5 IT Basics That Company Managers Should Know
IT plays an important role in many business decisions these days, so non-tech managers should have a clear understanding of key technical concepts.
Technology is deeply rooted in business that any manager must learn the basics of the IT industry. These 5 fundamental topics and practices should be on every IT manager’s list to develop their technical skills and knowledge.
1. How to determine the business case for a new application
In large data and data science projects, IT departments are often forced to operate without strong business cases that can immediately benefit the organization. This is where business managers must step in to determine how new technologies can help the best.
For example, you can develop an app that can track machines that are about to fail. A team of specialists can fix the issue before it even occurs saving the company downtime and money.
2. How to work with an IT vendor
Today, almost all businesses work with technology vendors. However, before business managers can log into the supplier’s system, they must fully understand technical and legal contractual obligations. They should know the supplier’s service levels, supplier’s uptime, how the supplier protects and stores data, and the apps’ security.
IT departments usually test these areas themselves. However, business managers must also know about these issues so that they can participate in discussions.
3. How and for what different IT departments are responsible
IT managers often see IT departments as a “checkpoint” when they want to do something. But if these managers understand IT’s responsibilities, a closer relationship can be developed.
These responsibilities include maintaining systems and networks; providing security and privacy for intellectual property, important applications, and sensitive data. This also includes protecting the company from security breaches, malicious viruses, and malware; ensuring that employees use the systems correctly; tracking and monitoring system assets; application development, and support. And one should not forget about managing relationships with technology providers.
Each area includes many important steps and takes time. Once managers understand this, they can better assess whether IT departments are truly slow and inadequate, or whether there are simply many steps they must go through in any process.
4. How to deal with security issues
Some employees visit unsafe websites or exchange user IDs and passwords with colleagues during business hours and transmit dangerous viruses and malware onto the network. Business managers should look after that as well. They can educate staff on the importance of avoiding unauthorized websites, opening strange emails, and accidentally giving out user IDs and passwords.
5. What technical jargon really means
It is full of acronyms and technical terms that can intimidate people who are not so familiar with the tech side of the project.
One can visit an IT website, get a technology magazine or attend specialized IT seminars. This is how non-tech managers can learn new terms and understand developers better.