Oh No! I was just given responsibility for all of IT (and don’t have the background)

If you are a tech leader that has performed well and has the capacity to manage more within your organization, you may have been assigned the responsibility for the IT department—especially if the former IT leader has been removed. This can be a difficult position to be in, particularly if you do not have an IT background.

Rather than assume you can manage your way through it, get help!  Work with the other IT talent that is available and consider using outside help to augment your efforts or help you think through strategies.

In other cases, however, the business wants to cut costs and decides to “restructure” by removing the IT leader and simply reassigns responsibility for the IT function to you.

One reason this happens is that it’s assumed the IT department does not understand the business or is not aligned with the business strategy. If this sounds like you, it’s an opportunity to learn how IT efficiency and the appropriate Enterprise Architecture roadmap play an important part in business innovation. Empowering your IT team to be strategic and participate in the development of your business strategy is invaluable—utilize their expertise!

You’ve shifted your perception and recognize the value of your IT team. You’ve empowered your employees throughout the organization. Great work! There are a few additional practical actions to take that will ensure your success and maintain your stability and job security.

  • 1. Create a plan to internally support the 10 major IT functions.
  • 2. Learn intelligent ways to cut costs without disruption.
  • 3. Be humble, and ask for help or clarification to understand an issue. Pretending to know more than you do leads to poor decision making.
  • 4. It might be tempting, but don’t defer to the large systems integrator and let them do the majority of the work. It’s important for you to know what’s going on in your department.

With this advice and on the job training, you’ll be navigating your organization like a pro in no time! If you need additional help – reach out. Advancement Strategy offers consulting and advisory services for CIOs and other executive-level decision-makers, especially involving Mergers and Acquisitions.

10 signs you’re an IT leader in trouble

Are you imagining things, or is it possible your IT leadership position is on rocky footing? We’ve compiled a list of signs to watch for if you’re in trouble:

  1. Four cloud providers walk by your executive office to meet with the Business… and don’t acknowledge you.
  2. The CEO tells you she is going to create the IT strategy (over the weekend).
  3. You find out Business VPs have been running applications in the cloud for over a year without your knowledge.
  4. You (the IT leader) are invited to a business leadership meeting where the CEO presents the “new” IT strategy.
  5. The business decides to outsource the IT function without your input.
  6. The business hijacks the IT budget to fund radically experimental/skunkwork projects.
  7. You go to the CFO to inquire about next year’s IT budget; the CFO then asks “Haven’t you heard? The CEO plans to hire a consultant to develop new IT strategy for us!”
  8. A major, $10+ million IT solution needs to be vetted and you are not involved in the discussion to make the decision.
  9. The business has decided to rebrand you, “Sr. Director of IT” and you now report to the VP of HR.
  10. You find out you lost your CIO role in a press release of the incoming CIO.  (whose first order of business is to eliminate the “new” Sr. Director of IT (you).

Hopefully you never experience any of these situations—but if you do, contact us. We’ve been there and can help build a strategy to get you back on solid ground.