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Great Online Resources for Information Systems Managers

There is a lot of information online – good and bad, valuable and useless, free and not so free.  For an information systems manager, there are several online resources that they can use to stay current in an ever-changing and complex field.  But what does an information systems manager do?  Before we delve into these technologically-oriented information troves, let’s quickly examine the basic job function of someone in information systems management.

What Does an Information Systems Manager Do?

An information systems manager is the person responsible for all of a company’s computers, networks, and other hardware.  More importantly, he or she is also responsible for keeping their information safe, accessible, and as problem-free as possible.  Often, information systems managers are the heads of Information Technology (or IT) departments.  Their main duties include:

  • Coordinating, Organizing, and Supervising IT workers: making sure people do their jobs, helping them out when they run into problems, and generally overseeing their work.
  • Communicating with Other Departments: this clarifies the needs and goals that the IT department should meet.
  • Analyzing and Implementing New Technology: the manager must understand how any change in technology works, what it does, how it will affect systems already in use, and most importantly, whether it meets the needs of the company. If any proprietary programs (programs tailored to a specific company) are needed, the information systems manager will assign a team to develop them.
  • Upgrading and Maintaining Computer Systems: all technology needs a regular maintenance routine to run efficiently, stay current against viruses and other security threats, and minimize any compatibility issues.
  • Maintaining System Security:  an integral part of any computer network is security.  Keeping files and other sensitive information secure from hackers and free of viruses is a top priority.

Online Resources for Information Systems Managers

Because a career in information systems management is not intended for beginners, most of the information on the web pages listed here is targeted towards professionals.  Browsing through them will help you understand the broad technical knowledge an information systems manager must have.  It will also help you to appreciate just how much of this field is directly related to business and management.

  • Microsoft TechNet (technet.microsoft.com) This site is geared towards IT professionals in all areas, but it offers education and tutorials for beginners as well.  The latest developments in the computer field are discussed, and there are forums for pros to work out knotty problems.  There is also a special section devoted to IT Management, which includes its own community and forum as well as a solution center.
  • IBM (www.ibm.com) This site offers the latest news and IT solutions for IBM products and more.  It includes information on content management, disaster recovery, system management, security, and workplace productivity.  While it naturally centers on IBM products, there is also plenty of support information, documentation, a download center for fixes, drivers (the programs that make hardware work with a system) and updates, a troubleshooting guide, and a resource library.
  • DeveloperWorks (www.ibm.com\developerworks) A specialized branch of IBM’s main website, this focuses on problems and issues central to the IT industry.  In addition to articles on information management, technology, cloud computing, and the web, there is access to a library of technology, forums, and the option to subscribe to several job-specific newsletters.
  • Information Systems Security (www.infosectoday) This site deals specifically with the challenges of secure computing.  It features an article database and the latest computer and security news.

These are a few selected resources available for those in the information management field.  There are more publications available, both in print and online, to assist them in their work.