Why Does Every Industry Need It Leadership?

The world is moving towards digitalization. Information technology has entered every industry, be it food, clothes, houses, recreational toys, building materials, skincare, and others. IT is helping with mass production, selling products or services, updating the products, or creating a better customer experience. Since no industry can function without IT, it has become very critical for firms in any industry to have an IT leader. The IT domain is moving by leaps and bounds; as soon as the market gets comfortable with a particular technology, we have new updates and improvisations knocking on the door. An IT leader will assist in aligning the business and technology.

In this article, we will look at why it is critical for every business to have an IT leader, what qualities are required for an effective IT leader, companies that failed because of not having the IT leadership, and what types of IT leaders are currently in use in the industry.

IT Leadership

An IT leader is someone who possesses both the soft skills and the hard skills required for the job. An IT leader will understand the business both from the perspective of revenue and technology. He is generally someone who has worked with the majority of the technologies. He is someone who has either worked with that technology or has come across it briefly while reading or working with other technologies. He is someone who can help the business understand where to invest its money and which technology or update will benefit the company more. Some of the major IT skills that users must have are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Angular, React, Python, accessibility, testing (manual and automated), DevOps, Sysops, and others.

Why is It Important to Have an It Leader in the Organization?

An IT leader will be able to guide the organization better towards technological improvement and working. Some of the benefits are listed below −

  • An IT leader will know how to sell IT products to clients − An IT person will know the jargon used in the product and will be better able to sell the IT product or other products of the company to the clients. Clients would want to understand the proposal in simple language, but some IT jargon and processes can make a difference in the sales pitch.

  • An IT leader will know the business and the technology − most of the time, the problem is that the leader understands the essence of the product but not the core. An IT leader will have a thorough understanding of the product and its on-site operation, allowing them to provide better solutions.

  • An IT leader will know how to manage the technical − There might be situations in which we require certain experienced people to start working on the critical requirement, and in that aspect, an IT leader can wear the hat and start the ball rolling. While working, we can also come across scenarios where the employees might fool the leadership team by claiming that the amount of time that the work takes is huge, or three times what it usually takes. In these scenarios, an IT leader will know where the mishap is occurring.

  • Predicting the future − An IT leader will know what possible technological improvements are coming and hence can train its employees better. IT leaders can protect the company from becoming obsolete.

Companies That Failed Because of Improper It Leaders

There are myriad companies that sank because they were not able to adapt to the latest technologies. An IT leader might have saved them, but today they are in ruins because of a lack of technological insights.

  • Kodak Cameras − The company was flourishing by leaps and bounds. It was a camera that was famous among all generations. The quality that the company provided was unmatched, but where the company failed was that it was not able to adapt itself to digital technology. During its peak stage, the market came up with digital cameras, and though many people in the organization advised them to adapt, they were involved in product myopia. The company lost all its share to the technologically advanced product, and by the time it tried to enter the market again, it was too late.

  • Nokia Mobile Phones − Nokia was a company known for its quality. Its mobile phones were highly durable. With time, other companies started manufacturing more sophisticated mobile phones with the latest technology, but Nokia decided to stick to its original products. The company lost the battle with technological advancement, and when it decided to re-enter the market, the market was already saturated.

Skills Needed to Be an It Leader in This Dynamic Environment

An IT leader is expected to have a strong technical background, as well as the following qualities, in order to succeed: Anyone can be a developer, but it takes these qualities for them to transform themselves into leaders.

  • Communication skills − A leader must always be able to express his thoughts in a clear and concise manner, and along with this, they must have the power to influence others. Good communication skills will ensure that employees and clients hear them.

  • Agility and flexibility − the only way to survive is to improvise. A leader must always be alert to ensure that he or she is guiding the team to achieve the best results possible.

  • Ownership and delegation − An IT leader must know what tasks to delegate and how to own up to their actions. The person who owns their mistake is 100 times more powerful than the cowards who hide behind them, so blaming your mistakes on your juniors will get you nowhere.

  • Problem-solving and foresight − An IT leader must be able to see the future and prepare the team for it.

Types of IT Leadership

IT leadership can generally be divided into two types.

  • Paternalistic Leadership − In this form of leadership, the leader is guiding the other employees of the organization. It is a form of leadership where the leader takes care of the employees, tries to understand them, and motivates them to do better. This creates a bond between the leader and the employee, and the employee tries their best to outperform the expectations of the leader. In this case, there is an agile reporting structure.

  • Servant Leadership − This is a transactional form of leadership. Here, the leader gives orders and the employee follows. Employees are not motivated enough to stretch or walk the extra mile. They work for compensation and will leave the organization as soon as they get a better opportunity. There are no feelings involved, and generally, these types of leaders will work on the hire-and-fire model as per the need. This is not a long-term approach, and employees may become lethargic and underproductive. In this case, generally, there is a hierarchical reporting structure. 

The only thing that is constant is change. Companies have to understand that they have to always keep up with the latest technology in order to survive in the market. One miss and the loss is beyond recovery. An IT leader in the company will keep the company on its toes. They will always be on the lookout for ways to improve their existing offering and create a better customer experience.