Oconomowoc, Wis. - Trends indicate that the role of the IT manager requires more focus on business strategy and less time spent on end-user service in today's age of widespread technology, according to Paragon Development Systems (PDS), a provider of IT services and products."Companies are beginning to realize that their IT professionals can be indispensable in identifying and pursuing competitive advantages if given the freedom and time to do so," said Austin Park, vice president of infrastructure services for PDS. "More and more, successes or failures in business hinge on technology, so why shouldn't IT managers spend their time focusing on business rather than putting out fires."

At the dawn of the computer revolution, IT managers worked in large mainframe-packed rooms, where their only tasks were to automate and streamline business processes toward greater productivity and efficiency. During the 1980s, the arrival of the personal computer and office networks revolutionized the industry. Business executives began seeing that IT could increase personnel productivity and empowerment, rather than replace it. Consequently, IT professionals were seen as support staff for personnel, charged mainly with hardware and software procurement, end-user support, reactive maintenance, and data processing.

In recent years, increasingly sophisticated technology has made IT systems important to a company's strategy, and, as companies continually recognize technology's influence, they are reengineering their IT processes to use it. IT managers who efficiently use external resources to keep current and in line with customer strategies in order to focus on measurable business practices are demonstrating value in the boardroom.

Today, companies can outsource services such as hardware and software procurement, device monitoring, Internet protocol (IP) telephony, server and storage management, security, data collaboration, deployment, support, and asset retirement, removing many of the day-to-day reactive duties for the IT manager.

"Our role is to take IT professionals from good to great by allowing them to prioritize their time and proactively pursue agile technology solutions that will remove obstacles to their business' strategy and deliver results," says Park. "When IT professionals are given the freedom to think on this level, they can truly achieve return on their technology investment."

As the IT professional's role continues to grow, PDS predicts those with business educations and backgrounds will excel. And with the future of IT seemingly boundless, the role of the technology outsourcer will become increasingly significant. Ever-evolving demands mean the IT manager of the future will need ever-evolving technology solutions.

Source: Paragon Development Systems

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