What Does a System Center Configuration Manager Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A system center configuration manager maintains devices and equipment on a network. This includes keeping operating systems and software current, updating security, and making sure devices are compatible. These information technology specialists may work with a utility known as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), which is designed to streamline their work and enable rapid and efficient updating. Experience with this and other network management systems can be useful when applying for jobs.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Maintaining a network is often complex and may require a variety of information technology staff to keep devices functional. The system center configuration manager is responsible for making sure things are updated in a timely fashion. This can include installing software patches, updating software manually when new releases come out, and updating operating systems. While keeping individual computers and devices current, it’s important to make sure the network remains stable, and to ensure that people can communicate across the network.

As upgrades occur, the system center configuration manager monitors them, responds to problem reports, and trains personnel. Changes to configuration may be required to keep devices talking to each other, which sometimes requires troubleshooting to find new drivers and other components. The job also requires planning ahead for the next upgrades, including determining system requirements, identifying components that may be rendered obsolete, and preparing to order new equipment to facilitate an update.

Personnel in a facility can file requests for assistance with the system center configuration manager. This can include a trouble ticket to update a computer or device or provide help with getting a new device working on a computer and the network as a whole. For example, an executive might want a personal digital assistant to interface with the network to update calendars and other utilities. This may require updates and system changes that the executive cannot make, so the information technology staff has to evaluate and provide the needed service.

Major upgrades can involve weeks or months of planning. The system center configuration manager works with other personnel to minimize downtime, which may require coming in on a weekend to perform an installation or troubleshoot potential issues. Typically, testing is performed before the big upgrade is rolled out to the whole network, to make sure operating systems and software are compatible before making substantial investments in upgrades. This also provides time to submit trouble tickets to manufacturers to alert them to conflicts so they can upgrade in the next edition.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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