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Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:30

IT beats finance - at last – but is still behind sales

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IT departments are slightly behind sales when it comes to the pecking order of importance in businesses, and comfortably beating finance and admin

A new study from managed service provider business, Altodigital, shows IT is finally raising their profile and getting noticed by business owners, with owners looking for IT managers who can demonstrate they can do more with less

The IT department is gradually working its way up the office pecking order and is now the division business owners look after they talk to Terry in sales about growth and strategy and before they talk to the suits in finance and the hipsters in marketing.

The survey found that nearly half of those questioned (47%) rated their IT department as among the most important business functions to drive their business forward, compared to finance (44%), admin (35%) and marketing (39%) coming in second place to sales (48%). Almost a further fifth of those questioned (19%) went as far as proclaiming their IT manager a ‘life-saver.’

The study also explored the personality traits business owners expected from an outstanding IT Manager with the top five ideal qualities being revealed as:

1.    Efficiency - the ability to fix a problem as quickly as possible was a top priority as firms rely increasingly on IT systems to offer products and services and IT issues need to be ironed out as quickly and painlessly as possible.

2.   Broad knowledge base -  Wide and varied knowledge came in at number two with the ability to educate wider members of the team on new and innovative IT processes being key.

3.    Commitment – Being on hand to support with IT issues and see them through to the end was another important factor.

4.    Approachable/ability to communicate in non-tech-speak – it was important for the wider team to feel that could approach the IT department with problems and issues.

5.     Patience – Have the patience to deal with less knowledgeable members of staff and to stick at tricky, persistent issues was another trait to make the top ten.

And the perfect formula for an IT manager? When it came to a wish list of what people look for in their IT manager, top of the list is a quick response time, followed by wide and varied knowledge and a sprinkle of good communication skills.

When it comes to the most frequent complaints an IT manager hears, computers crashing (26%), a lack of internet access (20%) and broken printers top the polls – and it will come as absolutely no surprise that 4% of those questioned even admitted to contacting the IT department for help when they had run out of paper for the printer.

Tony Burnett, Group Sales Director at Altodigital, said: “IT is no longer an afterthought it has become one of the most important functions of business. There’s been such significant developments in the technology space in the last decade that the majority of businesses have had to move with the times and introduce more technological systems and software to help improve business efficiency.

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