All You Need To Know About IT Management Strategy in 2021
IT management is a critical process of any organization (no matter how big or small) because it plays a huge role in the day-to-day running of a business. Without proper IT management, operations might grind to a halt, which affects productivity of the entire organization. Before now, a lot of people assume that IT management is all about ‘installing and managing technology’ but that is only a fraction of what the discipline entails.
What is IT management?
IT management is simply the process of monitoring and overseeing an organization’s information technology systems: hardware, software and networks. In other words, it is a sum total of the practices, policies and procedures used to manage the selection, implementation, usage and maintenance of all types of technology in all types of business environments.
For instance, your staff need to access the company’s network via your computers. Customers visit your website to get information about your business. Clients and visitors need guest access to the internet while cybersecurity must be top-notch to keep the network safe from hackers and cybercriminals. Other equipment in the office must be in good working condition. What is responsible for the coordination of all these systems and processes is what is referred to as IT management.
Components of IT management
IT management involves managing everything related to tech in the organization according to its priorities and needs. The goal of IT management is to align IT objectives to the goals of the business in a way that delivers maximum value to the organization. This is only possible when the components of IT management are properly harnessed for growth and productivity. Below are the three components of IT management.
IT strategy: This is arguably the most important part of IT management because it clearly defines how technology should be used to meet the needs and priorities of your organization. Having an IT strategy in place means you have a plan in place to handle whatever comes up – whether good or bad – in as much as it relates to IT. It also means that there is a focus for everyone in the IT department to work towards.
A comprehensive IT strategy should include the following:
- Overview of the IT department that covers its mission, core values, objectives and approaches to accomplishing its goals
- The current budget and predicted budget for a multi-year timeline
- A list of current and future IT projects and initiatives with timelines and milestones
- An inventory of existing enterprise architecture
- An analysis of IT strengths and weaknesses
- An outline of potential opportunities and threats
- A list of internal and external factors that are capable of influencing technology requirements and innovations
IT service: As stated earlier, the overarching goal of IT management is to provide value required for the achievement of the goals of a business. This value is delivered primarily through quality service that enables other aspects of the organization to run effectively.
Delivering high-quality service is not a simple task but it is possible when service goals and standards are created and met. Rendering high-quality service involves a two-pronged view of people consuming those services.
- Employees: If employees experience high-quality service on the inside, they are more likely to be motivated to deliver excellent quality on the outside. Thus, it all falls back on the ability of the IT department to provide speedy and reliable internet connection as well as internal data to employees.
- Customers: Customers also desire high-quality service which includes being able to access the website or software of your organization. They also need to know that their data won’t be compromised by faulty security systems.
IT assets: IT assets refer to all the resources that enable the IT side of businesses to run. It is any company-owned resource that is used in the course of business and that needs to be managed effectively so employees can use them to get their work done.
IT assets include:
- Hardware: This refers to the management of tangible equipment with a view towards keeping track of who uses which assets, tracking wear and tear, ensuring maintenance and ordering replacements where necessary.
- Software: Software is also a type of asset that needs to be managed and this includes determining when licenses expire, fixing of the buggy proprietary system and the overall usage of the software.
Why IT management is important
Pretty much everything in your business is connected to technology in some way, so it makes sense to take IT management seriously. Here are four concrete ways IT management can improve your company.
- Saves money: Perhaps, the most important benefit of IT management is that it can help your organization save money. Remember that one of the key components of IT management is the creation of strategy. With an overall strategy in place, your IT department will be able to prioritize goals and issues that contribute to the growth and productivity of your business as a whole. Consequently, your IT team will have a better understanding of which projects need or deserve more attention, efforts and funding. This will aid you to properly allocate your budget to those projects and use them judiciously.
- Furthermore, effective IT management translates to quality IT service, which means your employees will be able to increase their productivity since there will be minimal issues such as a downed network.
- Save time: Another advantage of IT management is that it helps to save time. As the business grows and operations expand, your tech environment will likely become more complicated seeing that there are more assets to be monitored and managed plus the need to be vigilant to protect your growing cache of data. Effective IT management can provide a guideline that your employees can follow so they won’t have to scramble at the last minute to fix an issue that threatens the smooth operations of your business. In addition, planning everything involving IT management means you will have more time to ensure that the department follows best practices.
- Allows for strategic alignment: Without IT management, businesses will likely struggle because of the inefficiency of the department, which is largely because the team is unable to discern if it is getting things right. This will in turn affect whatever project your business is working on since there is no clear-cut way to know what needs to be done to make it a success. In contrast, IT management means that your IT department will have a plan that ensures that its goals are completed aligned with the overall goals of the project that your organization is working on. Not only will it ensure that the work is done but that it is achieved within the allotted time.
- Boosts competitive advantage: The business world is a very competitive one with almost every organization doing what they can to get ahead. Like it or not, there are several companies looking to take away your business and customers. Since the IT department plays a critical role in every organization, it can determine to a great extent how successful a company will be in the industry. IT management helps to deliver high-quality service to both your employees and customers, making it possible for you to effectively deliver your top-notch services with minimal issues. This will help to keep your existing customers while making your business attractive to your target audience.
5 simple tips to becoming a better IT manager
The duty of an IT manager isn’t just to manage assets but also manage people, a responsibility that can be quite difficult. If you’re looking to improve at your IT managerial role, here are some tips you might find helpful.
- Listen to your staff: This is probably the best advice you can get on this subject. One of the major reasons IT managers fail is because they think they’ve got everything figured out. If you want to achieve success, listen to your staff and take their recommendations seriously. They are the one who does the day-to-day work and probably know a thing or two that you’re unaware of. This doesn’t mean you should do everything they say but at least hear them out.
- Assemble the right personnel: To achieve your goals and contribute to the overall success of the organization, you need the best hands you can get. Thus, it’s important to put together a team that you know is competent and that you can trust to deliver excellent projects within deadlines. Their strengths should complement each other so your team will be a well-oiled machine.
- Meet deadlines: Projects come with different challenges that may seem hard to surmount but it’s your duty to anticipate these problems beforehand. You also need to learn to measure your resources against reality so you will give realistic deadlines. It’s important to execute projects successfully but even more important for it to be done in a timely manner.
- Use check and balances: Because the state of the infrastructure determines how smooth the business will run, it is imperative to put measures in place to protect the hardware, software and sensitive data of your organization. This will likely include some basics like secure passwords, dual authentication technologies and so on.
- Know when to get outside help: You may discover at some point that your IT team might be unable to carry out certain tasks because it falls outside their skill sets. In such instances, it makes sense to outsource such projects so your team can focus on the core of their responsibilities.
As technology continues to evolve, there is a corresponding growth in the reliance on IT by organizations, thus necessitating the need for IT management. IT management is vital because it aids in the delivery of business-critical services and functions while anticipating the changing needs of the organization and making the necessary adjustments.