IT Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An IT Director, or Chief Technology Officer, is a senior staff member who manages all the IT and computer systems within a company. They are responsible for creating IT policy and strategy, implementing infrastructure and leveraging technology to help the organisation achieve its goals.

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IT Director duties and responsibilities

Nearly all large organisations have an IT Director. The IT Director’s role can vary greatly depending on the size and objectives of the organisation. Together with the IT Manager, IT Directors work closely with stakeholders to continuously improve the company’s infrastructure, systems and network. Some of their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Developing the organisation’s IT vision and translating it into actionable goals
  • Directing the sourcing and implementation of new software and hardware
  • Formulating and implementing business continuity and disaster recovery plans
  • Coordinating IT activities to ensure the availability of network services and data
  • Identifying future challenges in the IT landscape and developing mitigation strategies
  • Overseeing departmental budgeting and forecasting within the organisation
  • Directing IT staff recruitment and directly supervising employees
  • Identifying security vulnerabilities and eliminating them with strategic solutions
  • Identifying and recommending new technology solutions 

What does an IT Director do?

The main duty of an IT Director is to define, manage and strategise how technology can help an organisation grow in scale and become more successful. This includes everything from planning and executing projects to overseeing the infrastructure, technical operations and talent management.

IT Directors usually work in office environments, sitting at a desk for long periods of time, using computers, printers and other office equipment. They may also need to work during the evening or weekend if problems arise with a computer system.

IT Director skills and qualifications

An IT Director is a well-rounded professional with a broad understanding of tech theories and application from a macro-level. A successful IT Director candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:

  • Sound knowledge of IT systems, specifications, networks and computer systems
  • Problem-solving skills and an analytical mindset
  • Project planning and management skills
  • Proficiency in forecasting, budgeting and strategic use of IT staff
  • Excellent leadership, prioritization and organisational skills
  • Ability to communicate to tech-savvy and non-technical staff

IT Director experience requirements

An IT Director is ideally someone with practical IT managerial experience, has a genuine interest in technology and has previously worked in a fast-paced environment. Experience with IT and cybersecurity is essential. An applicant with excellent knowledge of IT systems and infrastructure is an invaluable resource for any organisation.

Five to ten years of work experience in the IT field, either in operations, management or service areas is preferred. As a senior leader, the successful candidate should have over ten years of experience in designing, implementing and managing IT teams.

IT Director education and training requirements

Nearly all IT Director roles require at least a Bachelor’s Degree in IT or Computer Science and extensive IT experience, but a Master’s Degree in IT Management is more advantageous along with leadership experience. Candidates who are able to solve real-world IT challenges by using emerging technologies to help the business gain a competitive advantage are an asset. It’s also essential that candidates expand their education and skill set with IT training and certifications to keep up with changes in the dynamic IT landscape.

IT Director salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of an IT Director is £80,623 per year. This figure depends on the applicants’ skills, qualifications, previous accomplishments and location. Some companies offer their most valued employees cash bonuses, commissions and stock options.

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IT Director job description FAQs

What qualities make a good IT Director?

A good IT Director has a solid grasp of IT or computer systems and several years’ experience leading IT teams at the highest levels. The successful candidate is ideally someone who understands new trends and shifts in technology and can apply this to the department, while balancing the organisation’s business needs and budget.

What's the difference between an IT Manager and IT Director ?

An IT Manager oversees employees and the day-to-day aspects of IT within an organisation. Managers are more hands-on, leading and mentoring staff while ensuring IT systems are running. An IT Director takes care of the strategy and policy aspect of IT by charting the IT course of the organisation, formulating policies and issuing  instructions to the Manager. From time to time, they also step in to offer hands-on mentorship to employees in preparation for managerial roles.

Do IT Directors have different responsibilities in different industries?

The day-to-day duties of an IT Director vary depending on the size and needs of a specific industry. In a small organisation, this person may be the highest-ranking IT professional, overseeing IT operations and management. However, in larger firms, they create strategic IT long-term goals and offer guidance to managers and junior employees.

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