So you want to be a network manager, Part 2

Being a network manager isn't just about management and technical skills; understanding how IT supports the business goals of the organization is critical.

In So you want to be a network manager, part 1 I discussed some management strategies and skills that can help you in your pursuit of a network manager position.

But it's not just about management and technical skills; understanding how IT supports the business goals of the organization is critical. Here are some business-related tidbits to broaden your skill set to help in your pursuit of becoming a successful network manager.

Understand the business and apply the technology.

Certainly, many aspects of the network manager's position involve learning new skills that have more to do with the business than with the technical details of networking. However, that doesn't mean you should stop your technical growth. On the contrary, not keeping up with the latest trends and technologies in networking can lead to poor decisions -- and career suicide.

Consider this scenario: The CFO returns from a business technology convention where network access control was discussed as a method to implement access policies. She asks you about company NAC plans. You had better not only be ahead of her with an answer but understand the technical benefits and limitations of NAC and how to most effectively use it to further the business's goals.

Become proficient at budgeting.

Chances are, as a network administrator, you would submit a proposal to your boss for a new switch, router, NAC appliance or some other gadget that you felt was needed. You may have included a detailed analysis showing why it would be good for the company and why the company should purchase it. Your boss made a decision, and you either purchased the equipment or you didn't.

Moving up the ladder, it's you who will need to make the buy/no-buy decision. You'll need to understand budgeting, including the future costs of a purchasing decision. It's often these unforeseen future costs, for example, of network equipment support that managers surprise company accountants with, according to Allen Falcon, president of Horizon Information Group.

Not that you need to be an accountant, but you'll need to be able to talk to and understand them. "You should have the equivalent of a high school accounting course," explains Falcon, and understand basic concepts such as the difference between capital expenditures and expenses.

Network equipment, infrastructure, services and support aren't cheap. They usually represent a significant portion of the overall IT budget. Lacking basic budgeting skills could increase network operations costs, and you may find yourself needing to explain to the CIO and/or CFO why networking is consuming an inordinate amount of IT resources.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Network managementcertification (networking)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Greg Schaffer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?