It used to be the case that an opening in leadership would be filled by whomever was ‘next in line’! This was particularly true in the IT sector where until recently, years of experience triumphed as the key marker of eligibility for promotion.
Now, however, senior leaders have wised up to the fact that a candidate has to have the right traits and soft skills for management in order to be successful. Looking back, it seems unthinkable that people ever believed otherwise. Afterall, management isn’t for everyone, and technical competence is not the same as interpersonal skills.
Here we look at how to transition into IT leadership and how professionals wishing to progress to management can ensure they get noticed! As well as - importantly - how to be ready for the challenges that management positions bring. Read on…
Management can be a culture shock
Choosing the right person for the job can be make-or-break for the company. It is of utmost importance that they reward the position to a candidate who shows strong leadership qualities. Choose wrong, and they may suffer great losses – not only financially, but also in terms of the loss of a top technical resource who is no longer working in their domain or specialism.
It’s a common misconception that managers merely entail take charge of the team whilst carrying on much the same. In reality, taking a management role is becoming a leader, a coach, a motivator, a decision-maker.
Many IT leadership roles are in middle management, meaning you not only have to be actively involved with everyone in your team’s work, but you also have to collaborate and work alongside your peers, senior managers and stakeholders. Responsibilities may also stretch to managing your organisation’s IT infrastructure and resources, and all software and applications. Leaders must work hand-in-hand with other managers and are relied upon for strategic direction too.
So how do you prepare yourself for an IT management role? And can you prove you have what it takes to work successfully in IT leadership?
How to evidence your IT leadership skills
Any candidate wishing to progress into IT management must demonstrate that they have what it takes to succeed. They must evidence that they can meet the business’ technology objectives with effective strategies and team leadership. Here at ITIL Training, we offer the ITIL® 4 Strategic Leader Bundle of courses, which is designed to build your skills as you progress through each course. This provides the practical skills necessary to achieve strong and effective strategic direction for your company.
Achieving the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader designation
Learning how to be ready for the challenges that IT management brings could not be easier. The ILX ITIL 4 Strategic Leader bundle provides you with access to all the required courses:
This bundle includes all the training and exams you need to achieve the designation of ITIL Strategic Leader. Being online e-learning courses, they allow you to work through the training content at your own pace and take your exams when you feel ready – it comes with a 12-month licence.
The training builds from the ground up, with the Foundation course providing you with an extensive introduction to the core concepts of ITIL 4. This helps cement your understanding of the ITIL 4 principles, before moving onto building and implementing effective IT and digital strategy.
The ITIL 4 Direct Plan and Improve qualification teaches you to create a ‘learning and improving’ IT organisation, with a strong and effective strategic direction, teaching you methods for planning and delivering continual improvement with the necessary agility.
Finally, the ITIL4 ITIL 4 Digital and IT Strategy (DITS) module focuses on the importance of creating an appropriate digital strategy to enable the success of businesses, and how it can be integrated to the IT strategy as well as aligned with the wider organisation’s goals.
The benefit of achieving this designation is that it allows you to demonstrate a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy. It shows that you have the skills in your toolkit to handle challenges, tackle digital disruption, and drive success. This not only helps you gain IT management positions and smoothly transition to IT leadership, but will also see you triumph in the role!