The IT industry continues to grow year-over-year, resulting in greater availability of new and exciting jobs. Specifically, Computer and IT Systems Manager jobs are growing faster than the average role. As of 2016, these roles were expected to grow 12% over the next 10 years.
Given the fast-paced growth of the sector, along with the opportunity to work with new and innovative technologies, this is a smart field to enter.
But how do you get there, and what skills do you need? Once you’ve landed a great IT Manager role, how can you maximize your chances of success? The best IT managers tend to focus on areas that ultimately drive business growth. Below are a few ideas you can leverage to help drive the business’s success.
1. Internet Access is Paramount
Ensure your internet is dependable. This may seem obvious, but if your internet is unstable (i.e. has intermittent interruptions or constantly goes down), then others in the business can’t function. Communication grinds to a halt, both internally or externally with vendors or clients. Order or inventory systems could go down which leads to lost sales. Any time your systems are down, time and money are on the line.
Make sure that mission-critical resources are available at all times. In particularly high-stakes environments, it’s worth exploring redundancies in case of emergencies. For instance, if you need to ensure there’s never a total Internet outage, you might consider investing in some mobile hotspot devices. Even if the Internet is down everywhere else in the building, your company can still proceed with the client meeting that was scheduled weeks ago.
2. Make Sure Workspaces are Well Equipped
You also need to ensure employees can work efficiently and effectively in their environment. Therefore, it’s important that all work areas such as offices, desks and conference rooms are properly outfitted with the appropriate technologies like phones, conference bridges, and monitors.
You can work proactively to make sure the most important items are always available. For instance, cable adapter tethers can help ensure that no one walks away with the adapters you need to connect to the screens in your conference rooms. Everyone should be able to complete their everyday tasks without hunting around for the device or dongle they need.
3. Keep costs in check
Not only do you want to help optimize revenue by minimizing disruption, but you also want to keep business costs down. IT managers can contribute by reducing loss and theft of important resources. For instance, if you work for a big consulting firm where people travel constantly, you might find that employees often leave cell phone chargers in their hotel rooms. Though one replacement charger won’t break the bank, the cumulative costs add up. Try to pinpoint the items that go missing most often, and strategize with your team about how to keep these items safer.
Similarly, lost adapters are a big issue for many companies. They’re expensive, and it’s all too easy for people to walk out of a conference room with adapters plugged into their laptops. Make sure you’re not buying new adapters every other month by using adapter security devices like TetherTies.
Another way to contribute to lower costs includes building detailed documentation around the resources and pieces of equipment that are available. For instance, good documentation about how to connect to an Apple TV in a conference room saves the time and embarrassment of being unable to share a slide deck. It also minimizes the likelihood that someone will try to jam the wrong cord into the wrong adapter. By educating employees on how to properly use equipment, you minimize breakage, which again leads to lower replacement costs.
4. Clear communication
Good communication is essential for any business. New employees, in particular, need to know when to use which communication channels. For example, if someone needs a quick answer or update on a project, Slack might lead to a faster response than sending an email. Even if you’re not the one setting these norms, be prepared to answer questions about them, especially if you’re the one setting new people up with their laptops, email accounts, and Slack accounts.
You can also streamline communication with the IT department with request forms. They can be used for various reasons including equipment requests, process improvements/updates, or even training requests. Best of all, tracking requests via standardized forms allows you to identify trends. Because you have all the info in one place, you get consistent information across various departments. You can adapt your own approach, based on the trends you see about what people want and what they struggle with
This topic is sometimes overlooked but is extremely important for every company. Imagine someone implements a new process, leaves the company, and did not create any documentation. How do you educate other employees on this process? If something goes wrong, how do you troubleshoot?
Someone would need to dissect how the process was built, resulting in wasted time and unnecessary costs associated with that investigation. However, if that person had created detailed documentation on how they built the process, troubleshooting ideas and maybe even training, others would be able to pick up where he or she left off.
Another concept that is helpful includes Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). SOP’s ensure consistency across the company, so that everyone follows the same process/procedures. Furthermore, they help maximize safety, especially for companies with labs. Having these guidelines are helpful for employees to follow, especially in high-stress or emergency situations. With these documents, you can also control the consistency of the information that’s being recorded and shared.
Implementing the above items can seem daunting, but if you are up to the challenge and have the right team, you are bound to succeed!