What Is IT Management? Definition, Importance and Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 2, 2022

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.

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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

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Importance of IT management

Here are some reasons IT management is important to organizations:

Increases productivity

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.

Decreases costs

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.

Supports growth

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.

Creates standardization

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.

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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.

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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

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

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.

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Skills for IT management

Here are some skills that help professionals succeed in IT management:

Decision-making

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.

Communication

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

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.

Team management

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

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.

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