The role of technology professionals has drastically changed over the years as small businesses become more and more reliant on technology. The role of an IT Manager has moved from sitting in an office and fixing small technical problems, to a leader responsible for overall strategies and plans. Here are a few roles that IT managers must play:
- Innovation and Growth Drivers: IT managers must look at the world outside of the organization to see what the markets and the customers are saying and doing. They must keep the organization in line with this by suggesting plans and methods to best please customers while keeping up with the growing market share.
- Employee Engagers: IT managers must listen to other employees in the organization. The ones who are working with customers and using the technology on a daily basis. Listening to them will help develop plans for the organization internally.
- Business Leaders: IT managers have transitioned into a more strategic role. They should be considered part of the leadership team because the plans they devise will affect the organization for years to come.
- Chief Digital Officers: (the new CMO or CIO) IT professionals have to keep up with new technologies and opportunities. They will surely fall behind if they are not knowledgeable about different products on the market. Digital officers are in charge of transforming their company from the traditional analog into a digital business.
Another big aspect that small business and IT managers have to look at is DIY technologies vs. outsourcing technologies. Small businesses are becoming more and more immersed in technology that sometimes it is hard to keep track of it all. Doing it yourself starts with buying a piece of equipment on an online retail store, without the assistance or backing of a trusted retail partner. Then, buying another piece of infrastructure from another retailer or another store. Soon, you’re just piece-mealing all these parts of infrastructure together to try and form a cohesive environment. This can be both costly, and devastating to your business. IT managers have to think about the most efficient and cost-effective way to set up their infrastructure while maintaining security and minimizing down time. It is an ongoing process, not just a one time endeavor.
The role of technology in small businesses is constantly changing and IT managers need to be prepared to adapt, and make the best decisions for their company and their customers.