It’s hard to imagine working without computers. That technology touches every sector of the business world. Information technology (IT) is what keeps the modern world running, which is why IT management is so crucial to business.
For too many, IT is a mystery and IT management isn’t even in their vocabulary. We’ll explain these two terms, explore the various aspects of IT management and why it’s so important to businesses.
What Is Information Technology (IT)?
Information technology, more commonly referred to as IT, is using hardware, software and the supporting infrastructure to manage and deliver data through various means, such as voice, video, etc. Therefore, IT isn’t only digital but can include equipment used for telecommunications and radio, video conferencing and computing.
There are many professionals who are tasked with working in IT. They include computer programmers, web developers, support specialists, IT technicians, network engineers, database administrators, software engineers, computer scientists, data scientists and IT security specialists. That’s only a few.
In terms of business, IT can touch on almost all departments of a company. IT works with production, human resource management, purchasing, research and development (R&D), accounting and finance, marketing and many more.
What Is IT Management?
IT is involved in so many things that there must be a process to ensure those different activities go off without a hitch. IT management is how IT systems, such as hardware, software and networks, are monitored, administered and controlled. IT management’s goal is to make all these systems work more efficiently so that people can work better.
As companies continue to carve out bigger and bigger digital footprints, IT management becomes increasingly central to their strategies. The IT environment is also growing to include more hardware, network and software components, computers, servers, routers, applications, mobile devices, etc.
IT management requires software that can receive tickets, schedule work and track progress in real time. ProjectManager is project management software that helps you create project and portfolio plans, such as Gantt charts that organize tasks across a timeline. You can prioritize, set duration and link all four task dependencies to avoid costly delays. Plus, when you set a baseline, you can then track your work in real time to catch issues before they disrupt systems. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
Key Areas of IT Management
IT management is a large endeavor that involves many different areas that require oversight. There are five essential areas of IT management: governance, operations management, project management, IT infrastructure security and service desk. To get a better understanding of what IT management is made of, let’s take a moment to define each of these key areas.
IT governance is a framework for aligning IT strategy with the business strategy of the organization. This structure allows organizations to achieve measurable results as they work towards meeting their overall goals and objectives. However, the organization isn’t the sole focus of IT governance. The interests of stakeholders, the needs of staff and the processes they follow are also an integral part of IT governance.
IT Operations Management
IT operations management deals with the planning and management of IT resources. This includes digital services, networking, servers, fixing hardware and software issues, etc. All procedures and services that an IT department manages fall under operations and can be for either internal or external clients. IT operations strive for efficiency and performance of the organization’s processes and services to improve end-user satisfaction.
IT Project Management
IT project management involves when changes or new initiatives are tasked by the IT department. For example, making changes to the IT architecture of the organization will likely involve installing new servers, client computers, network, software and other related IT tasks. It involves planning, scheduling, executing, monitoring and controlling, plus reporting on any IT projects.
IT Financial Management
IT financial management is the process of tracking costs, cash flows and revenue associated with the IT operations of an organization to make sure its financial or other types of benefits outweigh its costs. IT financial management also involves decisions related to improving the cost effectiveness and profitability of the business’ IT infrastructure.
A service desk is where all incident reports, service requests, change notifications and other critical communication occurs between the service and users. Outside of communication, the service desk is tasked with incident management and request fulfillment. There are different service desks for different-sized enterprises, but all function in essentially the same way. They’re the single point of contact between the IT department and the users of the IT services.
IT Asset Management
An IT infrastructure is made up of the IT assets that allow an organization to execute its IT services such as networks, software, hardware and facilities. IT asset management is the process of acquiring, maintaining, upgrading and disposing of those assets as they go through their life cycle.
IT Problem Management
There’s a wide variety of issues that can affect your IT operations, from cyber attacks to software bugs or unintentional damage caused by your own employees. IT problem management is the process of diagnosing what are the root causes of an issue and finding the best solutions possible to restore your IT service and ensuring the issue won’t repeat itself.
IT Service Management
IT service management is the set of processes and activities that allow an organization to effectively provide IT services to its customers and employees. For example, IT organizations usually have a help desk, which is the contact point where internal and external users can request IT services. The help desk will then use a ticketing system to prioritize service requests and track their completion.
Related: IT Service Request Management
IT Risk Management
IT risk management refers to the frameworks, guidelines and processes that allow organizations to be prepared for risks that might cause a loss of data and major disruptions in IT operations. For example, a natural disaster such as a flood might irreversibly damage the facility where servers are located. In those circumstances, organizations will deploy a series of IT risk management measures to restore their IT operations and back up their data.
Two key elements of IT risk management are IT auditing and IT disaster recovery.
Periodic IT audits are important to ensure that the IT infrastructure of an organization is operating as expected and there are no unforeseen risks that could affect it in the future. IT audits can also be done whenever a company is preparing itself to comply with regulations or obtain a certification.
