What Information Technology Management is About

The world is very much dependent on information technology because this is where businesses can get all of their information to customers or other consumers. Information technology is the study, development, and implementation with support of information systems. Information technology management is another step forward which takes the technology as a corporate resource where a company can organize it into an important tool to get their information to all targets. It can be used to help with business to gain new customers or to keep people abreast of all new things happening in the company.

Businesses who employ it must be in close relations with IT management in order for their businesses can use it to its optimum effectiveness. Topics that need to be understood to make information technology work is strategic planning, financial management, and risk analysis.

With this area of expertise becoming so much more important in this world, people can study this area at length. There are bachelor, masters, and doctorate degrees. There are many colleges who offer these courses. There are even courses online that allow some people with current jobs to take an online course at home. It helps people to accomplish a goal without adjusting their lifestyle too much.

To more closely look at the role of an IT manager, they must know how to plan, design, select, and use the new technologies that are coming out to integrate into the business that is employing them. Therefore, it is the ability of a person to effectively use the systems available to make it work for a business.

There are many resources online to find out more about this topic. There are schools who can help people decide if this is the career path that they would like to take. Businesses can get information on IT consultants who can help improve their businesses with setting up their system, and implementing the most economical system with up-to-date software.

There are journals available on all of the latest topics. They have some of the best people in the field keep other managers informed of new technologies being tested.

There can be specialists in different businesses who need information technology. Technology is advancing in every field, and it may take more expertise to implement information technology in certain fields because each field has its own specified systems.

Information technology management is a necessary field as our society continues to grow. Information technology are a set of technological systems which groups or businesses employ in order to spread the information which they produce or in turn, collect. Businesses may not be information technology businesses and need the assistance of those who are experts in the field to implement it into their business. IT managers are these people, and they can help to study a business and build the network of a business with the most economical and up-to-date systems. To become an IT manager, one can go to college advisors to find out if this is the field for them. There are many programs across the country.

How to Obtain an Accredited Information Technology Education

Information technology has infiltrated even the smallest of businesses, organizations, and schools. The skills needed to maintain, develop, and manage today’s technologically based computer software can be obtained by learning how to obtain an accredited information technology education. Students that are interested in this field need to seek out information and complete accredited college programs.

The technological resources associated with a business need to be constantly maintained. This includes creating accessibility, developing security, maintaining operation, and updating technology. Students can learn to perform these main functions inside higher educational training opportunities. Several areas of training are available and students can choose programs that best suit their career goal needs. An accredited education can be obtained when students complete a few necessary steps.

Training begins by researching what available degree programs can be completed. Students may have a high interest in information technology but specialization areas could make their career goals even more accessible. Students can enter training programs in areas that include:

  • Computer Information Science
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Information Security
  • Information Systems

Each of these areas falls under the category of information technology. Educational programs in information technology train students to understand the procedures performed to troubleshoot problem areas and evaluate the technological needs of a business. Computer information science programs give students the skills needed to correctly maintain computer networks and their databases. Computer information science focuses on the ability to develop networks and maintain a smoothly running environment for computer applications. Information security centers on teaching students to operate systems and perform any needed procedures to fix security breaches. Inside information systems training students are exposed to the skills needed to work with databases, network systems, and applications in order to keep them properly working.

Once students understand their available training options they can enter the second step, which is completing programs. This is the most important step because careers cannot be entered without a degree. Most areas offer several degree training opportunities. Schools offer programs from the associate’s to doctorate’s degree level. Career options will be directly affected by which degree level students decide to complete. Undergraduate programs offer students an overview of the industry with students starting to obtain advanced training at the end of bachelor’s degree programs. Training at the graduate degree level gives students a wider skill set. Courses that are taken inside information technology degree programs may include:

*Introduction to Information Technology

The history and the fast paced growth of the industry are studied. Students learn what industries use information technology and what tasks are conducted inside today’s professional workplace.

*Networking

Local area and wide area networks are examined to give students the knowledge of their capacity and limitations. Operating systems are explored and computer networking courses prepare students to obtain professional certification.

