An IT manager, also known as an information technology manager, typically plays many roles within an organization or company. In fact, everyday IT manager responsibilities can vary greatly, depending on the size and structure of the company. Managerial tasks often extend beyond merely supervising the development, maintenance, and security of computer and information network systems as well. In addition, many people working in this field perform duties that create an opportunity to specialize in a specific field of information technology.
From an operational standpoint, the majority of IT manager responsibilities involve testing the integrity and performance of various information networks and software applications. Of course, since technology tends to evolve rather quickly, the IT manager must also periodically review and evaluate how current systems and applications are meeting the needs of the company or organization. This means that a successful IT manager should be able to identify and implement new technologies to enhance the long-term operational and strategic goals of the company.
For a growing number of IT managers, the position also includes business planning, particularly in terms of defining the Internet presence of a company or organization. Depending on the mission of the employer, the nature of IT manager responsibilities may range from encrypting and tracking information collected from consumers visiting the site to developing and monitoring online community tools, such as message boards, feedback forms, surveys, etc. IT managers also typically oversee the upgrading and installation of system-related software and hardware related to Internet and intranet sites.
IT manager responsibilities are not limited to machines, however. In fact, IT managers typically supervise and direct the workflow of various teams of people. For instance, many IT managers assign and prioritize tasks to be performed by system analysts, computer programmers, developers, and other support staff. Many managers also serve as consultants to executive level officers when it comes to developing and applying information technology policy and standards. In addition, whenever adverse technical issues are experienced within the company, the IT department typically serves as the internal help desk to field questions and troubleshoot problems.
In large companies, there may be more than one IT manager; each filling a specialized role. For instance, some may primarily act as project managers, developing budgets and coordinating the roll out of new projects and ventures. This type of manager typically has a good deal of contact with outside clients and third party vendors. Other areas of specialization in IT management include software development, quality control, security, and knowledge assurance and training of internal personnel.