For IT Managers, Best to Be a Small Fish in Big Pond

New research suggests that the career path of IT managers often sputters and stalls in smaller enterprises.

The career path of IT managers often sputters and stalls in small enterprises, according to research released Oct. 10 by the Info-Tech Research Groups Indaba division, a London, Ontario-based provider of IT research and advice.

IT managers who focus their occupation on companies with 200 or more employees are more likely to find a career in which they can have an impact on business, according the study.

In contrast, in small enterprises, IT managers typically have the job of implementing technology, and not directing strategy.

The research suggests that small companies typically rest the decision-making power for department acquisitions in the hands of senior, non-IT executive managers.

"Our findings indicate that smaller companies tend to give authority for IT decision-making to senior, non-IT executives," said Ed Daugavietis, senior research analyst with Info-Tech, in a statement.

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"In companies with more than 200 employees, the balance of power shifts, and more than 50 percent of purchase decisions are made by executives in the IT group."

For IT professionals that dont aspire to managerial positions, small enterprises can be the ideal environment for hands-on management.

"But for those wanting to progress to departmental management or becoming CIO, moving to a larger business is the obvious choice."

In surveying 4,000 small and midsize enterprises in 2006, Info-Tech said it hopes to use the research to provide tactical market advice to suppliers of IT products and services.

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