Career Highlight: Information Technology Director

Information Technology (IT) professionals are among the accomplished global workforce’s most invaluable assets. The role of IT is fairly well understood to the business world at large, as most — if very nearly all — companies have some sphere of technical operations in their functioning departments. These are the individuals who maintain the computer systems of businesses and organizations, large and small. IT it-director-businessman-entering-virtual-touchscreenprofessionals ensure that operations are running smoothly and generally provide support and advice to all users; from new hires to the boardroom.

IT professionals run a large spectrum of specialties as well, ranging from Analysts (who use their expertise to evaluate existing systems and applications – data, hardware, etc., to streamline and integrate enhancements) to Mobile Development (ensuring businesses stay connected, productive, and on top of the technology curve with on-the-go apps and software), and Security Specialists (the vital role of which is obvious to most).

Somewhat less understood, however, is the role of the IT Director. This is something of an oddity, as the vital role they play simply cannot be overstated. Indeed, without a competent IT Director fully engaged, most organizations would unravel at the seams, and in short order at that.

The Scope of the IT Director

In short, the role of the IT Director embodies the strategy, oversight, and seamless execution of an organization’s technological infrastructure. Among the IT Director’s most important functions are:

  • Oversight of technical projects
  • Ensuring all such projects are in-line with the organization’s goals and development
  • Managing the company’s networks and lines of communication
  • Oversight of systems development
  • Emergency and disaster recovery systems

With these points engaged, we begin to appreciate the value that a knowledgeable IT Director brings to a company, as well as some reasons why this professional is an indispensable asset.

In distilling the role itself, we observe that there is a specific scope of the IT Director’s responsibilities which is rarely seen outside of the upper executive suites. In choosing (or promoting) a candidate to fill this role for an enterprise, there are a few items that a clever executive would do well to consider.

  1. A prospective IT Director must have the ability to skillfully and accurately assess both new and existing technologies, and deliver it-director-screen-graphicinnovative new methods seamlessly (as is possible) into daily operations.
  2. The IT Director is typically required to handle the activities of upper-management — which is, incidentally, a task generally falling under the purview of an entire career unto itself — and is thus responsible for hiring, talent analysis, recruiting, and most other high-level duties of any other department manager.
  3. It can be concluded that the IT Director you want on staff will be able to crest all of these expectations and then demonstrate the capacity to reliably plan, evaluate, and then execute any additions of process, technical systems, and computer operations under the company umbrella.

So, we see that not only is an IT Director indispensable, they must be among the most highly competent and skilled among the team.

Those Capable May Apply

Aside from the standard formal education requirements (which are actually becoming less and less relevant in the age of open education where professionals can gain the ideal experience rather than pursuing a degree),the savvy executive will seek out those who have a demonstrable track-record of direct experience in the IT field, singling in on those who have held positions reflecting an upward momentum and, perhaps most importantly, those who have pursued an array of professional credentials and certifications in the field.

Naturally, hiring executives should pay special attention to those with experience working for the big names: Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco in particular. The CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) is a vendor-neutral industry association which offers programs for certification on an array of brands across the spectrum of skills, and it is always worth looking into talent that can boast them.

The final point is this: a competent executive can be relied upon to conduct a comprehensive analysis and vetting of those who would fill pivotal roles in the enterprise – no exceptions.

Fred Coon, CEO


At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.

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