Must-Have Hard Skills for Effective IT Management

IT Management is a great career choice to do good in life. To be successful in this career path, you need some must-have skills. Know what these skills are and how you can work on them to become ready for a potential opportunity.

There are plenty of soft skills that always benefit managers, regardless of the departments they oversee. Skills like communication and leadership are undeniably essential for guiding any business team to success. However, business leaders who oversee more technical fields need more technical skills to understand and organize their workforce effectively.

In the Digital Age, IT is one of the most valuable departments within any business — and IT leadership can be a lucrative career. To climb the ladder of IT management, leaders need to develop and maintain a set of hard skills that their organizations and employees will utilize for success. In 2022, those hard skills include:


Cybercrime is increasing, and cybercriminals are increasingly targeting businesses. Organizations need to develop comprehensive cybersecurity strategies to protect their vast amounts of valuable data. Though in-house IT teams might not be responsible for creating or maintaining cybersecurity, IT managers do need to understand the strategies and solutions in place, to ensure that any changes to existing technology — like alterations to the network architecture or new software tools — will not create vulnerabilities through which cybercriminals can slip. Like so many tech fields, cybersecurity is constantly evolving, so IT leaders should find a reliable source of updates, like blogs from industry leaders, and enroll in cybersecurity courses every year or so.

Software Development and Operations

Universally shortened to the catchy term "DevOps," this field bridges the gap between IT and software development. Large tech companies tend to have dedicated DevOps teams, staffed with exceedingly experienced DevOps engineers, but smaller companies might rely on IT leaders to facilitate both software developers and IT professionals toward success. Thus, IT management might benefit from learning about a few key DevOps tools, such as scripting languages and container technologies.

Systems and Networks

A central objective of every IT team is to ensure the smooth operation of computer systems and networks. To that end, IT leaders should have some skills associated with system and network administration, which include managing operating systems, configuring hardware and software, administering the cloud and maintaining diverse networks (to include LANs, WANs, SANs and VPNs). Though IT management is not likely to assist other company employees with technical concerns, they should have the knowledge necessary to understand and organize system and network workloads for their teams.

Cloud Computing

In the third decade of the 21st century, cloud computing is nothing new. Almost every organization relies on the cloud to some degree, which means that almost every IT department needs to have the ability to build and maintain cloud infrastructures. IT leaders should innately have some passing familiarity with the cloud, and as with cybersecurity, they should strive to stay up-to-date on cloud-related advances through tech industry blogs, podcasts and other media.

Data Analysis

Every business leader should have some data analysis skill, and in a data-heavy field like IT, the ability to organize and analyze large amounts of information is imperative. IT leaders would be wise to invest heavily in education focused on data analysis, gaining skills used often by database administrators and data engineers. Becoming adept at data analysis will provide IT managers with more accurate and more nuanced insights into their field, which can help them improve operational efficiency and assess and mitigate risks within their domain.

AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence is a relatively young field within tech, and AI solutions available to organizations remain somewhat limited. Still, AI is proving itself to be exceedingly lucrative in certain applications, and many more businesses are looking to adopt AI tools in the coming years as a means of increasing productivity and reducing errors.

Leadership should enrol in artificial intelligence courses to better understand the scope of AI at present and into the future. Though IT managers are unlikely to be involved in the creation of AI applications, they should recognize the advantages and disadvantages of this technology to better inform their organizations of AI-based solutions.
Not every IT leader begins their career in IT, but to thrive in such a tech-driven department, managers need to gain a bevy of technical skills. By investing time and energy into improving these hard skills, IT leaders will earn themselves and their teams greater success into the future.


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