What Does the IT Department Do Within a Modern Organization?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 11, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Popularly known as the IT department, the information technology department is an integral part of any high-functioning organization. The IT department performs specific technical roles that help organizations function smoothly and effectively. Understanding what the IT department does within an organization can ensure you know what these roles are responsible for and what requirements you'll need if you are interested in a career as an IT professional. In this article, we answer "What does the IT department do?", explore common job responsibilities of this department, discuss its importance within an organization, and state the skills needed to function within any IT department.

What does the IT department do?

In any company, the IT department is in charge of the layout, hardware, software, and connectivity of the company's computers. Specialists in this department are responsible for ensuring that employees have complete access to the organization's servers. They may be in charge of a specific aspect of IT for the organization, such as programming, website maintenance, or technical assistance.

Most organizations, particularly those in a digital environment, will depend on the IT department to make sure that their computer network functions effectively and connects smoothly. The IT department is responsible for three major parts of an organization, including the maintenance of its technical systems, the management of the equipment, and the efficient functioning of the systems. Aside from that, IT employees work internally on computer software and hardware in various ways that enable a firm to succeed.

Related:

  • 16 IT Salaries and Career Paths (With Job Responsibilities)

  • What Does an IT Professional Do? (With Guide and Tips)

What are the job responsibilities of the IT department?

To answer "What does the IT department do", it's vital to have an understanding of the job responsibilities held by these employees. The following are some of the main responsibilities of IT departments:

Communication

Email is the primary mode of communication between employees, vendors, and clients in many businesses. The introduction of emails was an early development of the internet, giving a simple and low-cost way of communication. Various communication technologies have grown over time, allowing employees to interact via live chat platforms, online meeting tools, and video-conferencing systems. Employees can connect in even more high-tech ways with voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) and mobile phones.

In terms of communication, the IT department within an organization is responsible for:

  • Establishing one-on-one and group phone calls

  • Making arrangements for video and web conferencing

  • Maintaining and debugging email issues

  • Assisting department executives and employees as a consultant

  • Adding/removing users to coordinate the security system

  • Supporting computer applications for end-users

  • Making a backup copy of each data source

  • Filling the system with new data

Technical support

The IT department is also responsible for assisting the company's computer users. Updating new software, correcting hardware faults, installing new hardware, diagnosing problems, and training personnel on how to utilize new software applications are all examples of this. Many companies keep an IT help desk on staff to assist employees with computer-related concerns. When employees need access to the company network or troubleshooting support, they usually get sent to the technical support team.

Below are detailed examples of technical support the IT department may provide:

  • Install any new software or hardware the company purchases

  • Investigate and purchase IT hardware and supplies

  • Oversee the implementation of IT inventory assets

  • Assist with digital asset backup and recovery

  • Investigate network problems

  • Make a work log

  • Set up phone systems

  • Assist as a resource for escalation

  • Set video and audio-conferencing equipment

  • Install and set up new printers, copy machines, and other office equipment

  • Provide and deploy cloud-based apps and services

  • Repair hardware

Related: 11 IT Technical Support Officer Responsibilities

Administration

IT employees are in charge of installing and configuring an organization's computer system. The purpose of this role is to ensure that the network is up and running and that all employees have access to the internet and the computer network. Skilled IT employees maintain the system securely and fix it if there is a problem. Administrators are critical members of a company's IT department. An administrator's responsibilities may sometimes overlap with those of other members of the team. For example, system administrators and network administrators may have the same structure but a slightly different focus.

The following are some examples of frequent administrative responsibilities:

  • Manage the organization's computer infrastructures

  • Support new users with computer and software concerns

  • Guide and train other employees on company systems

  • Update software

  • Renew licenses and other legal documentation

  • Maintain a close eye on continuing arrangements with suppliers.

