Information Technology (IT) is a people business; however, many IT professionals consider themselves more as technology experts than managers and support roles. Often times, IT professionals have specific technology skills, yet, lack the key interpersonal and communication skills needed for leadership roles and advancement within a company.
All the skills in one person?
Large corporations are home to IT departments that are staffed by a variety of IT specialists. Programmers, network administrators, web developers, software engineers, and wireless experts are often times found in larger companies; however, for mid-size companies and small businesses the IT department is often staffed by one person. Finding individuals who are cross-trained in a variety of IT specialties is important; however, having someone who has ALL the IT skills as a larger company is extremely hard to find. The key is to identify the core needs of the company, and ensure the focus of the job description is centered on those needs.
Technology vs. Leadership
Many IT managers are educated and trained to evolve with technology changes, and many CEOs recognize the importance of IT in growing business. The difference is, many CEOs need the IT professional to direct technology strategies for the company. It’s important for IT professionals to have experience and skills past technology, this will ensure new IT recommendations benefit the company.
Where to go from here?
The third challenge in IT staffing is many businesses only offer one position for an IT professional. Advancement and new opportunities are limited, and as a result many companies experience turnover. Identifying new training and industry networking opportunities, as well as, offering additional leadership responsibilities are key ways to show value and growth to IT professionals, and decrease the turnover within an organization.
IT is very important to every business, and having the right person in that position is crucial to the success of a company. The key to overcoming IT staffing challenges, is to identify the key IT needs of a company, and develop ways to grow and expand the professional skills of the IT professional. Proactively addressing IT needs and changes will help a business overcome the challenges and remain successful.