The role of an IT leader is changing


The role of those in IT leadership and management has changed dramatically over the last four decades. Both technology and business leadership has changed, leading to an increased focus on innovation running parallel to an increased reliance on technology. These shifts mean that today, IT leaders and managers often enjoy a strategy-led position in their business.


No longer is IT leadership simply an operational role. Things have moved on a lot since 1980. Where IT managers used to spend their time manually inputting data and ensuring that websites stayed up and running, now it’s all about digital transformation and business leadership. In 2020 and beyond, this trend is only going to continue. 


IT leaders now need to drive IT innovation, while keeping data secure but accessible and facilitating organisational innovation. Successful IT managers have become business leaders that accelerate organisational growth forward – but this isn’t always easy. A lot of IT teams and managers still spend their time ‘fighting fires’ and performing the more menial tasks that keeps the business running. 


Fostering innovation is difficult when your team is busy fighting fires


Most people in IT will have heard the term ‘Chief Innovation Officer’ being thrown around recently. It’s certainly true that IT leaders at every level are increasingly expected to foster innovation, and no one will argue how important that is. But a lot of IT leaders are struggling to embrace this responsibility and it’s easy to see why. 


When we speak to IT managers, we usually hear about how they’re struggling to address urgent issues with limited resources, a bombardment of business requests and daily support inquiries, maintaining multiple physical servers, overly complex IT infrastructure and more. Even small IT teams are struggling to keep their heads above water. It’s no wonder that IT leaders are struggling to drive innovation while keeping their business’s IT up and running. 


If your IT team is spending most of their time ‘fighting fires’ and is constantly working to stay on top of everyday IT problems, then it’s holding your team – and your entire business – back. Managing an IT environment like this is costly, inefficient and time consuming. It makes certain that your team isn’t making the most of their talents, and it certainly gets in the way of innovative progress. 


In 2020 and beyond, the role of an IT leader is becoming more complicated


With people returning to the office after the COVID-19 lockdown, we’re in a situation where businesses are scrambling to find remote working and hybrid working solutions. For an IT manager, this might mean managing a situation where one office of a multi-site national organisation is returning to work, while the rest remain working from home. 


Essentially, doing exactly the same job just became a lot more complicated. And with remote and hybrid working being a trend that is due to continue in gaining traction in the long term, IT leaders across the country are finding themselves in the situation where meeting the same KPIs and providing the same return is taking twice the time and resources. 


Not to mention the increasing complication of data and web security that remote and hybrid working brings with it. With employees accessing and storing sensitive information and data from personal devices while at home, ensuring good cybersecurity is harder than ever before. 


Can managed cloud computing services support your IT innovation?


IT teams are often a little hesitant about embracing cloud computing and managed IaaS. But these services aren’t designed to replace IT teams, but to support them and to open up more opportunities for these teams to use their time, talent and resources elsewhere. Managed cloud computing is a bespoke but comprehensive range of services that can perfectly suit the needs of any individual team. 


With managed cloud infrastructure and maintenance, IT staff can reduce the number of hours they spend dealing with the everyday IT problems that eat up your resources. Resolving minor issues, maintaining physical servers and other headaches can be cut out of your team’s billable hours. 


Managed cloud computing allows you to redirect your IT team’s talents and energy towards bigger picture projects and more efficiently managing your business’s infrastructure, all while having more scope to explore and investigate your company’s technology. This, in turn, gives you as an IT leader more opportunity to invest in innovation and increase your team’s value within the business.