by Juan Carlos Perez

Hot Jobs: Capacity Manager

Jun 25, 20093 mins
IT Leadership

Helps to ensure sufficient IT resources to support the business.

job description: A capacity manager makes sure a company has the right amount of IT resources to support the business—not more, not less. It’s their job to determine if the current IT infrastructure is being utilized optimally and, if not, what changes should be made. “It’s a unique job within IT. The capacity manager is responsible for monitoring, analyzing and projecting whether the organization has sufficient computing capacity to do what it needs to do,” says Dave Van De Voort, a principal at Mercer.

why you need one: “If you aren’t doing capacity management, you’re likely to either underinvest in IT, which will affect your operations, or you’ll have excess capacity and overspend in systems you don’t need,” says Van De Voort. Striking this balance is critical for competitive reasons, says John Estes, vice president at Robert Half Technology. “The more efficient you can be with your IT assets, the more flexibility you’ll have, either by being more efficient with what youve got or by purchasing new products.” The rapid adoption of virtualization technology, the cloud computing trend and the pressure on CIOs to get the most return on investment from IT purchases have helped to make this a “hot job” in recent years.

desired skills: A strong technical background in key aspects of IT infrastructure, including desktop hardware, enterprise applications, databases, storage, networks and all types of servers. Must be good at budgets and math, since forecasting, statistical analysis and modeling are part of the job. Six years of related experience is generally required.

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salary range: $105,000 to $125,000

how to find one: Look for candidates in companies that make strong IT investments and view IT as a vehicle for gaining a competitive edge, not as an expense item. Consider IT consultants who are employed by large vendors like EMC, Oracle and SAP, says Carlo Carbetta, vice president of operations development at CIO Partners.

what to look for: “You want someone who is highly detailed in their work, very influencing, engaging and people oriented,” Carbetta says They must be able to explain technology to business managers and relate it to business plans and goals. Strong leadership skills are key. “IT propeller-heads will probably be overwhelmed in this position,” says Evelyn Hubbert, a Forrester senior analyst. Candidates should be process oriented.

elimination round: Ask candidates their perspective on service management. “Capacity managers need a service attitude to understand what is wanted by the lines of business and what IT can deliver,” says Hubbert.

growing your own: Good internal candidates include network administrators or engineers who moved up to business analysts or project managers involved with performance tuning, forecasting and management. They must have “a good nose for the tech aspect of performance management and capacity planning, but also understand the big picture and how what they do relates to the bottom line,” Estes says.