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IT or not IT. That is my question..

By SmokeyC ·
I am currently an IT Manager with the company I work for and have been with them for over 10 years. I began sweeping the floors making extra cash to put me through school and have worked my way up the ladder. The company has supported me by paying for some of my tuition fees and gave me paid time off so that I can study for my exams. The president of the company has sheltered me from the other sides of the business where others wanted me to pursue a career outside of my core ability in IT. Being so young and new in IT he insisted that I keep training and learning new things to help the business. With my A+ and MCP I?ve learned tons of stuff in the business and have championed the implementation of our ERP software. I?ve become a jack of all in IT.
Right down to wiring and designing our infrastructure to migrating our Exchange servers.

Just recently the president was promoted outside of the current operations and someone had taken his place. To make a long story short, there was re-organization.
I was made a Team Manager and IT manager. I now manage a small business unit that consists of an Industrial Designer, 2 Project managers and 2 CAD operators. My team is responsible for over half of the company's Sales. When I heard about the re-alignment I wasn?t very thrilled about it, but I thought that if that?s where the company needs me that?s where I must go. I?ve been doing this for over a year now and have found myself feeling out of touch of the ever so fast pace of Information Technology. I understand like most small to mid sized companies, they can?t support a full time IT person on staff and we need to be able to multi-task.

My question is, do I stay in IT or do I stick with what I?m doing?
Should I leave the company to pursue other avenues in the IT field or do I stay loyal and change me profession knowing that it?s not what drives me, although it feeds my family and pays the bills?

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How old are you?

by DC_GUY In reply to IT or not IT. That is my ...

How many more years do you expect to work?

Once you have the answer to that question, the next one is: How many more years do you expect IT to be a viable source of jobs in the US?

I'm in my 60s and I think I'll make it. I wouldn't advise anyone in their 20s to get into IT, the jobs will all be offshore halfway through their careers.

The interpolation is up to your judgment.

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Like any portfolio... diversity is good...

by Dave - WI In reply to IT or not IT. That is my ...

IT marketability has traditionally been based upon technical skills. Therefore your concern of keeping up to speed on the 'latest' technologies is a valid one if you want to stay or go back to a hands on role.

Yet at the same time, there are hundreds of only technical people entering the market from the TechSkills and PC Productivities of the world. These focus exclusively on the technical skills to obtain certifications.

These people have nothing on you. You should now understand business, difficult decisions and advantages and disadvantages of scenarios. That is more powerful than any technical skill.

IT is business. Trying to look at the two separately is like looking at only the horseshoes on the horse. Business can work without IT, but it works better, faster cheaper effectivly utilizing IT.

More and more companies are integrating technology into their products further integrating the strategic nature of IT... as a differentiator rather than a cost centric back office.

Keep diversifying... More importanly than what you are doing... who are you doing it with. Do you have a mentor? Are you learning? If you answer yes to both of those questions, then you are doing fine...

Dave

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Stay or go

by j.lupo In reply to IT or not IT. That is my ...

First, it sounds like you are working for a really good company. They have supported you and provided career growth and lots of opportunities. I think it is worth staying there - just my opinion.

Ok, now what to do. Well, I am not certain what your current position really requires that is different from what you did. Are you no longer part of the IT team at all? That seems a little hard to believe. Also, IT should support the organization in whatever way necessary to help it drive its sales and so on.

So, looking at what your current team is required to do, how can IT support it? How can you help your people use it in support of your business unit.

IT and business go together. IT is the tool that helps the business go forward. It is a merging of the two that make or break success. Don't try to think of them as two separate things. The strategies of the two need to stay aligned as one.

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I couldn't agree with you more

by SmokeyC In reply to Stay or go

I couldn?t agree with you more.
The company I work for has been extremely kind and generous to me. My fear is, where will I be in 5 years from now. Am I still going to feel the heart beat of IT or will my skills diminish as time goes on? I know it may sound hard to believe but if I have my hands in IT right now it's only because if I don't, no-one here will.

I'm the only guy here and we're a company of 35 users with an ERP system that we're always doing changes too. I've always been able to support all this with time to spare.
Now with this new role I've had more problems and have had to hire an IT consulting company to make repairs and support the network because I'm tied up in the day to day operations of our business. It kills me to see some technicians come in here and mess with my servers and usually cause a muck of things. I know they?re capable of doing the job and I respect them for being in the same industry as I am. But those of you who are in the field, I?m sure you feel the same

I feel like I?m grasping for air and can?t take a full breath to fill my lungs.
I guess I?m just venting but needed to see it from a different point of view.
I appreciate your feed back and respect your point of view. I?ve tried very hard incorporating the two business processes to make things faster, more efficient and easier, but lack the time to do it in.

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Well you should be tired

by j.lupo In reply to I couldn't agree with you ...

You are doing the work of a whole department on your own. What you are describing is the reason to have an IT group. It doesn't have to be large, but it does have to be qualified, motivated, and dependable. With this kind of help you could then focus on the more important aspects.

Also, it sounds like you have a problem with delegating. Yes you built the current system, yes you set up the servers, and so on. BUT, you have to let go and let experts work. Validate their work with summaries or audits, but you need to build trust in whatever type of staff you use to keep everything going. You DON't need to have your hands in EVERYTHING all the time.

It is a balancing act. You need to set priorities and decide. If you have a really good company and you like what you do, stay and go with it. Build it into the best possible place you can.

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