It's difficult today to find a business that does not depend upon technology. For organisations in all sizes and in all sectors, information technology (IT) provides the tools that allow the organisation to accomplish its goals. IT professionals, lead by the IT Head, ensure that all computers, phones and other technology run smoothly and allow employees to work efficiently in this information age.
The IT Head oversees an IT staff as they maintain and upgrade a complete network of technology. The head of IT ensures that the IT staff supports the work of the organisation by making systems and processes efficient. Unlike IT positions at lower levels, the head of IT spends more time managing others than working on Information Technology tasks.
The IT Head must manage and develop the technology infrastructure. They implement operational strategies that align with company goals. They manage the competing expectations of company executives and the IT staff. Information technology professionals must be vigilant to maintain security of the company's information. According to a report by the Association of Information Technology Professionals, the head of IT should designate an employee to be accountable for information security, assess the risk of confidential information being misused, create safeguards and maintain the information security program through regular testing.
Many heads of IT departments work regular business hours, but may need to work overnight or on weekends during technology upgrades or system maintenance. At some companies, the Head of IT is on call. When certain systems fail, such as a company's online retail system, the head of IT must work with his team to solve the issue.
Education And Experience
Most heads of IT have a bachelor's degree or master's degree in computer science, information science, management information systems or a related field. Some companies also require certification in specific computer systems relevant to their organisation. Many positions require 8 to 10 years of experience in the field. Heads of IT often start as computer support specialists and work their way up the career ladder.
While technical skills are important for an IT Head, she must also have a variety of interpersonal skills. The head of IT must stay calm under pressure, solve problems quickly and manage her time well. She must be a strong leader who supervises and motivates a team of IT professionals. This requires excellent communication skills. She must pay attention to detail while staying committed to the vision and goals of the organisation.
Salary And Job Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep separate salary data on Heads of IT departments, but reported that computer network, systems and database administrators made an average of £43,101 in 2008. This occupation is expected to grow 30 per cent by 2018, which is much faster than average jobs.