyalty or necessity. Employees should be given ample opportunities to showcase their potential, and IT managers should also provide feedback and support to those who show interest in moving up the organizational ladder.
Choosing the right IT personnel can help managers ensure that they have top talent in terms of technical expertise and people skills. Supervisors should know how to balance skill sets to create a dynamic IT team. In addition, delegating tasks can also help IT managers focus on their responsibilities and distribute tasks across members.
5. Data mismanagement
Data management is another area of potential mishap for the IT team. Gathering data is helpful, but it can hurt the company if the team cannot process them efficiently. Managers need to have a system in place to efficiently collect, organize, and store data.
IT managers can find it suitable to use servers, cloud services, or a combination of these to safeguard business and client information. They may also assign stewards to transform data into measuring tools, helping improve various aspects of the business.
Mistakes are inevitable in life and are crucial to help us learn and improve. Sure, they can be embarrassing at times, but people can always find ways to recover. However, there are instances when these mistakes can be costly.
These issues resonate with the IT management mistakes mentioned above. Not having clear objectives, focusing on technology rather than people, and mishandling data can cause serious issues for managers and even affect the entire company. It’s best that IT managers learn how to manage these issues to ensure that the whole company achieves its purpose of leveraging technology for smooth business operations.