A lot of the information that companies manage is technology-based. For example, a hacked terabyte can mean high stakes. A failing cloud system can translate to significant financial loses.
That’s why the functionality of information systems is considered a top internal risk for companies around the world, according to a Deloitte survey.
The effective performance of IT management departments will determine whether a business survives in the world of digital disruption. Whatever IT management does will always affect a business, regardless of the size.
What is Information Technology Management?
Information technology management is defined as the responsibility to analyze and monitor a company’s technology systems. Professionals involved in managing IT focus on making information systems operate efficiently. But, unlike 20 years ago, when IT departments were solely responsible for running company digital infrastructures, IT is now center-stage, influencing entire business operations.
Companies cannot operate without proper IT management. Today, data processing and always-on connectivity have enabled irreversible capabilities and efficiencies. It may be impossible to separate technology from the daily business operations of most companies nowadays.
Now, let’s imagine how a functioning IT infrastructure works.
IT Management Essentials
The following five primary components of IT infrastructures support all information systems across the business:
- Computer hardware
- Computer software
- Data management technology
- Human resources
Why is IT Management Important?
Organizations must make sure that their IT management practices ensure that information technologies are secure and perform at their peak. As digital technology seeps into every part of a business and becomes a corporate priority, the information becomes vulnerable to hacks. If an IT system goes through a data breach, it can cost a company an average of $3.92 million.
An IT management department consists of three major functions that can help to mitigate risks:
What Does an IT Manager Do?
Professionals that take a lead role in adopting systems to improve business operations include IT directors, chief technology officers and IT managers.
IT managers are responsible for supervising each operational group and making sure that the projects are being managed correctly and in time. When an IT director or a chief technology officer (CTO) announces an executive project, IT managers must delegate the responsibilities to the staff, assign timelines, and make sure that budgets reflect goal expectations.
In a broad context, directors and chief technology officers (CTOs) communicate how a vision should be met, and IT managers must figure out how to handle the leader’s roadmap, what can be achieved, and how resources can be best applied.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)*, computer and information systems managers, which are a type of IT managers, typically have a bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science-related field. They may also hold a graduate degree such as an MBA, according to the BLS. Earning an MBA in IT Management can provide the business and technical skills an IT manager needs to be successful.
Three Features of Effective IT Management
Today’s IT leaders need to use technology in innovative ways to keep pace with rapid change. Some of the most advanced IT management software is helping companies achieve unexpected outcomes.
Consider The New York Times, for example. Instead of losing readers because of the take-over of alternative mobile news apps, Wired reported that the company chose to migrate away from traditional revenue models, introduce a freemium service and focus on attracting new subscribers (mainly digital natives) through social media.
“We’re not going to create augmented reality. We’re going to figure out how to use that in a journalistic way,” said Sam Dolnick, a managing editor that oversees the Times’ audio reporting. According to Wired, after Dolnick introduced the IT team to virtual reality, its positive reception led them to develop a VR app that’s been downloaded more than one million times.
Effective IT infrastructures are a result of unified IT management teams. The Times’ IT department, as well as others, have learned to not only oversee new technologies but make sure they are using ones that don’t disrupt their vision. Overseeing projects is a daily task for IT management departments, and businesses need to make sure that operations don’t slow down due to outdated processes. Efficiency will keep everyone focused on the end goal.
If managed well, IBM explains that the following software and tools can help IT departments speed up their workflow for efficient and accurate results:
Data analysis can help cut down the time identifying service impacts. And advanced analytics can gain further insights into processing issues and anomalies- making it easier for IT managers to avoid system failures.
2. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers security, recovery, and scalability data services outside of hardware. Before the integration of the cloud, many companies resorted to using their own hard drives to administer large amounts of data sets, but with cloud computing, IT departments can count on more unified and secured servers. In fact, Deloitte’s survey found that cloud computing is the technology with the highest level of implementation, reaching 49% globally in the last two years.
3. AI and Cognitive Computing
Artificial systems help IT managers perform better services within their company. These systems analyze data and predict problems that accelerate problem-solving. Some organizations use specific AI tools, like chatbots, that function as virtual assistants, talking with users to resolve technical issues.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer and Information Systems Managers, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm (accessed October 17, 2019).
National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Degree and/or certificate program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.