Information Technology Management (IT-management, ITM) is a discipline allowing to manage all IT resources of a company in accordance with its goals and needs. The scope of IT management includes all material resources and investments: personal computer facilities, telecommunications equipment, data transmission networks, data centres, and software. In addition, an important component is information (digital data), as well as personnel called to service these resources. Like management in other subject areas, IT management includes many standard management functions such as budgeting, personnel management, operational management and development, as well as the field-specific functions, such as, software design, network planning, technical support, and others.
With the current trend of changing the role of computer technologies from the automation of the certain functional processes to the profound integration of information technologies into all stages of the enterprise's work and at all levels, functions of the IT professionals change and expand. An IT specialist needs to make progress from "shamanic" actions and language to the activity coordinated with the business needs at all levels: strategic, tactical and operational. IT must give business results and make a shift from a passive response to the business changes to the active participation in the improvement of its efficiency, while not over-slipping the technical maintenance of the current business operations.
These requirements represent a kind of a paradox: on the one hand, business development requires constant changes in accordance with the changing economic situation, and on the other hand, any system will remain stable only if no change is introduced. Therefore, to become active participants in the business activities of your organisation and to ensure stability of systems and infrastructures at the same time, IT departments will need an entirely different approach to the IT management.
The value of information technologies for an organisation is implemented through the creation and use of three independent types of resources:
- human capital;
- interrelations between IT and business.
These resources are created and used in the course of the key IT processes implementation:
- innovations- identification and planning of the applied systems;
- implementation- design, purchase, development, configuration and implementation;
- operation- operational maintenance and support.
The most efficient practices of implementing business-friendly functions by information technologies include:
- standardisation of technologies, development of technological architecture, creation of a set of corporate applied systems, construction of an IT infrastructure and services shared within the organisation.
- disciplined project management, creation of project management teams and use of standard methods.
- a clear assessment of the results, analysis of the systems implementation results, evaluation of the IT department activity, availability of agreements on the level of business subdivisions servicing by the IT Service (Service Level Agreements), the use of transparent rules for justifying new projects.
In general, management is the subject's activity to change the object in order to achieve a certain goal. To implement the management process, apart from the object and the subject of management, it is necessary to have clear and measurable targets, as well as a system for determining the current state of the object or deviation of the parameters from the reference ones. In the area of IT management, targets are defined through the SLA, and different monitoring systems are used as a measurement tool.