Information technology management or IT management refers to the administration of the technology resources of an organization in accordance with its priorities and needs. The technology resources may comprise of computer hardware and software, networks, other data center facilities and the personnel who are in charge of maintaining the systems.
An Overview of IT Management
IT management is different from management information systems (MIS). Whereas MIS is related to automation of methods involved in human decision making process, IT management deals with activities associated with management of the IT facility which encompasses the information systems and personnel involved, through basic management functions such as budgeting, change management, network planning, etc.
IT management primarily focuses on creation of value through business strategies and aligning technology that plays a key role in improving an organization’s overall value chain. This is because value creation involves building networks of relationships between both external and internal networks.
In the past, the practice was to dedicate a set of resources to a particular computing technology, line of business or business application and managed in isolation. This created issues in optimization and reconfiguration of systems to support the actual demand and led to the creation of converged infrastructure environments and IT management as a specialized field of operation. IT management, thus, enables organizations to get their applications up and running faster, reducing maintenance requirements and improving manageability.
Disciplines in IT Management
The term ‘IT management’ encompasses the following disciplines:
Business-IT alignment: It refers to the effective use of IT in achieving business goals, typically competitiveness in the market place and better financial performance.
IT Governance: It is a subset of Corporate Governance and focuses on performance of IT systems and risk management.
IT Services Management: The intention of this process-based practice is alignment of IT services with the needs of the organization with more emphasis on customer benefits.
IT Financial Management: It is an IT service management process which aims to provide cost-effective and accurate information about IT resources and assets employed in IT services.
IT Configuration Management: It is a process that establishes and maintains a product’s consistency with respect to performance and physical and functional features throughout its life.
IT Management Outsourcing
Organizations depend on reliable communication and information in order to grow their businesses. Many organizations invest large amounts of money in setting up computer networks to increase productivity, provide a competitive advantage and create opportunity, but are most often saddled with higher expenses and management issues because of budget leaks, higher salaries, recurring demands for software and hardware upgrade, repair bills and downtime.
Organizations can outsource the task of IT management to professional companies that specialize in managing the IT departments for small and medium businesses. These companies provide the resources such as skilled and experienced manpower and tools required to manage the IT departments so that organizations can focus on their core activities. Other advantages of outsourcing include cost reduction, access to specialized resources, improved focus, workload reduction, better risk management, etc.
Summarizing, businesses need the support of IT to remain competitive in the market place. However, the decision as to whether IT management has to be carried out with in-house resources or outsourced is to be made on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis by small and medium organizations.