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IT Management (Information Technology Management)

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IT Management or Information technology Management is the process of overseeing all matters related to information technology operations and resources within an IT Organization (information technology organization). IT management ensures that all technology resources and associated employees are utilized properly and in a manner that provides value for the organization.[1]

IT Governance is the process of leading the IT Organization. So, IT Governance provides leadership or sets the direction while IT Management provides operational capability or executes on the direction. Increasingly, both these capabilities are assigned to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and their team.


Overview of IT Management[2]

The central aim of IT management is to generate value through the use of technology. To achieve this, business strategies and technology must be aligned.

IT Management is different from management information systems. The latter refers to management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making. IT Management refers to IT related management activities in organizations. MIS is focused mainly on the business aspect, with a strong input into the technology phase of the business/organization.

A primary focus of IT management is the value creation made possible by technology. This requires the alignment of technology and business strategies. While the value creation for an organization involves a network of relationships between internal and external environments, technology plays an important role in improving the overall value chain of an organization. However, this increase requires business and technology management to work as a creative, synergistic, and collaborative team instead of a purely mechanistic span of control.

Historically, one set of resources was dedicated to one particular computing technology, business application or line of business, and managed in a silo-like fashion. These resources supported a single set of requirements and processes, and couldn't easily be optimized or reconfigured to support actual demand. This led technology providers to build out and complement their product-centric infrastructure and management offerings with Converged Infrastructure environments that converge servers, storage, networking, security, management and facilities. The efficiencies of having this type of integrated and automated management environment allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with simpler manageability and maintenance, and enables IT to adjust IT resources (such as servers, storage and networking) quicker to meet unpredictable business demand.


Components of IT Management[3]

The simple answer is that IT management is managing anything related to IT or tech at your organization. The more complicated (and better) answer, is that IT management has several components, all of which relate to aligning IT objectives with business objectives in a way that creates the most value for your company. Below, we will discuss the three components of IT management.

  • IT Strategy: The first component of IT management is the most important because it involves connecting your IT department with your business’s needs. Having an IT strategy means, at its core, having a plan to deal with both good and bad scenarios as they relate to IT. For example, if your company expands and hires more employees, your IT department needs to figure out how to manage increased activity on your network. Or if your company is the target of a cyber attack, tech will need directives for recovering lost or compromised information. An effective IT strategy should do the following:
  • Support business operations by considering your organization’s overall goals and making sure your IT department can support and further those goals. That also means considering the business aspects of your IT department such as creating a workable budget and communicating with leaders in other departments to get a holistic view of your organization’s needs.
  • Secure your company’s and your customers’ information by developing a plan to protect it and staying up to date on the latest security strategies.
  • Provide value to the company by delivering reliable IT service and creating a framework for the IT department’s own plans for improvement as your organization grows and develops.
  • IT Service: Providing value through quality IT service isn’t as simple as promising that your tech team will do a good job. It means creating service goals and standards and doing everything you can to make sure your team lives up to them. Delivering top-notch IT service involves a two-pronged view of the people consuming those services:
  • Customers need to know their data won’t be compromised by faulty security systems. But on a more day-to-day level, they need access to your company’s website. Clients visiting your office might need access to your internet connection. And they need a system where they can report any tech-related issues they might encounter.
  • Employees need reliable access to an internet connection and internal data. Connections need to be secure, and your employees—especially those outside of the IT department—need to be educated about responsible network access. When something goes wrong, they also need a place to report tech issues so they’re fixed ASAP.
  • IT Assets: Finally, you need to manage all of the assets employees use to get their work done. That means managing not only who gets which laptop but also when and how your systems are updated. IT assets include:
  • Hardware. This is what you typically think of when discussing assets. Managing hardware includes keeping track of who uses which assets, tracking wear and tear, and ordering new equipment if and when you need it.
  • Software. Don’t forget that software is also an IT asset. Who uses which systems? When do your licenses expire? Do you need to connect one or more solutions? Is your tech team responsible for fixing a buggy proprietary system? You should be able to answer all of these questions if you’re properly managing your assets.


