An IT manager and an operations manager are both responsible for delivering information technology services. This might seem confusing, but their work complements one another rather than conflict with their duties. The first is responsible for planning and implementing new equipment and services, while the second is responsible for keeping equipment and services running. In small companies, these positions are often combined, with a single employee taking responsibility for both areas. In large companies, added degrees of complexity make it necessary to assign leadership to both.
IT Managers: Business & Technology Planning
IT managers spend a lot of time working with business associates to understand the best technology investments to address their processes and concerns. IT managers create documentation to address business requirements based on the viewpoints of each department in the workplace. They must then translate business requirements to technology plans. Preparing technology plans and budgets represents a large amount of time for IT managers along with reviewing vendor products and services to ensure all technologies properly integrate together.
IT Managers: Project Oversight
After technology decisions for software and hardware have been approved, the next step for an IT manager involves the project management phase. IT managers work with project managers to identify project team members and serve in a sponsor role. After the project is completed, the IT manager is responsible for the successful transition to operations. When the workplace has both an IT and an operations manager, these employees work closely during the transition.
Operations Managers: Operational Integrity
While the IT Manager is focused on planning strategies and transitioning projects into operations, the operations manager maintains the operational integrity of the technologies and services provided. The operations manager keeps hardware and software functioning. Her team uses monitoring applications to track performance. When outages occur or are imminent, the team must promptly respond to support the needs of the business users.
Operations Managers: Service Desk
The service desk represents a hub of activity for operations managers. Service desk team members use special software to track, investigate and resolve problems or operational changes. Operations managers develop processes for problem management and resolution that can return services to normal without delay. Operations manages have both an internal focus to support IT, and an external focus, through which business users are seen as their direct customers. Customer satisfaction results when the operations manager successfully supports the needs of the business community.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.