IT manager job description: What does an IT manager do?
We look at the skills you need to be an effective IT manager, and potential career perks
IT teams are no longer workers consigned to ut of sight, out of mind in a company's lower floors. Technology has taken over and assumed a greater part in the business world and as such, IT workers are now more important than ever. This has placed a greater responsibility on their leaders - the IT manager.
Back in the days of simple desktop computers, phones and fax machines, most issues could be solved with the cliched "switch it off and on again" but we no have cloud computing, remote working and the IoT. There's greater responsibility with the job and that falls on the shoulders of the top man.
Not only do they have to ensure they're capable of fixing a wide variety of tech problems, but they must also make sure the same is true of their team. This is not just fixing phone and laptops, it's upgrading software, connecting whole departments to apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams, making sure they can connect with international clients and partners. This is just a tiny segment of what's now involved.
Dealing with all this and keeping an entire workforce happy is all about strategy, about making sure the equipment being used is in tip-top condition and also secure.
To do all this an IT manager must lead a team of technology professionals, software developers and system analysts, and ensure an entire department is an efficient unit.
Their role will also include working with IT vendors or resellers to guarantee they are getting the best deals on equipment and systems, and that every piece of technology solves a problem the company has.
Other duties include evaluating the viability of proposed projects, talking with staff and managers about their IT needs, and developing systems customised for the needs of an organisation. IT managers also are expected to review plans and recruit, train, and coordinate technical personnel.
An IT manager can also be responsible for creating training materials to help new employees understand how to make the best use of technology within an organisation. This ranges from designing in-house training manuals, to walking staff through using essential applications and logging into systems.
A day in the life of an IT manager
An IT manager's daily activities vary. For the most part, it will involve personnel management as opposed to tasks like programming and database administration. An IT manager will also be responsible for ensuring the people responsible for such tasks are able to complete them.
Additionally, they will keep track of budgets and update senior management and key stakeholders on the progress of any current projects or upgrades. Another daily task will be to stay alert for any possible security breaches to the infrastructure and take appropriate action if an incident happens.
How to become an IT manager and the skills you need
Most organisations will require their IT manager to have a degree in computer science or an equivalent. To be a manager, organisations will also want evidence of work-related experience.In general, the first steps to becoming an IT manager involve becoming a team leader, rather than a fully-fledged manager. This guarantees that by leading a team of web developers, for example, a future-manager would remain comfortable with technical details while also honing management skills.
It is also recommended to supplement technology training with business or management courses as this will help in gaining the necessary skills in management and communication.
In the long term, success as an IT manager rests on how well the team performs. Make them perform to the best of their abilities, and you will shine as a manager as well.
How much are IT managers paid?
An IT manager in the UK can expect to be paid around 46,000 a year on average, and companies will likely include other bonuses and incentives as well. However, this amount can range from 30,000 to 76,000 depending on the company and the IT manager's level of experience.