What Is IT Management and How Does it Help Businesses?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover the scope of IT management and how it works within an organization.

[Featured image] Two members of an IT management team discuss technology systems.

What is IT management? 

IT (information technology) management is a broad term for how teams or individuals within an organization make information systems function effectively. Think of IT management as the way technology and business operations align to meet business objectives. 

IT management includes the following disciplines:  

  • Business and IT alignment: integrating business objectives with IT systems to improve an organization’s outcomes 

  • Business intelligence: technologies that turn raw data about an organization into meaningful information, in the form of charts, dashboards, reports, and tables 

  • Web and application development: building web-based software to enhance customer experience

  • Virtualization: helping organizations achieve faster backup and recovery of data 

  • Cloud computing: helping organizations mobilize a remote workforce, store and sync data, automate processes, and manage customer relationships  

  • IT finance management: calculating the cost of delivering IT services and monitoring how an organization uses them 

  • Project management: planning, scheduling, and executing IT projects within an organization 


  • Sourcing: the process of sourcing IT systems that an organization does not develop internally 

  • IT systems management: the process of making sure IT systems consistently perform as expected

  • IT infrastructure and technology management: all the tools used to operate IT within a company, including software and hardware  

I’ve been applying the new skills and knowledge I’ve gained from all my courses to my work and it’s helped me be a better IT professional.

Munifa M., on completing the Google IT Support Professional Certificate

Read more: Information Technology (IT) Terms: A to Z Glossary

Why is IT management important? 

With businesses’ increasing reliance on technology, IT management is vitally important to the health of an organization and the ability to execute business strategies.

According to Statista, spending on data migration, enterprise software, and other IT systems topped $4.6 billion in 2023 and is projected to keep growing [1]. In terms of priorities, managing clouds, security, and data continue to be among the top tech trends that PluralSight outlined for 2023 [2].

With a solid IT management team or process, businesses can reduce costs, improve data management, and make it easier for employees to collaborate, transfer data, and store and protect information. 

Read more: What Is a Cloud Engineer? Building and Maintaining the Cloud

Did you know? IBM studied 500 data breaches and found that the average cost of a data breach reached a record high in 2022, $4.35 million. According to the 2022 Report, 60 percent of the breaches led organizations to increase prices for customers [3].  


What can you count on from an IT management team?

Given the range of services IT management covers, an IT management team can include technologists in various roles with various skills. While organizations’ IT needs may differ from one to the next, here are some IT management roles and skills you may see across industries:  

IT management rolesIT management skillsTop companies hiring for this roleAverage US Salary

IT manager

Knowledge of computer systems, security, network, systems administration, databases, data storage, etc.

IBM, TEKsystems, Accenture, JP Morgan & Chase, Dell Technologies


IT project manager

Project management, mentoring and training others, technical expertise

JP Morgan & Chase, IBM, Accenture TEK Systems, Cisco Systems


IT security analyst

Patch management, penetration testing and techniques, mitigating network vulnerabilities

TEK Systems, Southern Company, Accenture, US Air Force, General Motors


IT director

Compliance, computer science, auto delivery, vendor management, project management

IQVIA, Merck, Cisco Systems, S&P Global, GE


Chief technology officer

Switching between executive and technical tasks, fluency in programming languages and systems

IBM, Self Opportunity, SelfEmployed.com, Ericsson- Worldwide


Chief information officer

Fluency in programming languages and systems, cloud and system architecture, machine learning, consulting, software analysis

US Federal Government, US Air Force, US Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin, Logicworks


*Top companies are rated 4 / 5 or higher by their employees on Glassdoor. All US salary data sourced from Glassdoor September 2023 and reflects average total annual pay (base pay and additional compensation). 

Get started in IT with Coursera

Taking online courses can be a great way to learn more about IT management and discover career opportunities. To learn general IT skills, explore the Google IT Support Professional Certificate or IBM Technical Support Professional Certificate. To learn industry-specific skills, explore Johns Hopkins University’s Healthcare IT Support Specialization or IBM’s IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization.

Article sources


Statista. “Information technology spending forecast worldwide from 2012 to 2023, by segment, https://www.statista.com/statistics/268938/global-it-spending-by-segment/.” Accessed September 13, 2023.

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