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What is an IT Department?

An IT professional maintains the computer network of a business.
Aside from the hands-on work with computers and networks, IT managers may also supervise and direct the workflow of various teams of people.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2014
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As the use of electronic communication has become more common for businesses of all sizes, so has the need for the creation and staffing of IT departments in any company that employs telephony and Internet devices to conduct business. Here is some basic information on the IT department, and how it may function as both a creative and a practical part of any business operation.

Information technology is all about allowing for the most effective and competent forms of electronic communication to take place. These communications may come in the form of telephony, such as point to point phone calls or audio conference calls. They may also be provided as video and web conferences, internal communications such as common network drives or server access, and external devices such as electronic mail that is sent through a secure server. Obviously, there has to be someone within the organization that understands how these forms of communication work, and can ensure they remain in proper working order at all times. This is where the concept of an IT department comes into play.

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Essentially, the IT department is a collection of persons who are experts when it comes to electronic communications of all kinds. In addition to understanding what forms of electronic data, visual, and audio communication are available, the IT department will be able to evaluate available services and determine which services and vendors can provide the best equipment and service support for the company. Along with making determinations about what equipment to use and which vendors to work with, the IT department will also oversee the day to day operations of all electronic communication devices within the company.

Oversight of all equipment would include configuring network access, setting up and making changes to existing workstations, and assigning access rights at various levels to key personnel within the company. The competent IT tech would also ensure there is a workable disaster recovery backup in the event that some section of the network should happen to fail. The best IT department teams understand the importance of network redundancy to the continued healthy operations of the company.

In many companies, the final decision with selection of conference call vendors, web site hosting, choice of primary and backup servers, and even the choice of a local and long distance phone service provider will rest within the IT department. With an eye to making sure the company has the best communication resources on hand that it can afford, the IT department is much more than just a group of people who show up when your computer crashes. The IT department plays a valuable role in making all other departments productive and successful in their endeavors.

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anon294790
Post 8

What is the role of the IT department when a company in today's world uses systems from software vendors to support different departments? What involvement does IT have in your organization during the purchasing process, the technical installations, the security access, technical issues, and ongoing technical and user support and upgrades?

anon294574
Post 7

The problem with engineers is that they are often not "people people." An IT manager needs to be able to translate technical jargon into business-speak for a much wider audience. He can hire the engineers, but an engineer shouldn't be the IT manager.

anon128298
Post 6

I'm an IT manager. The article above is true for small companies, but an IT department morphs into something much bigger at a large company.

Any IT department worth its salt is run by a master software and database engineer. He or she can literally provide the company with any software they will ever need - even if it has not been invented yet - because he can make it himself.

This person knows how to hire talented people to work for him to provide the company with solutions that are even better than money can buy.

I have bought commercial software source code for my company and literally made it over 4,000 times faster myself. Others in my department have modified it to do tricks that were far beyond the dreams of the original designers.

Basically, an IT department is the magic wand you wave over information and communications of any kind to get them to do what you want, whether it's linking your company in trade transactions around the world, or just getting the goods where they need to be when they need to be there.

Since we offer magic (which is impossible, and yet, we do it), we are very expensive. Magic doesn't generate revenue, but it can sure help.

anon126500
Post 5

Well, I think that the current situation of the world force everyone to use electronic communication. To prosper in your business, the use of IT is must.

anon66472
Post 4

very well said Mr. Charlie77.

anon46775
Post 3

I'm in the process of literally creating an IT Department for an infamous private oil company. There's a lot of money involved with construction, budget forecasting, software customizing, integrating services, policy/procedure/job title defining, hiring and management. IT Departments are commonly found in businesses where confidentially/security warrant custom software/system implementations or in media production separating "artists" from the rendering farm sys admins, network techs, client support techs etc... to in-house maintain their "works in progress." Some say the IT Department concept is dying due to the concept of cloud computing -- and this is true for small business. I can't see this being as true for medium-large to enterprise-sized (like the Mob or some crazy cult) business. Some companies don't want to outsource all of their "precious" data... A tight IT department can reduce leaks. Long story short, I.T Department > HelpDesk, don't ask me to fix your fax because I do not speaka-any-englisho.

anon44769
Post 2

i didn't get it really? what is actually an IT Department?

charlie77
Post 1

I work for a company that is in the health care field, but their IT department is huge. A Big part of today's businesses rely unknowingly, in my opinion, on this department to continue to do their business. They call it a non generating revenue department, but they fail to realize that today without an IT department they would stop to exist. What's the first thing you notice when your companies network goes down? Panic, everyone stops working, except for the IT department who is attempting to 'defib' (restart) all the servers. At least that's what I always notice in my department. It's time to start giving IT departments all across companies more credit for their work.

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