In any industry and in any company, there are leaders needed in all capacities. There are qualifications and qualities that leaders must embody and posses in order to maintain that title. However, in the IT industry because technology is the driver, there is a slightly different group of qualifications that is required of these leaders.
Most of the IT world is broken out into two sectors – development and operations. Whether its applications support or infrastructure engineering, IT leaders must have a vast knowledge not only of whatever their specialty and role is centered on but the must be well versed in the other focus areas. Of course, everyone is encouraged to follow their passion to whichever focus area sparks their interest most, but a successful IT leader will have awareness of all areas.
That being said there are 5 basic attributes that many IT curriculums are organized around that they require of the leaders. Here they area:
- Broad perceptive. As mentioned above, you need to have a broad perspective about the market, your company, its trajectory and your customers. Being able to have this knowledge and turn it into action and results is key.
- Thinking ‘company first’. IT leaders have to think about the bigger picture at all times. Decisions should be centered on what is best for the company driving all decisions regarding strategy, investing and most importantly change.
- Having systems thinking. The entire world we live in functions off of systems and engagement. IT leaders must recognize these patters to create competitive advantage whether its in business processes, talent acquisitions or sales. As new products come to market, new skills and strategies will be necessary to learn, operate and sell these. Having an understanding of how systems work is integral to success.
- Be one with change. The IT world is constantly transforming and changing. As an IT leader this must be second nature and part of your operations. Being comfortable with handling unexpected events and period of ambiguity is key.
- Have courage and confidence. All of the above attributes contribute to this quality. As an IT leader, perhaps even CIO, you are the first line for failures, questions and change. Being able to stand strongly behind your decisions and operations takes immense courage in an industry that is always changing.