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21st-century challenges faced by IT and Technical leaders

The technology sector continues to grow at a rapid rate with new sub-industries forming every year. 21st century IT leaders need to stay up to date and be adaptive in order to successfully navigate their teams through the constantly changing IT landscape. 

Staying on top of IT trends and focusing on not just overcoming these new-age technology challenges, but also leveraging them, will allow IT and technical leaders to achieve industry-leading results.

Data laws, security and privacy: an ever changing landscape.

Understanding the developing landscape of data privacy and protection is a demanding task. Technology is evolving faster than its governing laws, meaning that policy is catching up to already established IT industry norms. 

It is an IT managers’ responsibility to be well versed in public policy and current affairs. Agility and adaptability are a huge part of the modern technical leader’s management style as they are required to shift with emerging laws. Until governments can work alongside IT leaders to develop robust regulations, it will be the IT manager’s responsibility to create and hold themselves accountable to their own compliance guidelines which protect both the business and consumers. 

Cyber attacks and new security threats continue to rise

Cyber crime and malicious cyber-attacks continue to threaten businesses around Australia. A key part of an IT manager’s skill set is a deep understanding of cyber security and risk management.

A well-rounded IT team is expected to protect the entire business from online fraud, exploitation, identity crimes, and more. Technology leaders need to take a proactive response to online crime. Developing a thorough cyber security strategy that can overcome 21st-century technology challenges is a core focus for the 21st century IT manager.

Finding new revenue streams within IT

Unstable commercial landscapes require diversified revenue streams to enable a more secure business structure. This applies across all different industries and businesses including IT. 

Entrepreneurial IT leaders are able to diversify their offering beyond basic IT capabilities, diversifying their revenue streams. Staying on top of industry trends, working collaboratively with other departments and industries, and constantly evolving the business or department’s offering will establish a stable and secure business future for IT and technical leaders. 

Employee wellbeing and retention leads to productivity

With immense pressure to outperform competitors and stay ahead in the fast-paced IT environment, employee welfare can sometimes go unnoticed. A  survey of Australian employees found that 65% of those working in IT worked on their last holiday. 

Placing staff wellbeing in the spotlight and creating a positive work-life balance will see increased stability and productivity among teams. By building collaborative, modern, and supportive workplaces, IT leaders have seen employee productivity rise, bringing better results for the business, employees, and consumers alike.

Communicating and advocating with non-tech familiar stakeholders

Whilst technology leaders are passionate and up to date on everything IT, key stakeholders and partners may not be as familiar. IT managers need to have the ability to communicate effectively with those with non-technical backgrounds. IT leaders should be able to provide partners and business leaders with a digestible snapshot of future IT programs and technology challenges, and succinctly present a strategy moving forward. 

Having a holistic skill set that includes both soft and hard skills will advance IT managers into senior roles where they will be recognised beyond their technical abilities.


A snapshot of the IT industry in Australia

The IT sector is a growing field in Australia and has ample job prospects for technical professionals. Some emerging sub-industries include Disruptive Industries, Cyber Security, Digital Health, Education Technology, Mining Software, Specialised Technologies, and more. Businesses are looking for skilled workers to establish and enhance the Australian technology sector as innovative and world-class. The IT and communications sector has a 4.2 rating out of five for job satisfaction, making it an attractive field for people who are wanting to have a real impact.


Become a qualified IT leader

Becoming a successful IT manager requires a passion for technology, diverse skills, and unique training. After gaining technical experience, the leap into senior management roles requires a completely different skillset. Strong communication and negotiation skills make for a great modern-day IT leader. The University of Adelaide offers a specialised online Master of Business Administration (Information Technology) which gives IT professionals the right tools to lead tech teams. Learning general MBA courses through a technology focus will ensure that you are gaining a nuanced business and tech perspective.

To learn more about how an MBA in IT can help you qualify for leadership positions within the technology sector, schedule a time to speak with an advisor today.


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