Working through the process of first exploring possibilities and then completing an accredited program that is approved by an agency like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges ( http://www.accsc.org/ ), will prepare students for careers. Join the professional workplace inside the continually growing industry of information technology by completing an accredited educational program.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Information Technology Training Programs

The dependability on computers has only grown as technology as provided a way for almost everyone to own one. This is seen in the way that colleges, businesses, government agencies, and more have integrated the use of computers into their daily function. Students can learn how to work with all aspects of computer usage by entering information technology training programs.

Training programs are designed to teach students how a computer processes and how to maintain all the information used by one. This may seem like a basic undertaking but the work done includes working with all areas of information technology. Students can expect to learn how to design hardware, design software, secure a network, build an Internet application, and much more. The broad range of responsibilities makes earning an education the prime way to successfully enter a career. Before stepping into a specific career a few key steps have to be taken by students to ensure they have the needed knowledge to work effectively.

The first major step before work can start is for students to complete undergraduate degree programs. Both the associate’s and bachelor’s degree level of education are focused on providing students with a fundamental and foundational education in computer science and communications networks. Excluding general education requirements students work through many industry related courses that center on:

  • computer interfaces
  • web design techniques
  • information systems
  • business applications
  • operating systems
  • programming languages

The overall industry focus teaches students to apply, develop, and maintain technologies related to computer information by working to create user-friendly interfaces. The knowledge gained trains students to assist computer users, solve problems, and evaluate technological requirements of a business or individual. A troubleshooting course introduces students to hardware and software management. The process of diagnosing, following procedure, and producing a solution is covered through hands on experience. These courses help students step into advanced study or a career.

Working to complete a graduate degree is step two especially for students that want to enter a specialized area within information technology. Areas can include training in network support, software design, information security, and computer programming. Many of these specializations can be taken as a concentration in an undergraduate degree but to learn advanced techniques and procedures students should continue education into a graduate degree. Many programs focus on applying information technology to global business applications that work together to support the financial and organizational part of a business. A graduate degree in information technology covers a number of specialties that teach students how to work as organization leaders in regards to global economics and international business. Curriculum covers these areas by providing in depth explanation of dynamic programming, parallel computation, data compression, and nonlinear programming. The knowledge gained prepares students to work as researchers, technology specialists, and professors.

The ability to work with computers on a technological level presents numerous opportunities for trained students. Working to find and complete programs from accredited information technology schools and colleges can make the desire to enter a career a real possibility. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges ( http://www.accsc.org/ ) can fully accredit programs that offer quality training programs to students. Students should start education now and begin training in information technology.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

What Drives Information Technology

Information technology generally refers to all forms of technology used in the creation, storage, exchange and utilization of data, conversation and all multi-media forms of communication. With computer technology constantly changing and improving, businesses are being driven with the need for the right system that is based on the requirements and goals of their enterprise. They are considered business allies in an information-based economy.

What drives information technology is competition within the business environment and the progression of computer technology that it is a part of. The systems of technology involve varied shapes of many state of the art devices that help in the transmission of information to managers translating such information to their decisions in the organization’s operations.

There are many forms of information technology like computers, sensors, robots and decision support systems. The newest one being used in the market today are handhelds to help managers and subordinates to support their daily operations in the office. Due to the emergence of varied accounting system technology, Electronic Data Process Auditing now also known as Information Technology Auditing was launched to also cater to the need for technology control and as a response to utilize computers’ capacity for attestation services.

Information technology has revolutionized business operations. In shaping the structure and functions of work organizations, plants, and office, modern information technology is considered one of prime movers among many industries. When one talks about technology, it brings up a whole exciting world of computers and the Internet. It also prompts terms like server, intranet, security, firewall and network. Other terms in its jargon are Ethernet, VoIP and more.

Information technology has not always alluded to computers, but referred to the oldest information processor, which is the brain. Technology is perhaps man’s scientific attempt to imitate the brain’s efficiency in functions of communication and information storage. Thus it is essentially the communication, storage and processing of information that would suit the purposes of users.

Through the use of high technology in the form of state of the art computers and software systems, communication is well managed. Some companies refer to its Information Technology Department as MIS or Management Information Services. Large companies have bigger requirements for the Information technology departments with bigger responsibilities in information storage, information protection, information processing, information transmission, and even information retrieval. IT contributes to the success of these businesses as it works along side its human resources in accomplishing the organization’s tasks while reducing costs and opening new possibilities that have never been tried before by the company.

