Information technology is a fascinating world of data analysis and problem-solving. But senior ranks of IT business units must focus on unique problems that affect their users. Finding high-quality senior IT managers is a tall order for most businesses, so if you are considering putting in your application to move up within your ranks or a change to a new company’s IT department as its senior IT manager, there are some important things you must know.
Be incredibly knowledgeable.
Senior IT managers must be able to field the vast majority of problems that come across their desks. There is a reason why the job you’re going for has “senior” in its title. It’s because you are looked to for leadership and guidance by your peers in the IT department. You set a precedent with everything you do as the team manager. You need to have developed a wide-ranging understanding of program languages, data integration techniques, workflows and business processes used by the company, and format specifications for data management practices.
Understanding the architecture of the business’ IT infrastructure is also essential. As the team leader you will need to troubleshoot any issues that exist under the sun, so knowing your way around the data setup of your corporate infrastructure is simply a must-have. One self-administered test you can perform to gauge whether you are ready for this step is to simply work through the common and uncommon responsibilities that cross your team’s schedule. Ask yourself if you can program a solution in Python or C++? Ask yourself questions like “what is data as a service” or “how does our company handle API requests?”
Be willing to ask for help.
A successful manager — in any industry and any role — must be willing to admit when he or she is in too deep. You should never be ashamed to seek help from your peers when you need it. Any good IT professional knows that it’s better to get to the solution efficiently without failure than to struggle with inelegant half-solutions while you try to work out the correct method of problem resolution.
A good manager in any business sector needs to rely on their team in order to work effectively and at a high rate of success and professionalism. In the world of IT, no one can know it all, there is simply too much to learn for anyone to act as a living repository. So building a knowledgeable team that complements your own strengths and weaknesses is the best way forward. As well, your team will respect you more if you are willing to admit that you don’t know it all.
Be prepared to seek further education.
In the IT industry, there is always something more to be learned, whether it’s a big data analytic technique or a new enterprise application integration method that cuts processing time in half. As a team leader, you need to be prepared to continue learning and growing so that your team takes its cue from your leadership and continues in their individual journeys as well.
One great way to continue rising through the ranks is to pursue a graduate-level business degree. This will show your management-level peers that you are serious about your career development and the team that you lead. A Master’s degree such as a Master of Business Administration or a Master’s in data analysis is the next step in your progression toward the ranks of upper management.
IT work is nuanced and intricate. Moving up the ranks of your IT department takes a commitment to yourself and to analytical progress toward ever-increasing efficiency. Make time to continue learning and grow your knowledge base to progress in this wonderful industry.