Oh No! I’m the new IT leader—but I don’t have the background.

Imagine this: you’re a budding manager who’s driven, knowledgable,  and suddenly given a big promotion… in a new department.

This happens to high-performing tech leaders who demonstrate the capacity to manage more within their organizations. Assuming responsibility for the IT department is a difficult situation. It’s even more challenging if you don’t have an IT background.

Thankfully, you don’t have to struggle alone. Get help by working with the current IT talent in your organization. Better yet, look outside the company and engage a consultant to augment your efforts and act as a guide for strategic decision making.

Sometimes there are additional obstacles to overcome —specifically when the business cuts costs through “restructuring”.  This common managerial practice removes the current IT executive and reassigns IT function responsibility to a more junior employee.

Why does this happen? Executive leadership often assumes the IT department doesn’t understand business objectives and so is misaligned with the business strategy. How can you succeed in this new environment? Shake the “clueless IT” stereotype and seize this opportunity to demonstrate how IT adds to business innovation.

Engage your new team in developing efficient, effective IT and Enterprise Architecture roadmaps. Your employees are invaluable assets and will demonstrate their expertise by participating in developing new business strategies that align with corporate objectives.

You’ve shifted your perception and recognize the value of your IT team. You’ve empowered your employees throughout the organization. Great work. The final step to solidify your position and establish trust is executing these practical actions that will ensure your success and maintain both your job stability and security.

1. Create a plan to support your organization’s 10 major IT functions internally.

2. Learn intelligent ways to cut costs without disruption.

3. Stay humble: Ask for help or clarification to understand an issue. Pretending to know more than you do leads to poor decision making.

4. Do the work that ensures you’re in touch with the inner workings of your department. It’s tempting to defer to the large systems integrator and let them bear the brunt of the workload, but doing so leaves you vulnerable and ignorant of any potential issues.

With this advice and on the job training, Implement these handy tips —and invest in on the job training— and 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

We’ve seen it before. You walk into a room and everyone stops talking. Decisions and information go over your head. Is it possible your IT leadership position is on rocky footing?

We’ve seen it before. You walk into a room and everyone stops talking. Decisions and information go over your head. Is it possible your IT leadership position is on rocky footing?

Here are 10 sure-fire ways to know your job is in jeopardy:

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 new 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 before it’s too late.