Who is the Information Technology (IT) leader? Who leads IT? What is the essence of leadership in IT? Jidaw notes that there is growing interest in IT leadership because of the massive impact of IT in all that concerns us. Is the influence of IT leadership proactive and progressive? During our consulting assignments at Jidaw it has become obvious that there must be clarity on the role of IT leadership if we must leverage on IT to improve institutions and drive development.
Are we just talking about national IT leaders? Can this be limited to the IT sector alone? In the opinion of Jidaw (Mastercomputers), leadership is a requirement everywhere. Where are the IT leaders in business and education? At Jidaw we insist that IT leaders are in fact everywhere. Maybe we need to widen our lens.
Such influencers could be IT managers, founders/coordinators of IT clubs, a director of a state government’s IT development agency, Heads of IT departments in higher institutions, IT empowerment promoters in the rural areas, leaders of associations of IT students, champions of ICT4D Advocacy, the CIO of a manufacturing firm, a head of a bank’s e-business unit, state executive of an association of IT stakeholders, Women in IT leaders, IT entrepreneurs, IT regulators, president of an association of IT media practitioners, director of an IT for development NGO, database application development managers in the aviation sector, Team leader of maritime software project, Head of IT in a federal ministry, etc. I hope you get my drift. Forget the traditional stereotyping.
Leaders are found in the social, educational, governmental and commercial sectors. Jidaw notes that though the IT leadership need is obviously not the same everywhere, the need is real. Technology can be an important and huge investment. At Jidaw we insist on asking questions: In the bank, in the university, in the hospital, in the nation, who will make sure technology resources are successfully managed? Are the right people recruited to provide technical support and networking services? Who initiates the e-agriculture project and ensures it stays on course? Who will facilitate planning and coordinate implementation to meet deadlines within budget?
Nations invest massively in IT to boost development. At Jidaw through our ICT policy and development advisory efforts we continually raise our concerns. But how does the country make sure spending on IT fulfills promise? And who will lead advocacy efforts that promote IT enabled job and wealth creation? Who will create meaningful and pro-people roadmaps? Who will seize the initiative to build profitable IT services organizations?
During Jidaw’s career seminars, an issue of concern is who encourages job creation for newcomers and who encourages computing students to tap into empowerment opportunities beyond the classroom experience? Who will encourage software development initiatives? Who really is responsible for technology and its growth?
Leadership is critical in IT; we’ll take more in future posts about the agenda, business and character of IT leadership.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What are your views on IT leadership? What impact can leadership have in IT? Please share your comments, thoughts and opinions.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting