Senior-level IT Directors - US

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Senior-level IT Directors - Psychographics

Senior-level IT directors in the U.S. need communication, leadership, organizational, and management capabilities, as well as the ability to co-operate and collaborate. They value and prioritize their company's needs, and in return, businesses place value in excellent IT directors to experience success.

Psychographic Profile - Senior-Level IT Directors

Needs

  • Apart from common professional and educational qualifications, IT directors must possess communication skills to interact with technical and non-technical employees. They also need to have leadership, analytical, organizational, and management qualities and abilities to co-operate and collaborate, which are self-actualization needs.
  • Remaining curious and partnering with mentors are important professional needs of a senior-level IT director to continue to develop in their career.

Challenges

  • As a senior level IT director, it is important to be up to date with emerging management theories, the most recent trends, and innovations, as well as shifts in the respective field.
  • To achieve this, IT directors continuously participate in professional development opportunities and take optional introductory courses and certifications, such as ITIL Foundation and MBAs in management, to enhance their management skills.

Passion Points

  • Most IT professionals operating at higher levels in their career exhibit their passion for writing by publishing media articles and books on the tech field.
    • Kara Swisher founded Recode and is a journalist in the United States. Swisher typically writes about topics related to progressive technology, and her work has been published by The New York Times, as well as The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, while at All Things Digital, she acted as its co-executive director.
    • David Heinmeier Hansson, who created Ruby on Rails and is the CTO and founder of the software development business Basecamp, is a New York Times best selling author. Hansson has served as the co-author of multiple books such as "Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application" and "The Facets of Ruby Series."
  • Moreover, they inclined to utilize their IT skills to fulfill their passion in business, public service, and other interests.
    • Gary Vaynerchuk is the current CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia and is well-known within the IT industry. He was able to improve the sales generated by his family’s wine company from about $4 million to $60 million via WineLibrary, which is his ecommerce website. Furthermore, he is also a New York Times best selling author.
    • Dr. Mike Rucker has operated within the technology sector since the 1990s. Dr. Rucker has transformed into a prominent figure in the health technology sector. He focuses on ways in which technology can assist in overall well-being and often discusses digital health and wellness at popular events.

Habits

  • A senior-level IT director has a habit of reading business journals and trade magazines, while also attending a variety of conferences, though it may be out of their comfort zone. These habits help them to remain curious and up to date on the evolving tech field.

Values

  • IT directors value their company's needs. Hence, they are prepared to work overtime during busy periods when it is necessary to reduce the strain on the company. For instance, IT directors who work for retail businesses tend to work overtime during holidays, while those in the tourism industry might work more during spring breaks and summer vacations.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, around 40% of all managers of computer and information systems worked over 40 hours per week, which was similar to half of the top executives.
  • Due to complexities and continuous development in technology, skillful IT directors are vital to the success of the business. Hence, they are valued by companies.

Research Strategy:

Our research began by looking for pre-compiled psychographics of senior-level IT directors in the U.S. We discovered that most of the sources addressed demographics, and no psychographics were available. Hence, we centered our research on extracting insights and information on each of the required aspects of the psychographics of senior-level IT directors in the country separately to build the profile. We utilized credible media articles, press releases, and descriptions of job profiles by companies situated/headquartered in the U.S., such as VIE and BMC. We analyzed each key point thoroughly. For instance, we used the required skill sets and professional developments to determine the needs, challenges, and habits of a successful senior-level IT director in the U.S.

To determine the passion points, we searched for the influencers or popular figures holding the title of IT director. The idea here was to identify their passion points and use it as a proxy. From the list of the top 12 IT influencers, we focused on the top-level tech professionals residing in the U.S. We were able to determine the passion points by using their achievements, interests, and works pinpointed in the article and their social media accounts.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Senior-level IT Directors - Top Communities

Nine of the top communities for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. are (1) the Computing Technology Industry Association, (2) TechRepublic, (3) the Association for Computing Machinery, (4) ZDNet, (5) the Technology Leaders Association, (6) CIO Journal, (7) Information Technology Industry Council, (8) InfoWorld, and (9) the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards.

Top Communities for Senior-Level IT Directors in the U.S.

1. Computing Technology Industry Association (COMPTIA)

2. TechRepublic

  • This link is to TechRepublic's website.
  • TechRepublic is a top website for IT leaders and professionals.
  • TechRepublic assists leaders in IT by helping them identify strategies and technologies to improve their companies' IT functions.
  • The content on the site includes white papers, research, community forums, blogs, webcasts, and software downloads.
  • The contributors to the site who provide advice and author content for IT professionals have been described collectively as "the largest community of IT leaders on the Web."
  • Each week, approximately 84 posts are published on TechRepublic, thus making it an active source of current IT content.
  • TechRepublic is based in the U.S., thereby making it specific to U.S. IT leaders.
  • TechRepublic maintains a strong presence on social media, with approximately 978,600 fans on Facebook and approximately 212,600 followers on Twitter.
  • TechRepublic is a top community for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because (1) it was listed among the "Top 50 IT Blogs And Websites For IT Professionals To Follow in 2019," (2) it's comprised of "the largest community of IT leaders on the Web," and (3) it has a strong following on social media.

3. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

4. ZDNet

  • This link is to ZDNet's website.
  • ZDNet is a top website for IT leaders.
  • ZDNet publishes research, analysis, and breaking news, which keeps tech professionals current with developments in IT events, issues, and trends.
  • ZDNet states that IT leaders rely on its around-the-clock, worldwide tech news coverage on topics that include big data, cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence, networking, and mobility, among others.
  • Each week, ZDNet publishes approximately 168 posts.
  • ZDNet maintains a solid presence on social media, with approximately 442,000 followers on Twitter and approximately 274,000 fans on Facebook.
  • ZDNet is a top community for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because it (1) was listed among the "Top 50 IT Blogs And Websites For IT Professionals To Follow in 2019," (2) is relied on by IT leaders, (3) publishes a vast amount of content, and (4) has a strong following on social media.

5. Technology Leaders Association (TLA)

  • This link is to TLA's website.
  • TLA is a community specifically for IT executives, including IT directors, managers, and CIOs, or people with comparable experience.
  • The mission of the TLA is to "help[] senior information technology executives network to enjoy progressive, sustainable careers, drive excellence in IT and the businesses we support."
  • The TLA reports that it has 3,886 members.
  • TLA is a top community for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because (1) its membership is specifically limited to IT executives and (2) it has 3,886 such members.

6. CIO Journal

  • This link is to CIO Journal.
  • CIO Journal is a publication from the Wall Street Journal. Deloitte sponsors the publication.
  • The content is written for an audience of technology executives.
  • Deloitte describes CIO Journal as an information service and premium-news source for senior business leaders with a tech interest and CIOs.
  • CIO Journal's content includes writing from Wall Street Journal's tech journalists, analysis and insights provided by Deloitte, and news provided by the Dow Jones.
  • CIO Journal is a top community for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because it (1) was listed among ThoughtSpot's "Top 5 Blogs for IT Leaders," (2) has a vast reach, as it is published by the prominent Wall Streett Journal which has a monthly digital-readership base of 42.4 million people, and (3) is written for an audience of technology executives.

7. Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

8. InfoWorld

  • This link is to InfoWorld's website.
  • InfoWorld is a top website for IT leaders that features content pertaining to IT news, IT strategies for companies, product reviews, and other business technology content.
  • InfoWorld has been described as a source meant "for IT decision makers seeking to modernize operations using the latest technologies, architectures, and strategies."
  • InfoWorld is a top community for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because it (1) is listed among the "Top 50 IT Blogs And Websites For IT Professionals To Follow in 2019," (2) is specifically geared to IT leaders, and (3) has a solid following in social media.

9. InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS)

  • This link is to INCITS's website.
  • INCITS is a division of, yet separate from, the aforementioned ITI.
  • INCITS describes itself as "the central U.S. forum dedicated to creating technology standards for the next generation of innovation."
  • INCITS also describes itself as "the guiding force for global and U.S. information and communications technology standards."
  • Industry leaders are part of INCITS members and those members collectively seek to bring about positive and innovative changes within IT.
  • INCITS is a top community for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because (1) it's a top U.S. and global leader within the IT community and (2) its members include IT Industry leaders.

Research Strategy

To identify top communities for senior-level IT directors in the U.S., we first looked for lists of the top/best IT associations. Two such lists that we used were published by Network Computing and JobStars. We then visited the applicable associations' websites and read more about them. From that information, we included associations that indeed appeared to be top communities for senior-level IT directors, based on factors such as membership count, types of members, and reach/influence within the IT industry. Outside of those lists, we also conducted wide-ranging searches for such types of associations and, through that process, identified associations such as ITI.

