Why learn about information technology? Isn’t this area of the business best left to the IT professionals, and not managers? The answer is a simple, emphatic No! (Reynolds, 2010)
IT has become a remarkable tool for businesses to improve and become successful in their objectives. One by product of the advent of IT are information systems. An information system (IS) is any organized system for the collection, organization, storage and communication of information. More specifically, it is the study of complementary networks that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create and distribute data.
For a manager to fully take advantage of IS, he has to have the skills. Below are the three most important skills I believe managers need to have in order to effectively participate in IS decisions.
A manager must be able to communicate effectively with various employees in the organization. This way, he can promote open discourse between departments which will lead to better decision making with regard to IS. Similarly, he must listen and solve the problems of the workers. He must encourage a free-flow of communication in the organization in order to have an information system that caters to the company’s needs and improve its operations.
Conceptual skills present knowledge or ability of a manager for more abstract thinking. The conceptual skills will help managers to look outside their department’s goals. So, they will make decisions that will satisfy overall business goals. This type of skill is vital because it allows managers to prioritize and utilize other resources outside his/her own department.
Human or Interpersonal Managerial Skills
Human or interpersonal managerial skills present a manager’s knowledge and ability to work with people. These skills will enable managers to become leaders and motivate employees for better accomplishments. Since IS usually involves another department, it’s important that managers can also hold a certain degree of connection and be respected by them in order to have authority.
These three skills in my opinion are the must haves for managers. Without these, I don’t believe he or she will have the ability, competence or authority to effectively participate in IS decisions.
Reynolds, George W. Information Technology for Managers. Boston: Course Technology, Cengage Learning, 2010.