When asked the question, “what does IT do?” most people think of things like simple tech support and the classic question, “have you turned it off and back on again?” But, in reality, IT departments do a lot more than make sure your computer is running, they’re responsible for nearly all the technology used on a daily basis throughout the entire organization.
A managed IT support department is what keeps the wheels moving for a business’ technology. Communication tools, collaboration tools, hardware, software, security, and much more are managed by an IT department. They’re the mechanics that maintain the car that is your business, keeping it on the road and avoiding costly trips to the garage - I.e. downtime.
Downtime is expensive in both dollars and reputation. Customers are less likely to return to a service after a significant amount of downtime. Not only that, downtime is usually an avoidable expense when the right IT systems and technologies are deployed.
The average cost of downtime for businesses is $5,600 a minute.
Watch this video to learn more about the functions of an IT department, all the tasks that fall under the umbrella of managed IT, and the value of a high-performing network comprised of efficient tech stacks.
Having the right technology and the right workflows for your organization is crucial to developing a culture of success and efficiency that enhances the employee experience. Learn more about how your organization can improve their current IT strategy in Impact’s 2023 Business Trends | Modern Business Requirements webinar.
The Main Functions of a Managed IT Department
A managed IT department’s core functions are divided up into three main categories:
- Governance: This means implementing operational parameters for the use of IT systems. Essentially, a managed IT department lays down the ground rules for how employees can use company technology. This helps to prevent unauthorized or unnecessary access to internal systems and sensitive information, in turn, this also helps to limit the volume of active security vulnerabilities in your systems.
- Infrastructure: Another core function of an IT department is the maintenance of network hardware. All the equipment (computers, wires, circuitry, etc.) needed to keep a business running is established, managed, and maintained by IT. In today’s ever-growing digital landscape and with the growing internet of things (IoT), having a reliable and high-performing network for your business is crucial.
- Functionality: The most common understanding of what IT does do falls under this function which involves creating and managing operational applications, storing data, and assisting employees with the use of software throughout the organization. As your business grows and you want to incorporate more sophisticated technological solutions into your operations, having IT experts who can guide your staff through these digital transformations will help the whole process go smoothly.
A Managed IT Department’s Responsibilities Within a Company
Smaller responsibilities of an IT department might fall into one of these larger categories, but it’s important to note that IT performs many critical tasks across an organization.
Here’s a look at some of these additional IT department responsibilities and how they fit into the larger picture overall:
A managed IT department takes care of the implementation and operation of computer network systems within an organization. For large companies, this can mean entire teams dedicated to evaluating and managing the software and hardware necessary to keep the network online and functioning at a high level.
Network speed is vital for efficient workflows, processes, and operations – but its value doesn’t stop there. Network speed and load-time plays a critical role in user experience.
“Loading speed plays a crucial role in determining the overall user experience (UX) of a website or application. Users have come to expect instant access to information and fast-paced interactions, and the time it takes for a website or application to load has become a significant factor in determining its success.”
Because users are expecting such an instantaneous and smooth online experience when they visit your site, you want to be sure that they don’t leave frustrated and disinterested in your brand because of lag-times, slow loading, or a clunky interface.
“Hogan provides the benchmark of 2 seconds as an optimal load time. She goes on to state that after 3 seconds, up to 40% of users will leave your site.”
Internal Application Development
Managed IT department team members can create and operate custom computer applications that are tailor-made to fit a business’ specific needs while also improving overall business functionality. Access to tech professionals who can whip up custom solutions for your specific organizational needs is hugely advantageous in today’s hyper-competitive business market.
Whether it’s for project management, order tracking, or customer service, custom applications help streamline processes and result in more specific tools for employees exact workflows and processes.
Communication is a major key in business and especially in the modern technological world. While communication used to be limited to letters, phone calls, emails, and faxes, it now takes on many, many forms. From emails, to IMs, to phone calls, to video meetings, to file sharing, to social media platforms, to cloud-based collaboration tools - communication is a massive piece of the business puzzle.
By investing in a managed IT department, you are committing to a reliable communication strategy that enables your organization to operate efficiently.
IT department functions that fall under communication can be wide-ranging and include:
- AV tasks like setting up for conferences, webinars, presentations, and other events.
- Maintaining safe and effective email systems, instant messaging applications, phone and video calling platforms, and other devices on the network.
- Manage collaboration tools for data sharing and remote project collaboration.
The classic depiction of an IT department is technical support for employee's organization-wide. Whenever people need help with their hardware, software, passwords, access, or anything else, IT is called upon to fix problems and get the ball rolling again.
Technical support goes beyond helping people make sure their computers are working, though. Below are just some examples of the wide spectrum of support that a managed IT department provides:
- Hardware repairs
- Equipment orders
- Software patches and updates
- Employee training on new technology
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Setting up new technology
- Behind-the-scenes equipment and device management
Next time you’re thinking “what does IT do?” remember that they play an integral role in keeping everything moving smoothly by removing the roadblocks that arise when relying on a series of unique technology solutions in everyday business. It’s not only important to have an experienced and knowledgeable IT team by your side but also to have one that you fully trust.
Working with a managed services provider (MSP) can seem intimidating, especially when partnering with such a critical department, like IT. Learn about the shifting technological landscape and how your business can stay up to date in Impact’s 2023 Business Trends | Modern Business Requirements webinar.