Managing the IT department is all about mitigating corporate risks

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Nowadays, companies in all industries are reliant upon data for surviving on a daily basis. Employees must share files internally with their co-workers to collaborate on projects, as well as externally with business partners and customers. This is all baked into the job today.

The information superhighway offers speed and convenience, but it's also fraught with risk.

The information superhighway offers speed and convenience, but it's also fraught with risk. To be an IT manager today, it's important to understand the inherent dangers of 21st-century business and know how to protect against them.

Mitigating risk is part of the job

In large part, what people in digital IT recruitment tend to look for are professionals with a proven ability to manage people. Running an IT department is just like running anything else - your goal is to engage employees, motivate them and give them the tools they need to succeed.

But according to the Queensland Government, there's an added difficulty with the more pressing need to consider risk management when it comes to IT. There are many perils that corporate IT offices face, including hardware and software failure, human error, cybersecurity threats and natural disasters like flood and fire. Part of the job in IT management is preparing for all of the above - and more.

How managers can do better

If you're looking to establish yourself as a capable manager in the IT field, there are proven strategies that can help. For example, the Poynter Institute recommends investing heavily in employee training. If your staff has extensive knowledge of how to use the IT assets at their fingertips, there's a much lower probability of them making costly mistakes.

Be ready to put out fires in your company's IT office.Be ready to put out fires in your company's IT office.

In addition, careful planning is key. No one wants to suffer a cyberattack or a massive hardware failure at their office, but these disasters are easier to stomach if you have a contingency plan ready for them. How will you recover? What will your employees do to remain productive? You need to have answers to these challenges well in advance.

A big part of effective IT management is not only preparing for potential IT disasters, but also training your staff effectively so they have all the necessary skills to respond when adverse events happen. Being a good manager means teaching everyone to play their roles and holding them accountable.

By Richard Ivers