Beyond Theory: What Really Makes a Successful IT Manager?

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An Information Technology (IT) manager is one of the most important individuals in an organization. An IT manager has many roles and responsibilities within the organization that he or she works. He or she deals with the management of computer-based information systems especially computer hardware and software applications. IT managers particularly deal with the implementation and administration of technology within their respective organizations. For one to become an information technology manager, he or she must have broad knowledge in the field of management and also in the field of information technology. The position is quite challenging because the manager is required to come with new ideas that solve any IT problems within an organization. The manager’s leadership knowledge and skills plays a major role in his or her roles and responsibilities. The field of information technology is growing everyday bringing with it more opportunities. This paper will seek to analyze the components that make an IT manager.

Nature of Work

The success of the department relies on the IT manager who implements and administrates technology within an organization. The IT managers plan, coordinate and direct conduction of research that touches on the activities related to computers within the organizations they work. An IT manager links with other managers within an organization to determine the goals and objectives of an organization (Wainright, Brown, & Perkins, 1998, p.218). He or she then leads his or her team in the implementation of technology that meets the specified goals and objectives. The IT manager is in charge of all tasks related to Information Technology in an organization. This ranges from servicing and upgrading the software and hardware of the Information system of an organization. He/She is also responsible for ensuring the safety of the network.

An IT manager defines the work of each and every IT professional within an organization. He or she has the responsibility to plan and coordinate activities such as the installation and upgrading of software and hardware (United States Department of Labor, 2009, para.4). In addition, he or she oversees the implementation of computer networks that allow efficient communication within and without an organization. The IT manager helps in advising the management to buy the best software and hardware for their information system. The manager helps in recruitment of professionals with the knowledge and skills required in the organization. IT managers also assign different employees in an organization their respective work. To increase the competitive advantage of the organization, an IT manager does broad research on emerging technologies and implements them within the organization (Turban, Wetherbe, & McLean, 2000, p.27).

Work Environment

Information technology managers mostly work in offices but the work is quite challenging. So as to keep everything in order, IT managers work for long hours. Sometimes, there are some deadlines to be met and problems to be solved without delay. This means that they have to extend their time and work in the evenings and over the weekends. In US, the working hours for most of the workforce are forty hours a week, but most of the IT managers in US work longer. The organizational goals may demand that an IT manager implements a project within a short period of time or with some limited budget. The manager must therefore be enduring so as to withstand the pressure arising in such cases (Khosrowpour, 2000, p.109). The expansion of computer networks has brought a tendency where some employees prefer to work offline. The manager has to communicate and oversee the progress of such employees everyday especially sing the internet. Due to their extended use of the computers, some IT managers experience eyestrains, back discomfort, and some wrist problems.


An IT manager needs to have great knowledge in business and management principles as well as some technical expertise in the field of computers. The education requirement differs with organizations depending on the roles and responsibilities of the manager in an organization. Many organizations prefer an individual holding an MBA with technology as a core component (United States Department of Labor, 2009, para.7). This is because an individual who has taken an MBA have knowledge in the fields of finance, marketing, accounting, management, networking, systems design, database management and others. Experience is another common requirement because it helps an individual to acquire some additional skills which cannot be learnt in the classroom. Professional certication increases the chances of an individual applying for the position of an IT manger within an organization. This is because increases the technical expertise of the individual.

The IT manager is more effective when he/she understands the nature of the business practices of the organization he/she is working in. The understanding helps a manager in identifying and understanding technical and organizational issues. It also helps him or her in making wise decisions that solve problems (Earl, 1989, p.86). This defines the reason as to why some managers succeed as others fail. The managers are required to make wise decisions when dealing with the subordinates working under them. Organizations look for individuals with good leadership and communication skills. The leadership knowledge and skills allow the manager in assigning work to the subordinates and monitoring the performance the subordinates. Communication skills help the manager in communicating with other managers not from the IT department and communicating with other employees in organizations.

Employment and Advancement

Almost all if not all organizations use information technology to address the issues that face them. Opportunities are present in fields such as financial firms, insurance, government agencies, manufacturers, business management organizations, and others (United States Department of Labor, 2009, para.9). Upcoming organizations are implementing information technology in them. This means that they need managers to implement and administer IT support systems. The need for competitive advantage will increase the demand for more sophisticated software and hardware increasing the demand for managers. This means that employment for IT managers will continue to grow at a high rate. IT managers have chances of advancing to higher positions in their organizations. Their experience and challenges might lead to promotion in higher positions such as overall management in organizations.


An information technology manager is made up of many components which include roles, responsibilities, challenges, and other. Information technology managers are crucial in organizations because they help in the implementation and administration technology in the organizations. They plan, coordinate and direct conduction of research that touches on the activities related to computers within the organizations they work. They define the work of each and every IT professional within an organization. Most IT managers work long hours and sometimes under pressure so as to meet the needs of an organization. Many organizations look for individuals with great knowledge in business management principles and information technology. An individual with an MBA with Information technology as a core is a preference. There are many employment opportunities for IT managers.

Reference List

Earl, M. J. (1989). Management Strategies for Information Technology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Khosrowpour, M. (2000). Success and Pitfalls of Information Technology Management. New York. Idea Group Publishing.

Turban, E., Wetherbe, J. & McLean, E. (2000). Information Technology Management: Making Connections for Strategic Advantage, 2nd Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

United States Department of Labor, (2009). Computer and Information Systems Managers. Web.

Wainright, E. M., Brown, V. C. & Perkins, W. C. (1998). Managing Information Technology: What Managers need to know. 3rd Ed. NJ: Prentice Hall PTR.

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