Key Features of Effective IT Management[4]

Overseeing current IT projects and operations will always be part of an IT management mandate. But today's CIOs will need to use technology in new, innovative ways to help the business keep pace with rapid change. IT management software and tools can help. Data and analytics, as well as cloud, are some of the areas CIOs have pursued. At the same time, they’re looking at artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and more to prepare for the future.

  • Analytics: An analytics solution can mine terabytes of operational data quickly to find the root cause of service impacts. It helps identify potential bottlenecks, predict outages and drive greater efficiency. Organizations gain insights into data or processing issues, negative IT trends and anomalies – making it easier to take steps to avoid system chaos. Beyond in-house optics, analytics provide insights to help enterprises better understand their customers – which in turn can drive business strategy.
  • Cloud Computing: Cloud services offer scalability, data security, data recovery services and more. Using the cloud can improve efficiencies and reduce infrastructure costs. It can benefit all aspects of the business, from operations to finance, and help position the organization for transformative cloud-based solutions in future. Many enterprises host core business applications on mainframes, which process millions of transactions each day. Cloud enablement helps IT departments modernize their mainframe systems – while freeing up CIOs to focus on other priorities. Organizations benefit from higher levels of productivity and performance with less overhead.
  • AI and Cognitive Computing: AI systems analyze data, learn and predict problems to help IT managers deliver better service quality. As well, AI-based chatbots can function as virtual agents, talking with users to resolve technical issues. Customers can also use them to learn about products and services. Moving ahead, cognitive computing may become vital to helping enterprises manage IT and accelerate innovation.
  • IoT: IoT platforms collect and analyze data from devices and sensors, helping to proactively resolve issues and improve productivity. IT managers can quickly derive insights into what the organization is doing right – and what it could be doing better. Cognitive learning further enables business to unlock IoT value. For one, it could combine multiple data streams to identify patterns and provide more context than would otherwise be available. Intelligent sensors too have the potential to self-diagnose and adapt to their environment without the need for human intervention.


The Importance of IT management[5]

IT is the backbone of many, if not all, enterprise structures. From data management to automation to mere communication, IT is what provides these services. The objective of IT management is to make sure that the technologies that are essential to your business are secure and high-performing.

For example, a cyberattack can cost a business $200,000 of revenue on average. And small businesses are particularly vulnerable to a breach. IT management is one methodology in place to prevent attacks from happening with the help of clever technology. Businesses must put these types of issues in the hands of experts. That’s where IT management steps in. In addition, emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more, now have a big part to play in how businesses appeal to customers.

For IT professionals, this makes their job even more high stakes because they will need to have a fundamental knowledge of advanced technologies. At any rate, the end goal is a digital transformation that will lead to both innovation and market success. The conversation of IT management not only revolves around being business-savvy but also having a lasting effect on the surrounding culture of your industry and the world.


Responsibilities of an IT Manager[6]

In the simplest of terms, an IT Manager is a problem solver. As a business grows or issues arise, it will often fall on the IT Manager to create an operating system or software which will help those in sales, service, or manufacturing be efficient or run smoother. A newly hired IT manger may adopt an inferior operating system structure and it may be up to him or her to make necessary adjustments in software capacity and performance. Besides the technical responsibilities attached to the position, an IT Manager must also be able to communicate in technical and non-technical environments. Managing a technical team means being a creative decision-maker and drawing the best work from analysts and code writers. Being able to train non-technical staff on ways to use software is another role the IT Manager must play. IT Managers must also be prepared to field questions and problems from department heads and general managers or CEOs. These types will rely heavily on an IT Manager's knowledge and creativity in order to fix a problem quickly.



See Also

References

  1. What is Information Technology Management (IT Management)? OMICS International
  2. Overview of IT Management Wikipedia
  3. Components of IT Management Capterra
  4. Key features of effective IT management IBM
  5. Why IT management is important? Trio
  6. What are the responsibilities of an IT Manager? Top Management Degrees