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The daily challenges of an IT Director

Graphic shows a man with glasses (IT Director) using a laptop computer

Who is the Head of IT, what role do they play in the organisation and in the company's digitisation process, and what challenges do they face in their daily work? Who can help them solve their problems and when should they seek support from IT outsourcing? We answer these questions in a series of Britenet articles.

Digital transformation by 2025

A digital approach to business development paves the way for streamlining and automating internal processes, improving customer service and increasing returns on investment. Advanced solutions in the form of machine learning or hybrid cloud allow you to make more effective business decisions and adapt faster to major changes in the market - and 2020 has shown us the importance of flexibility and dynamism. No wonder more and more companies are choosing to digitize their businesses. 

The smooth execution of an effective digital transformation is now a priority for any company that is serious about maintaining and strengthening its position in the market. According to the World Economic Forum, the digital transformation of companies is expected to add more than $100 trillion to the global economy in the coming years - by 2025, to be exact. According to experts' predictions, at that time companies around the world will spend about $2.8 trillion on investments related to the digitization process. This confirms the key role IT Directors play in the transformation of businesses.

The role of the IT Director in the organization

At the center of this digital enterprise race, the IT Director - with his technical expertise and planning and foresight - seeks the most effective IT solutions to support the company's growth and realize its full potential. In his organization, the IT director acts as a technological and innovative mentor whose knowledge, experience and instincts allow him to take the optimal path in the demanding process of digitization.

He or she leads the technology strategy, adapting the company to changes in the market, and uses advanced technologies to take care of the security of the organization's key resource - data. The IT director bridges the gap between the two worlds of technology and business, enabling the company to succeed in the digital age. He or she also plays an important role in identifying and implementing new technologies to optimize the organization's IT infrastructure, thereby increasing its efficiency, effectiveness and impacting the profits earned.

What should characterize a good IT director? A good leader in this position is first and foremost a person who looks boldly into the future and takes actions that others might not have dared, and who strives to be ahead of his time and take bold steps toward the future - while basing his decisions on solid data, knowledge and effectively learning from the past and the experiences of his competitors.

What does a typical day look like for an IT Director?

A typical day in the life of an IT director will vary depending on, among other things, the type and size of the organization he works for and the industry in which his company operates. In any case, however, the main challenge facing the IT director is to find the best way to bring his company into the future - with a judicious and thoughtful choice of innovative IT solutions.

Among the main tasks of the IT Director are regular meetings with representatives of other company departments to discuss and understand the current technological needs of each area of the organization. Of course, each department reports the needs that, from their perspective, will be most important and need to be addressed first. 

It is the director's responsibility to put the reported needs into a broader perspective of company-wide performance - analyzing and prioritizing the needs for the greatest benefit and confronting them with the budget. The costly and time-consuming task of building and implementing a big data management and organizing solution can prove far more cost-effective in the long run than immediately bolstering the marketing department with campaign automation and customer service tools - as the latter will perform better bolstered by high-quality, structured data.

Here comes another difficult task in the IT director's daily schedule - convincing the board of directors of the legitimacy of the projects presented. In this case, knowledge and orientation to the latest technologies and digital trends are not enough. It is also necessary to be able to speak the language of benefits, which is the most readable for stakeholders - this means consistent, clear and convincing communication of the benefits of investments, both in the short and long term, including improved operational efficiency, increased competitiveness of the company or cost optimization. 

Equally important is the skillful identification and balancing of risks associated with a given project - and here, too, it is necessary to prepare in advance a strategy for minimizing potential risks by, among other things, working with a trusted and flexible outsourcing partner. A great advantage for the IT director will be communication skills and the ability to build trust, which during meetings with the board of directors can determine the ultimate success of the discussions.

The IT director's daily tasks also include managing the company's human resources and mentoring IT employees. The director plays a major role in building an effective team to meet market changes and technological challenges. Among other things, this requires him to find the right talent, and then to support their development and strengthen their motivation, as well as to match their potential with the structures of the team and the company as a whole. However, the complexity of the tasks and challenges an IT director faces every day means that he or she does not always have enough time to carefully address this process. Add to this the time required to respond to unexpected changes and problems, and the IT director increasingly turns his or her sights toward an external IT partner. 

Effective team leadership also means striving to co-create a corporate culture focused on collaboration, continuous improvement and innovation. Building a good team will allow tasks to be delegated to responsible hands, enabling the IT director to devote valuable time to larger tasks - including the search for a trusted outsourcing partner, a comprehensive analysis of technology trends or strategic planning for the company's broader development.

For more on the biggest challenges and pitfalls awaiting an IT director and how to find a responsible business partner, see our upcoming articles.

Summary

The IT director faces numerous challenges every day. However, he doesn't have to confront many of them alone - a good IT partner can be a tremendous support, not only supporting him in choosing the best digital solutions for his company, but also supporting the execution of the project at every stage of its implementation to maximize the benefits for the organization and minimize the burden on the budget. At Britenet, we know these challenges and are in a position to help you profit from them.

If you would like us to talk you through the opportunities for digital transformation in your organisation, please contact us.