If you are pursuing a degree in information technology management, or have already graduated with your IT degree and are working through your CFA exam prep materials with an eye towards becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst, then you may still be exploring all that the vast field of information technology itself, and information technology management as a subset of that field, have to offer. The IT field basically encompasses the acquisition, maintenance, and management of all technological resources owned and/or used by a particular entity.
The entity could be a huge corporation, a small sole proprietorship, a school or college, a nonprofit organization, a medical facility, and many other types of entities as well. Within the IT field, the role of the information technology management department is to ensure that all available technology-based resources are managed in such a way as to maximize their usefulness and output to all employees and departments that require them. This, as you might imagine, can prove to be a weighty task, especially as business continues to carry out more and more functions that originally occurred face-to-face in the global online marketplace. Learn here what the field of information technology management encompasses and how an IT management professional can function best in that role.
What is IT Management
There is a difference between the term “information technology management” and “management information systems”. The former refers to the management of the technological assets owned and used by an entity. The latter refers to managing the workforce who is using that technology. While these terms are commonly confused, and necessarily complementary, they refer to very different aspects of the information technology arena. As an information technology management professional, you may start out at the IT help desk, learning about common issues, complaints, and requests that come into the IT department from the workforce. As you move up the corporate ladder, you may choose to enter procurement, maintenance, database management, finance, accounting and budgeting, network administration, software programming, and many other specialties as well.
What Kind of Education and Training a Career in IT Requires
It is common for students who wish to enter the field as IT professionals to first earn their degree in information technology. Some then go on to earn additional certification by passing their CFA exam, while others may choose to earn alternate certifications in areas as diverse as information security, project management, specific hardware and software types, and more. Depending on your interests, like many other IT professionals you may also find you have an eventual interest in becoming a business technology consultant, working for yourself or signing on with one of the many consulting firms that send IT management professionals into firms of every size to evaluate their existing technology, troubleshoot, and make recommendations. Some graduates who hold an IT degree also choose to specialize in a certain, more narrow, focus, such as healthcare technology, customer relations management technology, web-based and social media technology, and other aspects that allow a great degree of familiarity with certain specific hardware and/or software programs. These specialized IT professionals are of great value to organizations who are wrestling with tough decisions about upgrading hardware or software, conducting employee trainings over time, maximizing available financial resources, and more.
How IT Management Works with Other Fields
Because the IT function is so critical to achieving success with today’s core business strategies and initiatives, it is quite common for an information technology management professional to be included in significant conversations about business initiatives and the technology required to support them. This means that today’s technology expert can benefit greatly from ancillary skills building in such areas as conducting meetings, making speeches or presentations, conducting employee trainings, and other people-focused skill sets. You will need to recognize that your impact can spread far beyond the simple management of technological resources, and your input will be valuable in terms of helping the company you work for meet its profitability and growth goals. You may also need to develop a knack for simplifying complex topics to help leaders in other areas of the company understand how your department can help and what the technology owned by the company can do to assist them.
About the Author:
Michael Hobbs is an IT professional who conducts frequent webinars on the topic. He is an independent consultant with more than 12 years of experience.