IT Business Structure

This document looks at useful information technology business structure which should typically provide the best performance for the business. The business structure should allow each section to provide the functionality needed to support the aspects of the business they are tasked to support. Also the authority to each section should be given while fostering an environment of communication and cooperation between each functional section.

Each function should have its functional duties carefully defined and those definitions should take into account and document interfaces to other functional groups. What needs coordinated between groups should be defined such as account management between an HR component and server side management (infrastructure). HR must inform the server administrators about terminating staff so accounts may be disabled in an appropriate time frame.

Functional Sections

  • System engineering (architecture) - Develops and supports multifaceted systems for the enterprise - Must have knowledge of networking, networking services, computer security, server administration, application development and client desktops. Enterprise Architecture. Helps design large systems from the top down working with project managers helping to decide what groups should be involved. Works with Project management group to help guide and coordinate new projects and fix problems with large systems. (Works with project management, infrastructure, networking, user support, application support, security)
  • User support - Includes user training, support of user systems. Works with infrastructure and networking to control policies and access for users. Provides images of OS to use on user workstations coordinating with infrastructure. (Works with infrastructure, networking, security, depot)
  • Networking - Includes management of network cable, firewalls, routers, and switches. (Works with user support, infrastructure, security, depot)
  • Security - Sets security standards and policy, performs investigations, performs security assessments of new and existing systems. (Works with infrastructure, networking, user support, application support). Ensures DR plans and infrastructure are in place to meet needs.
  • Infrastructure - Server support,
  • Application support - Used whenever a new application is developed, contracted for development, approves use of off the shelf applications
  • Project Management - Client (business) Service support and Project Management - Makes sure customer business needs are being met - help determine data security requirements. Help coordinate maintenance and creation of services for the client. Client may request services that are external. Provides change control and coordination. Coordinates business DR plans. Supports and enforces project lifecycle policies. Enterprise problem resolution (Works with purchasing, system engineering) For every project or problem requiring infrastructure, a systems engineer must be assigned. or problem
  • HR and enforcement of policies including career development, hiring, termination, account management coordination, training - coordinate with appropriate sections to create or obtain training materials.
  • Equipment control/depot/ - Regulates control of equipment tracking locations and requiring proper disposal or performing disposals. Also tracks off the shelf software and licensing. It may track developed software? Controls purchase and tracking of printers, fax machines and other office equipment. May include office supplies.
  • Purchasing/contracting - Controls purchases and contracts along with supplier relationships.
  • Auditing and Quality Assurance department
  • Upper management - Technology planning - coordination of groups, enforcing policy, enforcing accountability
  • Training exclusive of user IT support training. Includes technical training for technical staff, training for management regarding time management, management techniques, etc. Includes general training about policies, procedures, standards, and ethics. Includes information for staff to remain current such as current technologies, current threats, industry trends, etc.

Business Structure

One of the most serious problems, when creating the business structure, is how to coordinate each section that has dependencies on other sections. A project based/functional based matrix structure should help create the cross functional ties that are required for project support so long as upper management enforces the requirements to make matrix management work. In the outlined structure below, a matrix management organization enhances the ability of the groups to work together. The business can be organized into the following sections:

  • Administrative support - Purchasing/contracting, depot, HR
  • Technical support - infrastructure, networking, user support,
  • Project support - System engineering, Application support, Project management
  • QA services - Auditing, security

When a project is initiated, the project manager would request required resources from each section. The management of each section would assign staff members to the project.

Alternative Structure

In the outlined structure below, the administrative support is tied to the Technical support divisions by requiring a system engineer to be assigned by the project manager if infrastructure support is required for the project.

  • Administrative support - Purchasing/contracting, depot, HR, Project management
  • Technical support - infrastructure, networking, user support, system engineering, application support
  • QA services - Auditing, security

Business functionality Model

  • Business client
    • Project Management/client support
      • Purchasing
      • Depot
      • System engineering
        • Infrastructure
        • User Support
        • Networking

Staff positions

  • Systems engineer
  • Auditor
  • Help desk
  • Server administrator (database, file, web, domain controller, mail)
  • network engineer
  • Firewall, router administrator
  • Project manager
  • Purchasing agent
  • Contract writer
  • HR staff
  • Application developer
  • Application tester/approver
  • Depot staff
  • Computer security officer
  • Training staff Technical Management and personnel management Business management Security guards Facilities management

Tools required

  • Project management
  • Time keeping
  • help desk

Sections outside IT:

  • Accounting - accounts payable and receivable
  • External accounts management
  • Sales
  • Product engineering