When the best of both science and technology is combined, what results is as powerful as today’s advancements in technology. So powerful it is that it is not only a part of man’s life — it dominates it. It makes him realize every second of his existence

Data Arteries – Enabling Business Strategy Through Information Technology

Regardless of size and industry, every enterprise is dependent upon information technology, and must have a strategy for how to employ it, especially as the internet becomes more pervasive. Information technology strategy is an enabler of business strategy. Not only must an enterprise manage relationships with its constituencies, but it must be able to connect with them electronically through data arteries – information supply, value, and demand chains. The information supply and demand chains are external; the information value chains are internal.

An information technology strategy is a special case functional strategy because every function in the enterprise requires electronic information delivery capabilities, and many require electronic process control also. In very large enterprises, strategy may be formulated at both the enterprise and organizational unit levels.

As websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Plaxo, and Twitter become more pervasive in business, linkages between application systems and databases and social networking websites will be more important to enable constituencies to communicate both collaboratively and cooperatively. Just as email has become a primary method of communication between enterprises and their constituencies, so will social networking sites especially for advertising and ecommerce.

Business intelligence information can be used to identify opportunities for competitive advantage. However, information technology itself can be an enabler of competitive advantage, especially when there are opportunities to digitize products or deliver information products electronically. In such cases, business strategy is inseparable from information technology strategy.

Information technology comprises the analytical and operational application systems, databases, and technical infrastructure (hardware and networks) of an enterprise. Not all computer technologies are information based. Computer technology is used for process control applications in special purpose equipment. However, connectivity is essential as applications become more integrated. As digital construction and manufacturing practices develop through such technologies as computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), the processes, the control of processes, and the products and/or services delivered by processes all rely upon information technology for connectivity.

For example, in the manufacturing industry, not only can design and manufacturing work be conducted through integrated CAD/CAM processes with electronic linkages to carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, but the entire project and process management activities can be monitored electronically from ideation to product delivery.

Through technologies such as electronic data interchange and electronic funds transfer, data and both digital and information products flow through information supply and demand chains in parallel to material supply and product and/or service demand chains. Within the enterprise, data flows through information value chains from supply chains and to demand chains.

Developing an information technology strategy document is essential for describing the requirements and for educating users because:

  • The impact is enterprise or organizational unit wide and other elements of strategy cannot be implemented without it
  • Administrative activities, such as legal, finance, and human resources, and operational activities, such as research and development, procurement, manufacturing or equivalent, distribution, marketing, sales, and service depend on information technology – analytical and operational systems support both administrative and operational functions
  • The time frames, expenditures, risks, and magnitude of efforts are usually larger and more complicated than other initiatives and must be clearly understood; information technology projects have a tendency to go out of control and under deliver – therefore, contingency plans are always necessary
  • The subject matter can be complicated if not well explained

Information technology strategy is usually packaged as a separate but related document to the strategic plan. It is deployed and executed through specific programs and projects that develop new or enhance or maintain existing application systems, databases, and technical infrastructure.

Large information technology development projects are usually cross-functional, and may be part of a broader initiative sponsored by multiple functions collectively. Broader initiatives that have information technology components include:

  • Market research and development
  • Product research and development
  • Infrastructure research and development for processes and information delivery

For example – for the development of a:

  • Digital manufacturing system integrating both research and development and sales and production activities (sponsors: Manufacturing and Sales functions – impact is on Research and Development, Procurement, Manufacturing, Distribution, Sales, and Service functions)
  • Financial, managerial, and regulatory accounting and reporting system (sponsor: Finance function – impact is enterprise wide)
  • Human resource management system (sponsor: Human Resources function – impact is enterprise wide)
  • Sales tracking system (sponsor: Sales function – impact is on all salespeople enterprise wide)

Some projects can be solely for the Information Technology function, in which case it is a customer of itself.

Steering committees should be established for major programs and projects representing the various impacted functions in order to resolve cross-functional barriers. Major programs should come under the review of a planning and policy committee at the enterprise level.

