For any organization to succeed there is the urgent need for the stakeholders to ensure effective and efficient management of the available resources. One of the departments whose management significantly differs from the others is that of the IT department. IT management is whereby the technology resources in a given business are managed in line with the priorities and needs. These resources can include tangible investments like software, computer hardware, facilities in the data center and staffs in charge of maintenance among others. As seen in the novel, Jim Barton is appointed as the CIO (Chief Information Officer) at IVK Corporation, a fictional organization, though he significantly lacks the adequate background in the field of IT. In this chapter, it is evident that, IT management varies from other forms of management as side-kicks are critical in retaining the most experienced employees. According to Ruben, unlike other departments such as Loans Operation where Barton had vast experience in, the roles and duties of the IT department keeps on changing especially in the area of programming and communication protocols among others. Furthermore, there are chances of employees being more experience in comparison to the managers. Therefore, managers have to depend on these specialists to update them in details, or else the department will fail and this is a sharp contrast as compared to other departments.
After his arrival to the office to meet his executive assistance at 7.30 a.m., he first headed straight to a bookstore with the aim of buying books on I.T. subjects. This was after he felt challenged by a guy who appeared on a business story in a radio station. The person was vastly experienced in various fields such as programming, bioinformatics and economics among others. From the book store, he learned that, just like the guy who appeared on a radio station, he had the ability to surprise people by asking questions he already knew the answer. This way, he could see how people will interact with him, thus building his confidence in IT. From the night study, he was able to learn that, reading and understanding concepts related to IT is a difficult task and requires personal commitment at all depths. …..” He (Barton) had a book on data communications that talked about types of wire and voltage stuff. There were seven “OSI layers”…and each layer was complicated as hell….” (Austin Nolan and O'Donnell 2009, p. 50). As a result of this challenge, he informed Maggie that he might not have been well-equipped in handling the job.
The failure of the meeting going as planned was due to the fact that, Barton lacked the necessary skills and talents to create solutions or systems in this area. After meeting, he did not know whether the challenges which had been described by Ruben regarding knowing people and supervising them were separate or just the same thing. As a result of this failure, Barton became aware on the need to offer side-kicks, in order to retain experienced employees in the IT department.
Unlike other areas in an organization, IT department is vulnerable to constant attacks such as cyber attacks where millions of dollars among other valuable resources may be stolen. For this case, the IT structure is that way due to the fact that, the tentative plan would make it possible for direct reports from Barton to be responsible for all the activities within the group, while at the same time being able to tap external expertise according to the needs of the managers. Through this, security and efficiency would have been enhanced, hence growth of the organization.
From the story about the hospital CIO, Barton can learn that, for one to be a qualified CIO there is the need to be competent in a broad range of issues. Barton had always experienced the challenge of managing the IT department. Unlike him, the Hospital CIO was able to engineer software and his hospital had become a successful one. In order to equip him with the necessary skills to effectively run IVK Corporation, Barton had to keep updated with emerging issues, and this was only possible through reading variety of current books.