As the first generation of IT leaders are starting to retire, we’re seeing a constant struggle to promote or hire the right IT leader for middle-market organizations. First, we have to take into consideration the structure of the IT department. Today many teams consist of a core, lean group of resources with powerful partnerships rather than a large full size IT “empire,” department. These partners, much like the cloud, are resources as a service that can ramp up or down, depending on the initiatives and strategy of the IT department.
As we focus on the IT leaders, we have to have the mindset that the leader is a business executive first and a technical expert second. As organizations move more and more to the cloud, the focus on the core infrastructure has lessened in favor of business applications and process reengineering. Mature vendor management is also a key skill set that is required. This will help to maintain those strong partnerships and will help leverage their expertise to continuously maintain an IT roadmap with emerging technologies. While managing external relationships are one skillset, maintaining strong relationships internally and driving effective “IT PR,” to the business will continuously garner value and support for the function.
As you begin to seek out the future leaders of your IT, remember to look for business acumen, vendor management, cross IT discipline understanding, and an understanding of governance and internal relationship building.