Information technology strategy formulation is a project in its own right at the enterprise or organizational unit level. Very large projects are grouped as a program of inter-related components under a program manager. Projects can be stand alone also. A single project can deliver one or more application systems and related databases and technical infrastructure, or multiple projects may be required depending upon complexity.

For example, when launching a new product, it may be necessary to conduct marketing, product, and infrastructure development projects that include the delivery of new systems, and upgrades to existing systems. However, if an addition to the product line is launched at a later time, a new project or set of projects may be required to enhance or maintain the current systems, or even develop new ones.

The work breakdown structure for downstream development, enhancement, and maintenance projects decomposes into planning, analysis, design, construction, implementation, and performance measurement phases. The performance measurement phase can be conducted in parallel with the other phases, and each must end with a performance review. A feedback loop to future planning activities must be established so that lessons learned from the past can be reflected in future initiatives.

Meeting the cost and schedule requirements is always a major consideration. Hence, “meeting the date” is a frequent requirement for project success. However, after implementation, the scope of what was delivered and its quality is usually remembered more than when. In anticipation of the need to make changes after implementation, an adaption project may be necessary to tune, standardize, and integrate the deliverables.

The planning phase is conducted at the enterprise, organizational unit, or program levels for one or more projects depending upon size and complexity. However, each application system and related databases and technical infrastructure is delivered through a project with distinct analysis, design, construction, and implementation phases. Each phase always begins with a detailed planning activity to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately. The work breakdown structure does not preclude the use of iterative methodologies within each phase for rapid application development and prototyping. Development, enhancement, and maintenance of websites can be very rapid, and heavily interactive with user involvement, when the appropriate tools are used.

Key questions and deliverables by information technology strategy project and downstream phases include:

Strategy project (enterprise and organizational unit levels):

Key questions:

  • How does information technology enable business strategy?
  • What are the investment priorities?

Deliverables include:

  • Information technology architecture (applications, data and databases, and technical infrastructure)
  • High level project phasing and plans

Planning phase (enterprise, organizational unit, and program levels):

Key questions:

  • What are the administrative functions’ systems and information needs?
  • What are the operational functions’ systems and information needs?
  • What are the priorities for the candidate analytical systems?
  • What are the priorities for the candidate operational systems?

Deliverables include:

  • Process models
  • Function models
  • Data models
  • Information models
  • Economic evaluation
  • Scope of analysis projects and schedules

Analysis phase (project level):

Key questions:

  • How do processes, functions, and systems fit together?
  • How do systems processes and functions relate to enterprise processes and functions?
  • How do systems processes and functions and enterprise processes and functions fit together?

Deliverables include:

  • Functional requirements
  • Economic evaluation
  • Scope of design projects and schedules

Design phase (project level):

Key questions (by system):

  • What are the system’s functional requirements?
  • What are the system’s technical requirements?
  • What is the total cost of ownership and benefits (tangible and intangible)?

Deliverables include (by system):

  • Application system specifications
  • Data and database specifications
  • Technical infrastructure specifications
  • Scope of construction project and schedule
  • Total cost of ownership/benefit analysis

Construction phase (project level):

Key questions (by system):

  • Is the system being constructed according to design?
  • If not, what change orders are required, and why?

Deliverables include (by system):

  • Tested application system and interfaces, databases, and technical infrastructure
  • Trained users

Implementation phase (project level):

Key questions (by system):

  • What are the costs and schedule relative to plan?
  • What is the scope relative to plan?
  • What is the quality relative to plan
  • When will the benefits be realized relative to plan?
  • What adjustments for tuning, standardization, and integration are required relative to plan?
  • What are the current anticipated enhancement requests?
  • What are the current anticipated maintenance requests?
  • What are the lessons learned for the future?

Deliverables include (by system):

  • Working application system and interfaces, databases, and technical infrastructure
  • List of enhancement requests
  • List of maintenance requests
  • Performance measurement report

As enterprises become more dependent upon the internet for connectivity with constituencies, it is essential to develop, enhance, and maintain the information technology strategy on an ongoing basis. The strategy must emphasize connectivity through the data arteries as digital and information products become more pervasive.

Formulating information technology strategy is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.