In addition to top association communities, we also wanted to include top website communities for senior-level IT directors for balance. We looked for a list of the top/best IT websites and, in so doing, found this list of the top IT blogs for 2019. We read the descriptions of those blogs, including information about their reach/presence within IT. For those blogs/websites that seemed like a good match for our research purposes, we then reviewed their direct websites and looked for information supporting the notion that they are indeed top/best sites for IT leaders. All the communities we included are specific to U.S. IT leaders because each is based in the U.S.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Senior-level IT Directors - Key Publications

Six key publications that target senior-level IT directors in the United States are Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, CEOWORLD magazine, and Entrepreneur.

Harvard Business Review

  • Harvard Business Review's website can be found here.
  • Harvard Business Review is a publication dedicated to management insights, according to their LinkedIn page. They give top senior-level directors, C-suite executives, and other professionals rigorous insights on the best business management practices. They do this through their publications like "digital content and tools," which are published on HBR.org and the Harvard Business Review Press, among others.
  • Harvard Business Review was included as a key publication because it is a globally recognized leader of business management publications and has received several accolades in the United States. For example, the publication won the Eddie & Ozzie Magazine of the Year Award in 2019.
  • The publication was also chosen since it was rated as the number one best website for CEOs, senior executives, and entrepreneurs by CEOWORLD magazine. They received a rating of 98.7 along with their ranking.

Forbes

  • Forbes' website can be found here.
  • According to their LinkedIn page, Forbes is a publication dedicated to business insights and news in entrepreneurship, technology, affluent lifestyles, and leadership.
  • Forbes has a global customer base of more than 94 million people. It reaches people through print media, television, online columns, social media, and conferences. The publication also has brand extensions that include technology license agreements.
  • Forbes was included because it is a leader in business management publications and has received several awards in the United States. For example, Forbes won awards in 2018 such as the Deadline Club Award for Best Business Feature and the Folio Digital Marketer of the Year award.
  • Forbes was also included because it was rated as the number two best website for CEOs, senior executives, and entrepreneurs by CEOWORLD magazine. The publication received a rating of 98.6.

The Wall Street Journal

  • The publication's website can be found here.
  • According to their LinkedIn page, the Wall Street Journal is a mass media publication dedicated to business insights and news in business, technology, politics, and real estate, among other topics.
  • The publication reaches people through mediums like print, online columns, and blogs. They also have blogs and columns dedicated exclusively to technology and technology-related matters.
  • The Wall Street Journal was included as a key publication because it has received many awards, including 37 Pulitzer prizes.
  • The publication was also rated by CEOWORLD magazine as the number three best website for CEOs, senior executives, and entrepreneurs. It received a rating of 98.5.

Bloomberg Businessweek

  • The publication's website can be found here.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek is an information and technology company, a recognized leader in financial data, and a top news publication, according to their LinkedIn page. They use analytical technology to provide real-time business and market publications that help with financial decisions.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek was included because it has received accolades and awards in the United States and globally. For example, the publication won the 2019 Best Analytics Provider award from Central Banking Fintech & Regtech.
  • The publication was also chosen because it was ranked the number four best website for CEOs, senior executives, and entrepreneurs by CEOWORLD magazine. They received a rating of 98.2.

CEOWORLD Magazine

  • The publication's website can be found here.
  • CEOWORLD magazine is a website that provides "global business and technology information." The publication is dedicated to providing information to high-level executive professionals, investors, CFOs, CEOs, and "high net worth individuals."
  • They publish news, reviews, opinions, and features, according to its LinkedIn page. They publish information on topics such as business, finance, industry, communications, technology, investing, and marketing.
  • CEOWORLD Magazine was included as a key publication because it is one of the world's most respected and largest online magazines. According to Crunchbase, it is the only publication written exclusively for managing directors, C-suite executives, venture capitalists, and their peers.

Entrepreneur

  • The publication's website can be found here.
  • Entrepreneur was included because it is a recognized publication dedicated to business insights and news in business, technology, and entrepreneurs. It was also rated by CEOWORLD magazine as the number six best website for CEOs, senior executives, and entrepreneurs with a score of 97.8.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Senior-level IT Directors - Thought Leaders

Six of the top influencers for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. are Graham Cluley, Tim O'Reilly, Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Paul Asadoorian, and Kara Swisher.

Top Influencers for Senior-Level IT Directors in the U.S.

1. Graham Cluley

  • Graham Cluley is an expert in computer security.
  • His experience in the IT industry spans more than 20 years.
  • Graham has been described as "one of the most popular IT influencers out there."
  • This link is to Graham's website.
  • This link is to Graham's Twitter.
  • Graham is a top influencer for senior-level IT directors because he was listed among "The Top 12 IT Influencers Dominating the Tech Space in 2019" by industry source Grin. Grin is the top "influencer marketing solution for brands and agencies worldwide." Grin is a U.S. company, which is how we ensured that the IT influencers we selected pertain to senior-level IT directors in the U.S.
  • Graham is also a top influencer for senior-level IT directors because he has made numerous appearances across prominent media channels, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, Computerworld, Reuters, Financial Times, The Guardian, and NPR, among others.

