IT systems manager is a fairly generic term used to describe a position of responsibility in information technology. There are two types of information technology (IT) systems managers: hardware and software. A hardware systems manager's area of responsibility ranges from the actual workstations, monitors, servers, and other equipment to the infrastructure required to make it all work. An IT systems manager with a software focus is responsible for a specific software program or package.
In order to qualify to become an IT systems manager, you will need to complete post-secondary training in information technology. The training can be very specific, focused on programming, hardware, system integration, or related topics. Alternately, many people obtain a degree in math or computer science before moving into a career as an IT systems manager.
There are several industry specific certifications that are commonly required to qualify for the best positions in this field. People interested in pursuing this career path would be well served to find out what the most recognized certificate is and complete that training program. A commitment to continuing education is essential in the information technology industry. New developments occur frequently, so it is important to stay current and continually update your skills.
The primary tasks of an IT systems manager include project management, software and hardware testing, and supervising developers and support staff. The project management aspect of the job is the most time consuming. Almost all changes in the information technology industry are classified as projects. The ability to set a time line, measure progress, keep the team motivated, and reach all the milestones at the correct time is essential in this job.
It is the responsibility of the systems manager to act as the liaison between the client and the technical staff. He or she reviews change requests from the users, provides information to the developers or support staff, and then tests the changes. Once he or she is certain the requirements have been met, the changes are now ready for user testing. Upon acceptance by the users, the changes can be moved into the active or live system.
Part of the responsibilities of being in a management role include supervision of staff. The manager must be familiar with the human resources policies of the firm, provide guidance and support to staff, and resolve interpersonal disputes. The ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing is very important.