Information technology (IT) is most commonly used to refer to a system of computers and computer networks. The term actually encompasses a much broader meaning and can include any application that stores, retrieves, transmits or manipulates data. Used in this context, information technology can include television and telephones, as well as computers, servers and networks.

The responsibilities of an IT department within a business can include such tasks like:

  • Decisions about network administration
  • Data storage, retrieval, manipulation: With massive amounts of data being stored, it is vital that the information be accessible and secured. Giving users the necessary access to information and maintaining the integrity of the network, while keeping the corporation productive is one of the key roles of the IT department.
  • Implementation and support of computer based information systems and hardware equipment: One of the components of information technology is the equipment necessary to present information. This may include projectors, screens and other equipment used for presentations or trainings. Smart boards, electronic media pieces, and scanners are included in this grouping. Establishing hardware sharing – such as sharing a printer over a network – will be included in the IT department as well.
  • Installation of new software programs: The IT department is often responsible for ensuring that the software programs are installed properly.
  • Technology life cycles such as updates: The software programs have to be maintained and updated and functioning as intended.

Within the department of information technology, personnel can be responsible for the allocation of equipment, the management of security and resources, and the training of new employees. The IT department may be required to keep close account of usage and department management for budgeting IT expenses and cost analysis purposes.

The field of information technology is constantly changing and expanding. As technology changes, the need for administration and support increases and changes, constantly creating a need for oversight.

For general purposes, information technology incorporates all of the components of technology within a corporation. It includes the computers, the telephones and wireless phones, the internet and the security of the network. IT departments have grown from a one man show to a full-fledged department in many corporations – often with a large staff. Understand the responsibilities of this important division can help your business run smoothly and efficiently.