IT Director Role and Responsibilities: What does a Director of Technology do?

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A director of technology is a very common position – it seems nearly every company has at least one person who serves in this capacity. Depending on the scale and purpose of a company, the role of the director of technology can vary greatly, especially as there could be several directors of technology.

As a director of technology, your set of responsibilities may include overseeing the infrastructure of technical operations, tracking the technology itself as well as the IT team in order to achieve goals, meet quotas, eliminate security risks, increase user satisfaction, and maintaining operations and systems.

In this article, we are looking at the vital position of director of technology, including the roles and responsibilities, candidacy requirements, and the future of the role.

Terminology

Director of technology is only one title for this general set of job requirements. Other similar titles can include IT Director, Senior IT Director, and Director of Information Technology. The position often falls within the arena of Computer and Information Systems Managers.

Peers and Reporting

A director of technology often reports directly to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), providing updates and requesting resource support for the entire technology team that the director oversees.

Just as important as who the director of technology reports to is who the director of technology oversees and leads. While a director’s role seems to cover a lot of systems, it’s really the people that the director is overseeing. A director of technology is likely responsible for answering these questions:

  • Are individual IT teams achieving their goals?
  • Are the teams having issues bringing their product or solution to the finish line?
  • Are other departments supporting the IT department in providing the necessary support, resources, infrastructure, etc.?

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities will vary greatly depending on the size of the organization and the scope of the director of technology within the enterprise. Consider that the organization’s industry will have an impact on the job itself. Education, government, nonprofit, and healthcare sectors combined comprise nearly one-third of the director of technology positions nationwide. Smaller percentages go to financial, business, and software services respectively.

No matter the industry, these are common responsibilities for directors of technology:

  • Developing and overseeing SMART metrics for hardware, software, and storage
  • Ensuring strategic capacity planning
  • Managing all or part of the IT department, including directly supervising some employees, hiring certain members, and handling employee concerns and performance
  • Communicating with the technology team and other departments as collaboration requires
  • Determining business requirements for IT systems
  • Coordinating IT activities to ensure data availability and network services with as little downtime as necessary
  • Overseeing departmental finances, including budgeting and forecasting
  • Implementing policies that are chosen by executives and reporting back to the C-suite level
  • Identifying security vulnerabilities and eliminating them with strategic solutions that increase data security
  • Directing and supporting the implementation of new software and hardware
  • Identifying and recommending new technology solutions
  • Managing the organization’s help desk (internal, external, or both)

Requirements

Common requirements for a director of technology position include:

  • A BS in programming, computer science, computer engineering, or related field
  • Several years’ experience managing employees within an IT environment
  • Several years’ experience working with particular systems as relevant to your company – for instance EMR/EHR systems in healthcare technology

Additional education such as an MS in information technology or an MBA in tech or business can be extremely helpful, as one-third of current IT directors hold one.

You may not need to be an expert in multiple programming languages or certified in every network, but you must possess a broad understanding of tech theories and applications from a macro-level. You’ll also need to understand new trends and shifts in technology, considering what may benefit your IT department while fitting within your organization’s business needs and budget.

Your analytical skills will be just as important as your social skills. As a director, you’ll be responsible for managing a team of employees and communicating their needs to C-level executives. Leadership and communication are essential.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the demand for directors of technology will grow about 15 percent by 2024, must faster than the national average of all occupations (~8%). This increased demand for such candidates stems from the growth into digital platforms that nearly all businesses will adopt, and they’ll need directors and managers to implement these growth goals. Further, as cyber threats inevitably increase, IT teams will must spend more time bolstering their cybersecurity practices and protocols. The BLS predicts that this cybersecurity requirement will affect the healthcare and insurance carrier industries in particular.

Because of rapid change and growth in the IT field, candidates for director of technology positions stay abreast of the newest technologies.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts is an IT marketing professional based in Birmingham, AL. Stephen began working at BMC in 2012 and focuses on creating best-in-class web content.