2. Tim O'Reilly

  • According to influencer source Grin, "[n]o list of IT influencers can be complete without the mention of Tim O’Reilly."
  • Tim O'Reilly is the Chairman, CEO, and founder of O'Reilly Media.
  • O'Reilly Media "delivers online learning, publishes books, and runs conferences about cutting-edge technology, and has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry."
  • Tim has coined popular terms within the IT industry, such as "Web 2.0" and "open source."
  • This link is to Tim's website.
  • This link is to his Twitter.
  • Tim is a top influencer for senior-level IT directors because (1) he was listed among "The Top 12 IT Influencers Dominating the Tech Space in 2019" by Grin, (2) he has 1.79 million followers on Twitter, and (3) his website states that his company has had a "catalytic impact on the technology world."

3. Guy Kawasaki

A. Overview

  • Per influencer source Grin, "no list of IT influencers can be complete without" including Guy Kawasaki.
  • Guy has substantial experience in IT/software, as he has worked for such companies, the most notable of which are Apple and Motorola.
  • He has also founded tech companies, including database company ACIUS and Fog City.
  • He also wrote a book titled "MacUser, Macworld, and Forbes."
  • Guy has also invested in or advised a number of IT/tech/software companies.

B. Social Media Links

C. Why He's a Top Influencer

  • Guy Kawasaki is a top influencer for senior-level IT directors because (1) he was listed by Grin as one of "The Top 12 IT Influencers Dominating the Tech Space in 2019" and (2) he has 1.44 million followers on Twitter.

4. Gary Vaynerchuk

A. Overview

  • Gary Vaynerchuk was described by Grin as "one of the most popular names in the IT industry."
  • His original claim to fame resulted from him exponentially growing the sales for the wine company his family owned from a mere $3 to a whopping $60 million within a five-year period.
  • Gary is VaynerMedia's CEO and VaynerX's Chairman.
  • Gary is an angel investor in major tech companies, including Venmo, Tumblr, and Twitter.

B. Social Media Links

C. Why He's a Top Influencer

  • Gary Vaynerchuk is a top influencer for senior-level IT directors because (1) he was listed among "The Top 12 IT Influencers Dominating the Tech Space in 2019" by Grin and (2) he has huge followings across his social media channels (as previously stated above).

5. Paul Asadoorian

  • This link is to his Twitter.
  • Paul Asadoorian is a top influencer for senior-level IT directors because (1) Grin named him one of "The Top 12 IT Influencers Dominating the Tech Space in 2019," (2) he has vast knowledge of IT security, and (3) he has a solid following on Twitter (65,400 followers).

6. Kara Swisher

  • Kara Swisher is an acclaimed tech journalist who has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Kara has been described as "tech's preeminent . . . journalist."
  • She is an executive editor, executive producer, and podcast host for CNBC pertaining to coding.
  • Her previous work experience also includes being All Things Digital's Co-Executive Director.
  • Kara doesn't have her own personal website.
  • This link is to her Twitter.
  • Kara Swisher is a top influencer for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because (1) she was listed among "The Top 12 IT Influencers Dominating the Tech Space in 2019" by Grin, (2) she is a renowned journalist in the IT/tech space, and (3) she has a strong following on Twitter (1.33 million followers).

Research Strategy

To identify top influencers for senior-level IT directors in the U.S., we first looked for lists of top IT influencers. In so doing, we found this list of top IT influencers published by Grin, which, as previously stated above, is the top "influencer marketing solution for brands and agencies worldwide." Thus, the list of those top IT influencers is very credible. The influencers we chose are top influencers for senior-level IT directors in the U.S. because they are top experts and leading voices within the IT industry.

Next, we reviewed the individuals on that list and checked their websites and social media accounts to assess who from that list appear to be the top of the top influencers, since our list wasn't going to include 12 influencers (so we needed to be selective). The individuals we included above are those that, based upon the information we reviewed, appeared to be the top IT influencers. After determining the influencers to include in our list, we then re-looked at their websites and social media channels. Two of the influencers (Kara Swisher and Paul Asadoorian) don't maintain a personal website, but we provided other supplementary information about them. The information we included about the influencers we chose came primarily from Grin's article, the influencers' personal websites, and the influencers' social media channels.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Senior-level IT Directors - Customer Journey

IT vendor websites (89%) and IT publisher websites (76%) are the most opted sources for senior-level IT directors to look for information on new products and services. Some of the top magazines read by senior-level IT professionals regarding new products and services include PC Magazine, Macworld, IT Professional Magazine, etc.

