Over the last few years, we have seen the changing role of IT Leaders. IT is no longer about managing servers, PCs and Laptops. IT is more about evolving technology. Many businesses now buy IT on a consumption model or monthly cost. This cost can go up or down depending on what the business is doing. As such most servers are now in the cloud, email has moved from on-site Microsoft Exchange to cloud-based Office 365. Now all of a sudden IT Managers are no longer supporting servers and exchange. So, what are they doing?

Well, the good ones are now looking at how IT can better serve the business and make them more profitable. For years IT has been seen as an overhead, a cost that business can do without. Not anymore, there is now no business around that doesn’t use technology in some form another. Even a sole trader has a Smartphone and email.

What is the changing role of IT Leaders?

As businesses automate, the role and the skill set of the IT Leader has to change. Now, you have to start looking at the line of business applications and how they can affect the efficiency and profitability of the business. Sorry guys, the days of you spending days/hours hiding in the server room are over.

You now have to lead and not support

Don’t get me wrong, end-user efficiency is still paramount. So the initial work is to make sure you have good connectivity. You have a good foundation i.e. your network is fast and everyone can connect to everything they need to. The role of Tablets/Smartphones means you now need good Wi-Fi and centralised storage. This leads us onto backup and DR. All done, great big tick in the box! Your next job is the most important, have you made sure you are cyber secure? Every area has to be protected and this may mean several different solutions, ideally from different vendors. Now everything is done, you can sit back and survey your empire. Or can you?

Business Priorities

This is where the headaches really start and you are probably getting outside your comfort zone. You have made sure everyone can connect wherever they are, to whatever they need access, securely. Now you have to ensure that data can flow within the business. You will have department managers/users asking you to see if you can improve on what they do. What do I mean by that? Well if you have a time-consuming process anywhere in the business it is inefficient, time-consuming and costly. Your next job is how to speed these processes up with automation and this is probably the area you need the most help. This is where you need a trusted advisor to work with.

Trusted Advisor

A trusted advisor is a term that has been around for a long time and IT companies have been using it for years, but what does it mean and how can it help you?

A trusted advisor is someone you call to ask for advice. It is someone you can lean on when you are not sure or don’t have time to do the research. It is someone who will act with impartiality – not try to force you down the road of the system they sell. They should be magnanimous enough to say, I don’t know and go and do the research for you. Even if it means passing you on to another company because they are better suited to meet your business needs.

Someone like Unleashed, who will do all the above. We follow our own methodology – The Unleashing Process . We charge a fair rate for consultancy and ensure you look good in front of your peers. We are easy to deal with and as our strapline suggests ‘We use IT to solve business problems’ and without bragging, we go about it in a professional manner and don’t blow our own trumpet.

For a different approach, contact the IT Leaders’ friend.

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