The phrase "systems management" refers to the process involved with protecting and overseeing a network of computers in order to keep them working at optimal levels. This responsibility inside the corporate world normally falls to a system administrator, and he would have many technicians available to perform troubleshooting, updates, and system repairs. Systems management often entails various security measures as well, and this could incorporate anything from assigning each employee a username and password to maintaining company protocols regarding Internet usage. Home users also perform the same types of systems management to ensure that their computers are running properly and are safe from hackers while connected to the Internet.
Systems management is vital to large businesses because it ensures that the flow of information will not be interrupted. For example, if a single employee within the company accidentally downloaded a computer virus from a website, that infection could spread to every other system within the corporation in minutes if the proper firewalls were not in place. An administrator performing systems management would ensure that the proper safeguards were in place so that the virus would be limited to the exposed computer system only, which would allow him enough time to research the issue and correct it. There are countless other examples of how systems management protects each workstation within a business, and each of them stem from preventative maintenance.
Other than security, systems management is also important in controlling the flow of information in other ways. It is a common practice to assign computer users various access levels based on their working assignment and everyday needs, and the administrator would perform this task. This process would have to be repeated every time an employee was hired or promoted, and restriction levels would also have to be applied to every single document that is located within the network. Tasks like these can take a substantial amount of time, which is why systems management departments normally consist of several employees.
Another aspect of systems management is keeping each system updated and running at peak levels, and this type of task is normally assigned to a continuous rotating schedule. A single employee may spend the majority of his time at work downloading and installing new software, fixing various mechanical failures, ordering parts, and researching new technologies that would help improve efficiency. Larger companies may have multiple employees assigned to these tasks, and each of them may have specialized knowledge on a certain aspect of the company's computer hardware.