What Does an Information Manager Do? (Skills and Duties)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 11 October 2022
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.
An information manager, also known as an information and communication (ICT) manager or information systems manager, oversees an information technology (IT) department. They coordinate the management of business data by improving and implementing software systems in a business. Understanding the typical duties of an information manager can help you determine if this technological management role suits your skills and personality. In this article, we provide an answer to the question, 'What does an information manager do?', outline their typical skills and discuss their career outlook.
What does an information manager do?
The answer to the question 'What does an information manager do?' is that they organise, coordinate and facilitate data management by overseeing an IT department. Many organisations collect and organise business data through software systems, which an information manager coordinates. Their duties can vary substantially depending on their employment environment. Some of their common responsibilities can include organising IT department budgets, creating change management strategies for new technologies and reviewing the performance of IT systems. Below, you can explore some typical information management duties in more detail:
Manage IT department budgets
There are many expenses involved in an IT operation. For an IT department to operate, it requires several elements, such as hardware, software, professionals and consumables. When a business adopts new technologies, there may be licensing fees, ongoing subscription costs and server expenses. All these costs can accumulate to a substantial expense that requires monitoring and management. An information manager typically liaises with a finance department and executives to plan an IT budget that the organisation can reasonably afford and scale.
Form IT department teams
IT departments comprise many individuals with unique expertise, responsibilities and duties. For example, some IT departments may include support specialists, network engineers, IT analysts and technicians. An information manager typically oversees the recruitment of these individuals. They may review skill gaps in the team and determine the need for specialists to conduct specific tasks. They may liaise with human resource departments to create accurate job listings that attract the right candidates for the IT department's vacant roles. An information manager may also assist in the review of candidates to determine their suitability.
Monitor team member performance
An information manager typically ensures an IT department operates to the peak of its capabilities. To achieve this, they usually evaluate the performance of IT team members. An information manager may evaluate varying performance elements depending on the team member's duties and responsibilities. They usually designate and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) that apply to each role. For example, if an information manager reviews the performance of an IT technician, they may record and observe their average repair times to determine if they're performing their services efficiently.
Liaise with different departments
Depending on an organisation's structure, it may have many departments that all use technology to enhance its specific operations. For example, the marketing department may use IT management systems to record marketing campaign performance, delegate duties and review campaign success. An information manager may communicate and liaise with different departments to ensure their IT systems are operating efficiently and effectively. If a department has an issue with its software, it usually contacts the IT department for assistance in resolving the problem. Information managers may also communicate with other departments to identify the need for software upgrades.
Identify IT upgrade requirements
An information manager usually monitors IT system performances across an organisation. As part of their liaison responsibilities, they may communicate with department directors and managers to ensure their software performs. When departments experience issues with their software, they may notify the IT department. An information manager may review these performance notifications and investigate the software issues. In some circumstances, the software may require an upgrade, which the information manager may facilitate. Software typically requires upgrades when loading times are slow, new versions of the software are available or if the department requires additional features and functionality.
Research innovative technologies
Information managers are experts in the IT industry and understand how important technology is for improving business processes and maintaining competitiveness. They typically observe technology markets to identify new technologies, such as hardware and software, that can improve an operation. When innovative technologies enter markets, they have the potential to significantly enhance business processes, such as production and customer service. If a business doesn't adapt to these technologies, it may lose competitiveness, as its competitors are enhancing their operations and producing goods more efficiently or providing more effective services.
Develop IT procedures for company employees
Organisations can have many departments with skilled individuals who conduct specific duties. These individuals, while highly skilled, might not have extensive knowledge of software procedures, particularly when experiencing technical issues. Many careers are beginning to incorporate technology into their procedures and often require step-by-step procedures on how to operate applications to their full potential and resolve minor software issues. An information manager usually develops procedures that employees in varying departments can understand and use when experiencing software issues. The purpose of these procedures is usually to reduce the influx of support requests to the IT department.
Create change management strategies
Change management is a process for implementing change and ensuring an organisation can adapt to new technologies, processes and structures. The management process also involves analysing a business's culture to identify the impact of change and determine if it's manageable. An information manager usually identifies technology that can help an organisation improve its operation. They may assist an organisation during the change management process by developing procedures to help employees adapt to these new technologies.
Assist IT team members
Information managers usually oversee, manage and delegate responsibilities, but they may also assist IT team members with complex tasks. Information managers have extensive skills and knowledge of IT systems and can usually contribute their expertise to help the team. If team members are having issues with a complex procedure, they may notify the information manager who can assist in resolving the issue.
Typical skills of an information manager
Below, you can explore some of the typical skills an information manager may possess:
Communication: An information manager regularly communicates with different departments, clients and team members. Their communication abilities help them provide clear instructions to team members, outline the benefits of new technologies to executives and update clients on IT project progress.
Collaboration: IT departments typically comprise many individuals with varying responsibilities and duties. An information manager's ability to collaborate and encourage teamwork can ensure an IT department achieves its goals and works productively in a team environment.
Conflict management: This skill is typically helpful for any career involving the management and oversight of teams and individuals. An information manager's ability to resolve conflicts can ensure the IT department operates productively and collaboratively.
Strategic thinking: Information managers often develop strategies that involve long-term processes for implementing and upgrading IT software. Their strategic thinking skills can help them consider long-term requirements for maintaining an efficient and effective IT system.
Adaptability: Information managers are usually extremely adaptable to new processes and technologies because the IT industry often involves innovative discoveries and advancements. Their ability to adapt to changes can help them develop effective change management strategies.
Leadership: Like most management positions, leadership skills can be an excellent contribution to a manager's skill set. Leadership can help an information manager inspire team members to work productively and also foster a healthy and collaborative workplace environment.
The career outlook for an information manager
The National Skills Commission predicts the future growth for information managers to increase by 17.7% over the next five years. This growth refers to the increase in the number of information manager jobs available and reflects a demand increase for this job position. There might be positive growth for this technology role because many organisations are digitising their processes and procedures. If more organisations are incorporating software to facilitate data-driven business decisions, they typically require an information manager to oversee the data collection and management.
This growth suggests that the demand for information managers may continue to increase, provided the demand for software services also increases. Large enterprises may collect an abundance of data, from sales performances to business forecasts. You might consider information managers as essential to these operations for ensuring efficient data management and collection.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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