  • Complete statutory forms

  • Ensure compliance with quality standards

  • Analyze probable dangers

  • Control data storage

Read more: How to Become a Network Administrator (With Steps)

Programming

Within the IT department, programmers are in charge of developing software projects for the organization. Some programmers design programs that meet the organization's needs, such as an application to maintain human resources, operate a piece of production equipment, maintain inventories, process work orders, or execute any task that the organization requires. Employees in a company's programming department use the abilities of a web developer, programmer, and other IT professionals to create new programs that will assist businesses in achieving their goals. They frequently collaborate with software developers and engineers to turn their designs into usable code.

Below is a list of common programming duties:

  • Create and improve business applications

  • Create new databases with productivity applications

  • Convert ASCII, HTML, PDF, and other file types from printed and electronic documents

  • Copy, edit, and save graphics using graphic editing software

  • Make use of your understanding of app development languages

  • Code in languages such as Linux, Java, JavaScript, C++, Asp.net, C#, SQL, HTML, and PHP

Related: Web Developer Skills: Definitions and Examples

Computer website

The IT department is in charge of creating and maintaining the company's website. It produces the code, constructs the layout, and tests the site's functionality. Depending on the organization's objectives, the IT department may construct a simple informational site or a fully dynamic commercial site that markets products directly to customers. Employees work behind the scenes to build code, test the webpage's functioning and assist with customer experience issues. The IT team works with its many divisions to realize the organization's vision for how the website looks and functions.

The following are some of the tasks that IT personnel conduct on a website:

  • Set up the site's layout

  • Create and deploy website code

  • Check the site's usability

  • Maintain the company's internal network (intranet)

Application development

The appropriate applications enable a company to be more innovative, creative, and efficient and stay ahead of its competition. This makes the IT department critical to a company's success. The developers, analysts, designers, system administrators, testers, and other specialists produce the applications that can set a corporation apart from the competition. Developers put the apps through several tests, resulting in valuable tools for employees and business owners.

Here are some of the most important responsibilities related to app development:

  • Convert software concepts into executable programming code

  • Consult with clients about new program specs and functions

  • Create programming code that accomplishes a purpose

  • Create documentation to assist users in using new programs

Related: 9 IT Career Paths You May Have Never Considered

Why is the IT department important?

Information technology is an essential component of any business plan. Every type of business, small, medium, and large relies on information technology to ensure the efficient administration of the company, whether it relates to communication or the efficiency of processes. For example, email and the internet play important roles in internal and external organizational communication. To maximize efficiency, businesses connect their inventory management systems to their point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Most organizations use information technology to reform the way they design and maintain client interactions. Some use customer relations management systems to record every encounter a company has with a customer so they can provide a more enriched experience. If a consumer phones a call centre with a problem, the customer service professional sees what the customer buys, examines shipment details, accesses the handbook for that item, and efficiently responds to the problem. The CRM system logs the whole interaction, and it can be retrieved if the customer calls again. The consumer enjoys a more concentrated experience because of this, while the business benefits from increased production.

What skills are needed in the IT department?

For any IT department to function properly, members of the team require certain skills to perform their duties effectively. Knowing these skills can help clarify what the IT department does. The following are some of the most important technical skills employees in the IT department need:

Network configuration

Even though you're not a network administrator, networking expertise is valuable in IT. Skills in network configuration allow you to set up networks, administer them, and troubleshoot them when your organization or client encounters problems. As a result, having at least a basic understanding of network configuration is essential for most IT roles.

Related: What Is a Network Management System? (Types and Features)

Hardware development

Certain hardware is necessary for any technology to function. A computer display, for example, can't function without a processor. As a result, it's important to know how to deploy various types of hardware in any IT function. Hardware deployment involves packing, unpacking, and configuring technical equipment. These abilities also enable you to monitor and repair any failing gear, which is a significant advantage in IT.

Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is an important ability to have in IT because you need to know how to think quickly and obtain resources and information to complete your duties. For example, if you're employed in an IT department, you'll need to be able to conduct research if another employee asks a question you don't know the answer to. You might also be required to learn more about a program if you're experiencing problems with it. Being resourceful allows you to boost your productivity and knowledge, allowing you to succeed at work.

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