OVERVIEW

  • IT vendor websites (89%) and IT publisher websites (76%) are the most opted sources for senior-level IT directors to look for information on new products and services.
  • Some of the top magazines read by senior-level IT professionals regarding new products and services include PC Magazine, Macworld, IT Professional Magazine, etc.

PROCESS FOR EVALUATION AND SELECTION/PURCHASE OF IT EQUIPMENT FOR A BUSINESS

  • In order to purchase new IT equipment (hardware/software), the first step is to analyze the purpose and specifications of the equipment.
  • Before purchasing IT equipment from new vendors, they evaluate the products offered by existing vendors.
  • Some of the parameters for evaluating IT equipment for a business include the compatibility of new equipment with existing one, price of the equipment, ease of use, credibility of the vendor and products-reviews, and agility and integration.
  • The extent of customer support and maintenance also plays a crucial role in evaluating IT equipment.
  • Evaluation of IT equipment and finalizing a vendor is followed by delivery, installation, and post-installation review.

RELEVANT INSIGHTS

  • Deloitte describes CIO Journal as an information service and premium-news source for senior business leaders with an interest in technology and CIOs.
  • Traditional media (74%) such as journals, news articles, industry association publications and websites (71%), academic publications (61%), email notifications (61%), industry thought leaders websites/blogs (56%), vendor publications (50%), and social media (30%) are considered to be valuable information hub by C-suite executives for B2B purchasing decisions.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Initially, we searched for the required information on pre-existing customer journey/experience map/purchase funnel for senior-level IT directors across IT articles, IT purchase reports such as Ngdata, PWC, IBISWorld, 1000sourcecodes, Netline, and Sitepronews. Most of the information we came across focused only on Customer Journey Mapping software tools.

Next, we examined business articles and surveys on Forbes, Deloitte, Techrepublic, Linkedin, etc to derive insights on the said subject. We located data on media consumption of C-suite level IT professionals such as CIOs and CTOs. Further, we found that there is a negligible difference between the roles. Therefore, we considered both titles to be similar and triangulated that the required information.

Subsequently, we identified the common process involved in the evaluation and selection/purchase of IT equipment for businesses across various IT business reports and blogs such as Aalpha, Topbots, Agilitypr, Ecomputernotes, Databox, etc. We selected the insights that appeared in multiple reports as the common process for evaluation and selection/purchase of IT equipment for business and presented the same in the findings section.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Once you’re in an IT director position, your formal education doesn’t end. Quite the opposite in fact: you may want to partake in professional development opportunities in order to stay abreast of the latest trends, emerging management theories, and how innovation is changing your field."
  • "Remember, though, that professional development doesn’t have to be formal. Some of the best ways to continue developing as a director are to stay curious and to partner with a mentor."
Quotes
  • " it's not uncommon for these professionals to put in a lot of overtime. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 40 percent of computer and information systems managers worked more than 40 hours a week in 2014. This was also true of about half of top executives."
Quotes
  • "Today, it is an inescapable conclusion that technology is a critical lever for business success."
  • "This approach is fraught with danger, as the key responsibility to ensure delivery of business value from IT now rests largely on the shoulders of the IT leader, an employee in most mid-sized organizations who does not traditionally have the right skills to manage IT investments from a business perspective."
From Part 02
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "CIO Journal is a premium news and information service for chief information officers and senior business executives interested in technology."
Quotes
  • "PC Magazine is the quintessential resource for reviews of technology solutions from hardware to security."
  • "Macworld is a consumer magazine focused on Apple and compatible products and services. Whereas PC Magazine focuses on the broader consumer base, Macworld hones in on the hardware and software nuances of Apple with tutorials, reviews, buying guides, and more. "
  • "IT Professional Magazine to connect with developers and enterprise IT managers. They share informative content on a variety of topics from Internet security to system integration. This publication focuses on peer-reviewed, academic research as opposed to news trends or product reviews."
Quotes
  • "The other difficulty here is that job titles tend to be greatly varied, and are often not a true indicator of whether or not the company has adopted a true CIO position within their organization. I have found that, regardless of title, companies tend to fall into either the “IT Director/Manager” model or the “CIO” model."
  • "their behaviors and the way they look at IT, rather than the job titles they use, will position them into one of these models."