IT Director – What I Would Do

So a while back the company I was working at fired their IT Director/CIO.  He wasn’t really getting the job done and our company had been doing as little as possible with regards to internal IT for most of the companies existence.  The company opened up the job of IT Director.  I expressed interest in the job and met with the senior executive who the IT Director would report to.  We talked in generalities about what our company needed.  He basically described our needs as:

  1. Right now the company is in a bit of a pickle.  We need someone really strong to get us through the current challenges and transitions.
  2. After our transition is over, we won’t really need an IT Director because a monkey can manage our IT after that.

No, he didn’t use the word monkey, he actually used the term less capable, but it was pretty clear that he was one of the old guard that didn’t think we really needed much in IT.  He also informed me that they were bringing in someone to do the job as an interim and they didn’t really have any long term plans.  They didn’t hire a CIO, just an IT Director.  And I wasn’t it.

I actually think that strong IT leadership is needed both in times of crisis and when things are going well.  In times of crisis, you need to fix things and right the ship.  When things are going well is the time to analyze and plan so you don’t continually end up in crisis.  Different skill sets are required, yes, but both skill sets are high brain power skill sets.  It isn’t easy to perform either role.

Anyway, I went home and wrote down a short list of what I would do if I was made the new IT Director.  Here’s my list.

  • Meet with the heads of each practice group regularly to find out what computing needs they have in order to win more business and be more competitive and communicate better amongst their team.
  • Establish The Company IT as “cutting edge”.
    • Update all products (Exchange, SharePoint, Windows clients) to latest release
    • Establish SLA’s for IT.  Establish baselines and metrics and build operational tasks around SLA’s.
    • Develop a framework for implementing new products and technologies
    • Develop collaboration and communication technologies to connect everyone, everywhere.  Can include video chat, IM, collaboration portals, etc.
  • Ensure that The Company is meeting security, performance, stability, and monitoring benchmarks
  • Strengthen partnerships with vendors.  We should be Microsoft, VMware, HP, EMC etc. “Gold”.
  • Align IT with corporate strategy.
  • Support the mission of The Company
  • Perform assigned duties as required

I also made a separate list of how I would pull this off.  I’ll save that for another post. This is just what my thought process was about that position at that point in time