IT managers more business focused than ever before

12 Jul 2011

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With senior management looking to IT, not merely to support the business, but to drive growth, IT managers are increasingly responsible for defining and communicating a strategic vision, HP said yesterday.

Technologies ranging from mobile printing to cloud computing are placing an unprecedented premium on IT managers’ ‘soft’ skills, according to a new campaign being launched by HP’s Printing and Imaging Group (IPG) this summer.

According to the campaign, such technological advances are completely redefining the IT manager’s role, shifting responsibilities from the back office – behind the scenes – support, to front office – highly visible – business directives.

Vincent Vanderpoel, vice-president and general manager, IPG LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions EMEA, explains that the skills and priorities required of today’s IT managers are more business focused than ever before, especially within the context of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

“With senior management looking to IT, not merely to support the business, but to drive growth, IT managers are increasingly responsible for defining and communicating a strategic vision,” he says.

“The print environment is absolutely no exception to this rule. The printed word is a genuine ‘productivity tool’ for business; it helps us collect our thoughts, as well as amend, share and present information.

“But to be genuinely strategic, the print environment needs to support SMBs on the operational level; and that also means embracing concepts such as mobility and cloud,” adds Vanderpoel.

In addition to highlighting portfolio enhancements to HP’s LaserJet range designed to deliver strategic business benefits, throughout the summer HP will be providing resources, guidance and tools to help IT managers transform their role with career coaching and soft skills and tricks.

CIO role ‘goes strategic’ with ePrint

HP´s ePrint, for example, enables the business user to print securely from any smartphone without the need to be physically in front of a PC, offering professionals the technology to deliver results faster and, as a result, further their careers. In turn, this helps the CIO embrace cloud printing and make the most of his/her mobility and productivity.

According to industry analysis, InfoTrends, enhancing mobility directly affects productivity, which allows the CIO to take more strategic decisions, both more quickly, and with more information at hand.

Vanderpoel highlighted: “Not only does a shift to cloud printing allow the CIO to facilitate printing anywhere, anytime, but HP’s ePrint also offers this traditionally silent player a fantastic opportunity to transition into a new business role, to emerge as a champion for strategic, innovative investments that contribute directly to the bottom line.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com