IT executives struggle against stress

Compounding the effects of a lack of vendor support is the ongoing battle IT executives face securing, and retaining, suitable staff.

"Finding the right staff to ensure service delivery is provided to the highest standard is my greatest concern," says Tim Allen, IT manager, Oceania region for DHL International.

Although he works for a company he describes as IT-savvy and keen to provide a clear career progression path for its employees, Allen still suffers from the dreaded IT executive curse of insufficient resources.

In a familiar tale, Allen wishes he could offer his staff more training to enhance their skills and build their loyalty, but the reality of day-to-day demands on their time prevents him from doing so.

"It's a time factor," he says. "If I had another two hours a day I'd like to be able to offer them more training but taking them out of the department [under current constraints] affects the quality of our service delivery."

Slamen also finds himself short-staffed, especially when unexpected system glitches crop up.

"If something goes wrong in the accounts department, for example, the problem can be pushed to the next day but the nature of the business is such that if the IT system goes down it has to be attended to immediately, even if we already have a bunch of other urgent projects on our plate."

Such pressures are no surprise to Maeve Castle, a psychologist with Corporate Health Services.

Castle believes information technology is one of the most stressful industries to be involved in, and it is IT managers who often bear the brunt of that pressure.

"A heavy workload seems to be a common problem for people working in the IT field, with a lot of pressure to meet deadlines and take on a lot of projects at once, but IT executives have the added stress of having to negotiate and communicate between different levels [involved in the IT function] and being responsible for those various projects being delivered on time."

"These executives also have to take responsibility for maintaining morale amongst their staff, which means they have to manage personalities and often deal with conflicts that may arise when the people under them are feeling pressured."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about DHL InternationalMission AustraliaRIO TINTO

Show Comments

Market Place