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The use of information technology(IT) and internet devices has become something of a necessity for modern businesses of all sizes. As a result, many of these organizations now opt to create a department of IT professionals responsible for managing the company’s IT services and devices.
This article will describe the roles and responsibilities expected from IT departments. So, if you want to learn about IT departments, keep reading until the end.
What is an IT Department?
An organization’s IT department comprises IT experts who manage the organization’s IT infrastructure and ensure that it runs optimally. In the digitalized business landscape that most modern businesses find themselves in, an IT department is the backbone of any organization.
That’s because it is responsible for evaluating and determining the services and vendors that can provide the organization with the best equipment and service support.
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Beyond fixing computers, the IT department is vital to your company’s success
The IT department is responsible for providing and managing the company’s IT infrastructure. An optimally functioning IT department will facilitate the automation of routine tasks, leading to improved efficiency.
IT departments also facilitate intra-organizational communication and collaboration, ultimately facilitating optimal functionality among them. The professionals in the IT department are like the people behind the scenes that help make great movies; no one sees them in the movie, but without them, there would be no movie!
Roles and functions that must be accounted for
These are the multiple roles and functions that an IT department covers:
IT management and administration
This is a key role in the IT department, as IT administrators must be knowledgeable enough to handle any technical issues affecting the company’s business processes. Some of the duties involved in IT management and administration include:
- Maintaining IT infrastructure
- Helping new users with hardware and software issues
- Employee training
- Implementing software updates and assessing potential threats
- License renewal and ensuring compliance
IT procurement refers to those processes required to purchase and implement a company’s information technology needs. The IT department essentially identifies a company’s strategic IT needs, selects the best solutions for IT departments, and implements the purchases. Proper IT procurement is crucial to meeting an organization’s strategic and operational goals.
IT security refers to cybersecurity strategies that protect organizational assets from security threats. That said, one of the key functions of IT security is protecting and processing vital company information.
One of the ways that this is done is by preventing unauthorized access to company data and systems that include both information and physical data centers or data stored in the cloud. IT security goals include availability, integrity, confidentiality, authenticity, accountability, non-repudiation, and reliability.
When a company’s IT security doesn’t meet these goals, it runs the risk of a security breach that could ruin it.
Network administration, in conjunction with Atera’s RMM solutions, deals with managing, monitoring, maintaining, securing, and servicing an organization’s IT network. Some of the responsibilities of network administration, enhanced by RMM tools, include:
- providing alternative networks
- setting up emergency power and networking equipment
- collaborating with industry experts to install contingency measures
- acquiring and maintaining contingency measures and equipment
Systems analyst and architecture
System analysts are responsible for assessing a company’s IT systems to determine what technological upgrades need. They may also teach staff how to use new forms of technology.
System architects are responsible for adapting current IT systems to address specific problems. They might need to create a completely new IT system design based on the organization’s needs.
Service desk and support roles
The Service Desk is one of the major drivers of customer experience for any organization. It is a tactical, hands-on approach to managing a business’s IT requests and incidents, thanks to its broad approach to IT support tasks. In essence, the IT service desk acts as the sole point of contact between an IT organization and its end user. It handles a variety of requests, including distributing information to support, setting user passwords, and troubleshooting account problems.
IT support levels: level 1, level 2, level 3
IT support has three levels, namely:
Level 1 support
This is the first tier of support and is often provided by the least experienced IT support personnel. They offer the most basic IT support and forward the more complicated queries to the Level 2 support staff.
Level 2 support
Level 2 support personnel take queries from Level 1 personnel and handle in-depth troubleshooting and backend analysis. They review these queries before communicating with the user for an in-depth analysis that could help arrive at a solution. Where a solution is beyond them, the query moves up to Level 3 support.
Level 3 support
Level 3 support is provided by IT experts like architects, engineers, and creators with access to the highest level of an organization’s company and product information. They provide solutions for a wide range of technical problems, which they then pass to the lower levels.
Centralized vs. decentralized IT structures
With a centralized IT structure, all the users are connected to a central server that keeps all the network data and user information. A decentralized IT structure has several peer-to-peer user groups, each with a separate server that stores data and information needed by that particular group.
Centralized IT structures offer:
- Lowered hardware expenses
- Improved productivity
- Increased purchasing power
- Improved Compliance
- Improved flow of information
Decentralized IT structures offer:
- Customized IT selection and configuration
- Increased fail-safes
- Improved response to new IT trends
IT department best practices
Here are three of the most common best practices that all IT departments should follow to run optimally and provide the best service possible.
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IT governance is all about aligning IT-related activities with an organization’s goals and objectives. This is done by properly managing and monitoring IT investments so that they are efficiently used, and any risks are promptly identified and addressed.
Security and compliance
IT departments must have an all-inclusive security policy that clearly defines the steps needed to protect their systems and data from cyber threats. IT departments should also stay abreast of relevant regulations so they can update their policies when needed.
Asset management involves tracking and managing all IT assets like hardware, software, and licenses, among others. It facilitates the accurate inventory of its IT assets so that costs are saved by not buying unnecessary assets. It also enables compliance with the organization’s policies, industry regulations, and standards.
Without an IT department, most modern businesses will not thrive in the modern business environment. That is because IT departments handle many responsibilities and stick to industry best practices necessary to achieve an organization’s business goals.