IT Disaster Recovery
IT disaster recovery is the process of responding to severe IT risk events known as disasters that cause major IT services disruptions and loss of data. To recover from an event like that, organizations must prepare an IT disaster recovery plan, a document that describes the steps that should be followed when IT disasters strike.
IT Infrastructure Security
IT infrastructure security is a process of keeping network infrastructure safe from attack, corruption, etc. This requires the installation of preventative measures that restrict unauthorized access, modification, deletion and theft of resources and data. Some control methods include access control, application security, firewalls, virtual private networks (VPN), behavioral analytics, intrusion prevention systems and wireless security.
Why Is IT Management Important for Businesses?
If a business relies on its technology, then IT management is the process behind the scenes that ensures its equipment is working properly when needed. That alone is why IT management is important for businesses. But it’s the most obvious and not the only reason for having IT management. Here are a few other reasons why IT management is important for businesses.
IT Helps With Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) manages day-to-day business activities. This includes accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance and more. IT management bundles these various operations under a single system and makes sure it’s working properly, managing those business operations to streamline its activities.
IT Helps Businesses Track Strategic Goals
To know if you’re meeting your strategic goals, you need to track your progress and performance. IT management has tools to track what systems and software are being used in the organization. It can also track subscriptions and licenses to renew them before they lapse. Tracking data and who has access to that information is another aspect of IT management, which makes sure it’s secure and up to date.
IT Helps Businesses Understand their Customers
IT management is involved in various means of understanding customers and keeping them satisfied. There are automated email services and web submission forms that collect feedback and questions, but require software to run. IT management is cheaper and faster in terms of managing communication between customers and businesses. It adds value to the customer experience, which in turn builds loyalty.
Key IT Management Roles
We’ve discussed what IT management is, why it’s important and broken it down into its main components. While this has provided a big-picture view of IT management and how it fits into a business, we’ve neglected to detail the various positions within IT management.
An IT manager is tasked with planning, implementing and maintaining the computer system and network infrastructure of an organization. They must maintain the hardware and software, making sure it’s updated when needed. IT managers are also responsible for managing user accounts and permissions, providing technical support, planning the IT budget and negotiating with vendors. Other responsibilities include ensuring data security, overseeing website development and maintenance, creating policies and procedures related to IT and training staff.
IT Project Manager
An IT project manager is responsible for the planning, organizing, budgeting and allocation of resources for IT projects, such as software and app development, hardware installation and network upgrades, just to name a few. The IT project manager will lead a team through all phases of the IT project, monitoring progress and performance to ensure that the project is delivered on time and within budget. They will also respond to issues and make sure the project stays on track.
Chief Information Officer
The company executive-level individual who oversees IT management, implementation and the usability of technology is called the Chief Information Officer (CIO). As technology has grown and expanded in the business world so has this position. The CIO is responsible for integrating systems that benefit or improve the company’s operations. They need to be aware of and respond quickly to technological trends and changes as they relate to the organization, its people and who it serves.
ProjectManager Helps With IT Management
If your organization uses IT in any capacity, then you need to have the right tools to plan, manage and track those efforts. ProjectManager is an award-winning all-in-one solution for IT project management, allocating resources and managing changes in your IT systems. Our detailed planning features help you install software or hardware and upgrade or roll out new networks. Get insightful data on workload for both global and remote teams to help with capacity planning. Our data enables you to give stakeholders detailed reports that focus on the information they want to see.
Track IT Projects With Real-time Dashboards
After you’ve planned one or more projects on our Gantt chart, set a baseline and you can now track progress in real time across the software. Toggle over to our real-time dashboard to get a live overview of everything from costs to workload and planned vs. actual progress. Our dashboard requires no lengthy setup as with lightweight IT software. It’s ready for a high-level view when you are. If you’re tracking multiple projects, then use our live portfolio dashboard. For a deeper look at the data, you can quickly generate reports on time, cost, timesheets and much more. All reports can be customized to show only the data you want to see. They can be shared in a variety of formats to keep stakeholders updated.
IT managers can use our color-coded resource calendars to allocate resources across all their projects. The workload chart makes it easy to see who on your team is overallocated and allows you to balance their workload right from the chart. This keeps everyone working at capacity, without overburdening them, which leads to greater productivity. IT managers also have tools to track the availability of their team with global holidays, PTO and working hours all mapped out to make assigning simple and fast. Plus, secure timesheets sync with assigned tasks and allow IT managers to view where the team member is in terms of completing their tasks.
Our online software gives IT managers visibility into their work so they can manage it anywhere. There’s no steep learning curve or hefty implementation costs. Get your IT teams working immediately with one-click task assignments. There’s even workload automation, task approval and multiple project views to streamline work and let teams choose from working with kanban boards, task lists or other project views.
ProjectManager is IT project management software built for cross-team collaboration across IT departments. Create plans for hardware and software projects, track progress and collaborate with cross-functional teams. Monitor your work with real-time dashboards and use customizable reports to keep stakeholders updated. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.