What Is IT Management and Why Is It Important for Business
IT management is what connects businesses to the tools they need to manage their processes effectively.
As contemporary society is guided by an information economy where intel and service are valued over manufacturing, information technology (IT) is often at the center of every system.
In turn, businesses who wish to remain competitive long-term must understand how to integrate IT services into their daily operations in a responsible and meaningful way.
To do this, they will need the help of an IT team with leaders and managers in place.
To learn more about this subject matter and IT in general, don’t wander away. You’re about to get some valuable insights on what exactly IT management is and why it’s important.
What Is IT Management?
IT management, or information technology management refers to the way in which you organize your business’s technology systems.
This can include the professionals in charge of managing the technology in your business, the tools you use for management, or any other related activity.
Today, many businesses are putting IT management at the forefront of their business plan. Since hardware, software, and networks are all centered around IT management, the result is better and more reliable internal organization.
To some degree, IT management requires an individual or team to take leadership over all things IT. Others in the organization may not have technical expertise.
IT management depends on strategic planning to ensure technology optimizes a business. Technology should not slow down business operations, or create a sense of confusion.
Why Is IT Management Important?
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.
What Do IT Managers Do?
IT managers guide the IT management team working with your organization.
Their responsibilities include a number of tasks such as:
- Securing networks and improving network availability
- Handling online processes from website management to eCommerce
- Generating business plans related to IT management
- Integrating new technology within the business structure
By far, one of the most important roles of IT managers is to keep businesses up-to-date. While it is normal for businesses and individuals to feel attached to what has always worked, this can be to the detriment of a business’s reputation in the market.
Therefore, IT managers must have the knowledge and expertise to upgrade businesses to modern infrastructure. This occurs both on the hardware and software side of IT management.
What Are the Skills Needed for IT Managers?
It goes without saying that IT managers must be seasoned professionals when it comes to any technological matter.
They also need to update themselves regularly on new tech that appears in the industry. They’re responsible for figuring out whether integrating new technology into your business is worthwhile or not.
On a day-to-day basis, IT managers must have the skills to keep your hardware and software up and running and properly maintained over time. Any specific skills of an IT manager will depend on their exact title.
Software engineers, for instance, focus on programming and development. They may be fluent in at least a few programming languages, familiar with relevant frameworks, and know-how to apply programming paradigms in a constructive manner.
However, other titles that fall under the category of IT management can be extensive in range. Some IT managers, for one, are employed to set up and provide maintenance for the computer systems in your business office.
That said, there is one set of skills that applies to almost every IT manager, and frankly would be best applied to every industry. It’s important to recognize these skills when hiring software engineers or IT professionals in general. These are soft skills.
Soft skills are non-technical skills that define how somebody works in a certain environment.
For IT managers, useful soft skills include creativity, problem-solving, communication, patience, open-mindedness, enthusiasm for learning, and a team-oriented mindset.
What Is The Difference Between IT Managers and IT Leaders?
IT managers and IT leaders stem from the same base skill set. That is, they are technology-oriented specialists who have some type of authority over the technological processes of an individual or business.
It is their job to optimize performance and drive results. But changing business realities require much more than strategic thinking and practical knowledge in the technical domain.
Any IT manager can become a leader with a distinct mindset. An IT manager acts as a boss who manages subordinates.
Of course, some sort of management is necessary for a team to accomplish basic tasks. But this is the bare minimum.
IT leaders do more than simply manage; they lead. They are visionaries that utilize critical thinking skills to create a positive change within their organizations.
IT leaders also look at their relationships as an opportunity for personal growth rather than emphasize hierarchical structures.
To become IT leaders, IT managers must be self-aware, great communicators, and empathetic. IT leaders must encourage a collaborative and action-oriented work climate that will result in intelligent solutions to complex problems.
IT Managers vs. IT Leaders
Leadership and management are both necessary in the workplace, but they are different.
- Management refers to the skills related to controlling, planning, directing, overseeing, making decisions. This skillset doesn’t include empathy, which gives the idea of managing a bad aftertaste. Nobody likes to be managed like a contract or a budget.
- Leadership, on the other hand, is associated closely with inspiration, support, people-oriented guiding, and mentorship. To be a leader, you need to impact other people’s lives, making them want to follow and support you.
You can recognize an outstanding leader by their ability to communicate their vision, challenge and inspire others to be better both in a personal and professional way, and create trust between the team members by providing a safe space for growth.
Traditional management styles lack a human-centered approach. Yet IT professionals are hungry to be heard, valued, and treated like people, not simply cogs in a machine.
IT managers are an integral piece of IT management. But your business should seek out IT managers who demonstrate a sense of leadership and can rightfully be called a leader in their field.
4 Key Features of Effective IT Management
Though IT management of the past could be relatively as simple as installing the latest word processor, thanks to present-day technological advancements IT management is much more involved.
Effective IT managers must pay heed to several important technologies.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence refers to machines that are able to learn and absorb information over time.
With this information, they can make predictions, adjust to new stimuli, and perfect their performance in given tasks.
Essentially, AI machines exhibit the qualities of the human mind. Artificial intelligence can power chess-playing computers, self-driving cars, and even chatbots!
Analytics is a bit of a catch-all for anything that works with data. Data is a very powerful entity. With it, you can find bottlenecks and gain insights related to your business operations and customers.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing gives individuals and businesses access to information with network access and/or a Wi-Fi connection.
This allows the convenience of data and services at almost any location.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT refers to devices that embed the internet into everyday objects. The industry - which is largely influenced by AI - is expected to be worth 22 billion by 2025.
You might notice this phenomenon in digital kitchen appliances, personal assistants like Google Home or Alexa, driverless trucks, and more.
What Are IT Teams?
Information technology has always been a collaborative industry. Teams are at the center of their success.
A team of skilled IT professionals relies on their knowledge and skills to reach set goals in the quickest way possible.
Generally, there are four types of IT teams.
Operations teams work on the infrastructure that has a direct impact on your business operations. Data centers, networks, and web services all fall under this umbrella.
These teams are named IT service management (ITSM) teams and should have a permanent role in your business.
Project teams are hired to solve a specific problem. As an illustration, you might employ software developers for building a website or custom software.
But the term of their employment will only extend until the completion of the project. It might be a good idea to outsource a project team.
Support teams are a combination of project and operations teams.
These teams are composed of well-rounded IT professionals who can tackle both specific problems and sustain your larger IT ecosystem, thus these teams are permanent as well.
Process teams, or IT business-support teams, improve processes that are specifically related to your business growth.
The professionals on this team may be analysts or data miners or any other IT specialist who uses technology to aid your business.
Every business needs IT management in some capacity or another.
Small businesses of this day and age need more than a booth and cash register. Nearly all business processes are managed and refined by technology.
The fast-changing IT industry needs teams that are able to adapt to the new horizon of technology as well as strong personalities to lead those teams.
IT leaders, managers, and teams drive businesses’ success in the market behind the scenes.
Frequently Asked Questions
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IT management refers to the way in which you organize your business’s technology systems.
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.
IT managers carry a number of responsibilities like securing networks and improving network availability; handling online processes from website management to eCommerce; generating business plans related to IT management; and integrating new technology within the business structure.
An IT manager acts as a boss who manages subordinates. IT leaders do more than simply manage; they lead. They are visionaries that utilize critical thinking skills to create a positive change within their organizations. IT leaders also look at their relationships as an opportunity for personal growth rather than emphasize hierarchical structures.