What Is IT Management? Definition, Importance and Skills
Whether organizations have traditional or cloud infrastructure, most rely on technology to perform everyday tasks. This reliance emphasizes the importance of IT management, which is the process of maintaining an organization's computer-based activities. Implementing IT management can help an organization increase productivity and protect sensitive data. In this article, we discuss what IT management is, highlight its benefits and list skills that help professionals succeed in this field.
What is IT management?
IT management, or information technology management, is the process of overseeing an organization's computer-based activities. One key component of IT management is determining the organization's operational requirements and sourcing the appropriate hardware and software. The process also involves installing updates on company computers, developing data security protocols and coordinating technical support. Other responsibilities of IT managers include:
Interviewing and hiring IT staff
Supervising information security analysts and software developers
Teaching nontechnical employees how to use software
Creating network login credentials for employees
Maintaining the organization's IT budget
Conducting routine data backups
Creating operation system reports for stakeholders
Related: 42 Best Remote IT Jobs That Pay Well
Importance of IT management
Here are some reasons IT management is important to organizations:
IT management ensures that employees have the necessary resources to perform their duties. For instance, they might provide technical support to help employees quickly resolve network issues. IT management teams also implement automation tools to reduce unnecessary workloads and inspire innovation. While increased productivity can improve employee morale and boost company profits, it also benefits customers who are likely to notice higher quality products.
Some organizations hesitate to implement IT management because of the cost of employing extra staff, but the expense is often worth it. IT management can decrease costs by finding the most affordable equipment from vendors without sacrificing safety and productivity. The safety protocols that IT management teams implement help prevent expensive cyber attacks from occurring.
As organizations gain more customers, their existing IT equipment may not have the necessary storage and security features to meet demand. They can overcome this challenge by upgrading their infrastructure. IT management teams oversee this process to source the correct software and equipment while ensuring minimal disruption during the transition.
IT management teams often standardize an organization's information technology systems to increase efficiency. For instance, they might establish security protocols for addressing breaches, create a system for submitting service tickets or implement policies for maintaining equipment. These procedures can give employees clear instructions to follow and protect an organization's sensitive data.
Related: How To Get IT Jobs: 15 Career Tips
Knowledge areas for IT management
Here are some specific knowledge areas for IT management:
Business and IT alignment
This knowledge area is at the core of most IT management processes. It involves analyzing the organization's needs and using them to develop an appropriate IT strategy. For instance, a business with hundreds of employees requires a robust network that can manage many users at once. Another organization might prioritize a network with advanced security features to protect its high-profile customers' financial data. After learning about the organization's needs, IT managers can connect them with the appropriate infrastructure while remaining within a certain budget.
IT financial management
IT financial management involves the expenses of an organization's information technology. It usually meets with stakeholders to determine the ideal budget and advocate for more funds if necessary. IT financial managers may help an organization determine which components of an organization's infrastructure it's more profitable to design in-house. These professionals also account for recurring maintenance costs and manage payroll for an organization's IT staff.
Sourcing is the process of researching various vendors and determining which is most appropriate for an organization's needs. It may involve obtaining computers, servers and software and overseeing the setup process. Those who manage an IT department's sourcing also negotiate with vendors to get the best price and create maintenance agreements.
IT infrastructure managers determine how to organize an organization's various technologies. For instance, they might integrate a content management system with customer relationship management software to ensure fast delivery to clients. These professionals might also help an organization transfer from traditional infrastructure to cloud-based technology.
Skills for IT management
Here are some skills that help professionals succeed in IT management:
One of the main ways IT managers use decision-making skills is when choosing the appropriate vendors. They choose between several options by conducting research and soliciting advice from industry professionals. It's important for them to make educated decisions and remain confident about their choices. This confidence helps them justify their decisions to stakeholders and ensures employees adjust to the new systems.
Verbal and written communication skills can help IT managers write instructions and convey important information about system updates. These skills are especially important for teaching technical skills to a nontechnical audience. For instance, an IT manager might train new employees or explain complex concepts to stakeholders.
Negotiation skills help IT managers ensure they can share their technical expertise. They might advocate for a new security protocol that's costly but ensures the safety of customer data. Negotiation skills are also beneficial for securing the best software prices and maintenance agreement terms.
IT managers often serve as supervisors of computer programmers, network architects and data scientists. Those who are comfortable delegating tasks and providing feedback often find it easier to increase productivity. Team management skills also involve motivating employees and ensuring they have access to the necessary resources to complete their tasks.
Technical proficiency can help IT managers optimize the efficiency of an organization's information technology. For instance, most positions require them to understand how various software works and what the benefits of traditional versus cloud infrastructure are. This knowledge allows IT managers to troubleshoot issues and support team members when they ask for help.
Explore more articles
- How To Study Abroad: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Tips)
- What Is Brand Loyalty? (Plus Tips To Increase It)
- How To Download Word on Mac in 6 Steps (With Tips)
- A Definitive Guide to the Toolbar in Excel (With Benefits)
- 8 Effective E-Book Marketing Strategies
- How To Create a Safety Incentive Program
- What Is An Optometrist?
- What Are Trade Receivables? (With Tips for Reducing Them)
- Why Work in Finance? 4 Reasons and 5 Engaging Careers
- FAQ: What Is a Master's Degree in Higher Education? (Plus Benefits)
- Retirement Checklist: Everything You Need to Know
- 5 Manufacturing Production Strategies To Consider