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What does an Information Technology Manager do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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An information technology (IT) manager does a number of different things, though primarily, his or her duties will involve handling or overseeing technology within a company. This typically applies to the networks, both internal and external, as well as dealing with phone systems and other software issues. The duties of an information technology manager will also typically involve overseeing and working with other IT professionals, often forming teams to handle specific issues or work in a certain area within a company. He or she may also directly oversee the systems at a specific regional or district level, depending on the size of the company.

In a direct capacity, an IT manager will typically oversee the actual hardware and software that creates the network infrastructure for a large company. This means he or she will usually deal with server crashes, setting up new servers, removing old hardware to replace it or streamline a system, and just about any other task involved with computer networking within a company. Depending on the size of the company, this may be done for the entire company, or for a specific region or district within the company.

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This individual will also typically deal with telephone systems, internal computer issues, and software management. If a company has a telephone system that allows stores or offices to easily call each other, then an IT manager likely set up the system. Internal systems are also typically overseen by such a manager, and he or she will often deal with massive system crashes or data recovery within a company. The IT manager for a certain district or region will also often consider and use new software for a company, such as operating systems (OS) and similar applications.

An information technology manager within a company will usually oversee other IT professionals to ensure that work is done. This involves leadership and the ability to effectively delegate tasks and utilize the talents and knowledge of various people. Large companies may have IT professionals on staff at different offices or locations, and a manager may go to those locations to ensure work is being done properly or to introduce new systems to the other staff. At a regional level, he or she may work with other IT professionals each day to deal with server issues and keep networks running smoothly.

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David09
Post 5

@nony - I’d like to point out that there is a difference between Information Technology project management and a “real” manager.

Project managers come and go, and they don’t usually have the same authority that managers do. They are there to make sure that projects get completed on time and under budget. If they don’t, the project manager can be out the door.

Real managers manage people in a variety of circumstances. So the IT manager could be a real manager or just a project manager I suppose. Just from the reading of this article, I get the impression that we’re talking about real management here. He can, of course, assume project management responsibilities in the process.

nony
Post 4

@Charred - I think the most important part of the Information Technology manager job description is data backup and recovery.

We live in tornado alley and often have big storms in the area. One lightning strike can zap all our data – and our business, in the process. The IT manager has systems in place like surge protection and redundant backups.

In severe cases, he will shut down our internal network altogether. The server that delivers the corporate web page will remain up so that customers can see our presence online, but that server is separate from other network elements. So if that goes down it won’t affect us at all. You don’t have a lot of wiggle room for error in this position.

Charred
Post 3

@NathanG - Yeah, I think the Information Technology manager duties listed in this article are meant to be all encompassing, listing all the possible things that such a professional will do.

Our IT manager is very much the project manager, in charge of all the other programmers in the department. When a big request comes along, like the need to build a reporting solution that will access information from the data warehouse, the Information Technology manager is the point of contact.

We also have a business analyst who works with him to flesh out the requirements, but the manager takes the lead and delegates tasks to individual programmers.

NathanG
Post 2

I guess titles shouldn’t matter a whole lot but the Information Technology operations manager in our company is the systems administrator, at least based on the description I’m reading in this article.

He handles new installs, software upgrades, network security, phone systems and anything else related to our communications infrastructure. He is not a project manager, so he doesn’t oversee individual software development projects.

Those roles are usually left to lead developers who have migrated into the project management role. Another unique thing about our IT guy is that even though he does mostly administration stuff, he also knows how to program.

We are a small company and sometimes he will jump in on some of our programming tasks to help us out when the boss is looking for new ideas on how to solve a problem.

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