4 non-negotiable areas of focus for IT Managers

With the shift to cloud computing it is now possible for IT managers to further enhance their indispensability to the business.

June 7, 2013

What your IT manager could be doing instead of managing a server room
By Alexander Mehlhorn, CEO, Framework One

We all recognise the stereotypical IT manager sitting behind a desk in the company dungeon, wearing a t-shirt sporting an obscure geek reference, and sighing into the phone as he tries to convince the marketing manager to use a password other than ‘God’.

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since that was anything other than a misguided preconception, and savvy business leaders understand that a skilled IT manager can have a fundamental impact on business profitability. Unfortunately, IT managers are still being kept in a metaphorical dungeon, as they spend time and resources managing IT infrastructure such as server rooms, hardware upgrades and software licensing.

With the shift to cloud computing it is now possible for IT managers to further enhance their indispensability to the business. By moving IT systems to the cloud, IT managers can liberate themselves from the server room, reduce costs, change IT from a capital to an operational expenditure, and focus on delivering technology solutions that improve the bottom line.

Keen to make the shift? Here are just a few of the things you (or your IT manager) could be doing instead of managing a server room:

  1. Transforming the IT department into an innovative and agile team that looks for ways to improve service delivery, instead of installing yet another system patch. By moving to the cloud, the IT department can instead be asking the bigger questions, like “How can technology enable us to provide better, more innovative services to our customer and improve customer engagement?” It is easy to see why answering these questions changes the entire culture of the IT department and, if you’re lucky, the organisation. And they make the IT department a far more exciting place to be.
  2. Focusing on delivering value to the business team, using IT as a business enabler. The question here is, “How can technology make business operations easier, more streamlined and more costs effective.” Instead of dedicating time, funds, and human resources to maintaining software and servers, your IT department could contribute to profit generation. Get your IT department to answer this question, and the sales department may not be the only one going on a trip to Mauritius as a reward.
  3. Selecting the right services and service providers to meet your business needs.  Moving to the cloud frees your IT manager to do what he really enjoys – investigate new technologies and how they could make a difference to the business. IT managers are curious about technology – it’s what makes them good at what they do. So why not use that to the business’ advantage?
  4. Examining ways to manage your virtual server in the cloud. There’s a common misconception that once you’ve moved to the cloud you can pretty much forget about your servers while somebody else takes care of them. This isn’t strictly true. While you may not need to worry about backup, fault tolerance and load balancing; an IT manager that has moved to the cloud should – and can – focus on making servers and resources run at maximum efficiency.

Sounds interesting, fun and rewarding doesn’t it? (Not to mention making business sense.) So join the revolution and bring your IT department out of the dungeon and into the sun.