A common misconception associated with information technology is that these are the people we call whenever we have a problem with any computer-related issue. This definition is something condescending. It severely downplays the importance of the role that I.T. information technology plays in today's digital world. The information technology sector goes beyond fixing your home’s or office’s computer or internet connection.
Research consultancy IDC projects that the global information and communication technology is on track to reach $5 trillion in 2019. Information technology jobs have the highest median wages. These highly paid professions are primarily due to its critical role in helping businesses, industries, and organizations improve productivity, increase efficiency, and innovate faster.
What is I.T. or Information Technology?
The term Information technology was coined in 1958 in a Harvard Business article as anything that involves computational data processing, decision support, and business software. I.T. or information technology encompasses everything related to hardware, software, networks, or computing technology. Information technology jobs include people who work as computer programmers, network administrators, technical support representatives, web developers, and all I.T. related occupations.
What are the Different Information Technology Jobs?
Almost every organization, business, and manufacturer no matter its size has an I.T. department at the heart of its operations. This information technology jobs are crucial to maintaining day to day tasks from maintaining its I.T. hardware to ensuring that all employees are always connected.
Information technology jobs can be divided into major categories: computer engineers, system analysts, computer programmers, and computer scientists. These jobs represent different specialties in the field of information technology, which are some of the most in-demand professions today.
Some of the popular information technology jobs include:
These I.T. professionals manage everything involved with a database. The database administrator (DBA) is responsible for managing, securing, storing, and making information stored in the database always available 24/7. A solid example would be a DBA who works to make all bank information accessible and secure for the bank and its customers.
- Installing, maintaining database server and applications
- Upgrading database physical requirements (storage space, network, memory)
- Monitoring, integrating the database system with new applications, tools
- Securing the database server and all information contained in it
- Optimizing database performance to match demand
Computer analysts are responsible for designing, analyzing, and implementing the different functions of computer systems. They are involved with keeping all information systems operating optimally. Computer analysts work with computer programmers, software companies, software end-users, and developers ensuring that all computer networks and information systems are working correctly.
- Upgrading and maintaining existing computer systems
- Designing computer frameworks and systems
- Creating computer network guidelines and manuals for organizations
- Conduct training sessions and workshops on existing and new computer system processes
- Collaborate with other information technology professionals to resolve system issues
- Troubleshoot job-related technical issues
Network System Administrator
Information technology professionals who work as network systems administrators are responsible for planning, setting up, and maintaining the information network in businesses and organizations. Network system administrators work in a variety of environments, most notably those in the network operation centers, call centers, internet service providers, and data centers. They specialize in maintaining the smooth flow of information to and from the organization's network.
- Evaluate and provide networking solutions’
- Setting up Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN), intranets and network segments
- Monitor network performance
- Protect and ensure the security of the network
- Troubleshoot network-related issues
- Network upgrades
Software engineers are I.T. professionals that utilize engineering principles and computer programming to develop software products. They are involved with creating computer software in the field of engineering, physical systems, designing, testing, and implementation of software systems. Software engineers create software systems that are designed to improve quality and efficiency. This software is usually developed for use in large, intricate software systems for organizations.
- Software design and construction
- Software maintenance
- Software management
- Software configuration
- Software development
- Software deployment
A technical support representative also referred to as helpdesk support, problem manager is popularly referred to as the troubleshooter of the information technology sector. Many of these I.T. professionals work with hardware companies, manufacturers, and suppliers providing end-user support to business customer and consumers. They are also involved with monitoring and maintaining workplace systems responding to customers asking for support services.
- Installation and configuration of hardware and software applications
- Provide technical support to customers and end-users
- Monitor and maintenance of computer systems and networks
- Replacement of defective hardware
- Test and evaluate software applications and hardware
Web developers, web producers, or web designers work on the different aspects of web building. A web developer is responsible for creating programs and applications for the web. They are experts at creating websites from the bottom up and creates custom code to develop websites that are specific to their customer's needs. Web developers are involved with everything, including creating the website's basic layout, features, and functionalities.
Web developers also have specialized roles that handle specific aspects of website creation. A back-end web developer is involved with the website's overall technical construction. These I.T. professionals create the basic framework and make sure that everything is functional. They also ensure that the website is robust enough to accommodate any additional pages or applications that need to be integrated. Front-end web developers are responsible for the website's aesthetics. Their work includes integrating graphics, audio, or any other application required for optimum website functionality.
- Design and create applications for a website
- Write code, using programming languages such as XML or HTML
- Collaborate with graphic designers and other designers to create the website layout
- Integrate images, audio, videos, and different types of content into the website
- Monitor website performance and traffic
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Business
ITIL is widely recognized as the standard in I.T. Service Management. ITIL provides a basic guideline on how organizations and its people could utilize I.T. to empower change, development, transformation, and achieve better efficiency across the different sectors in an organization.
The Information Technology Library is a resource that describes a framework of best practices for delivering I.T. services. ITIL was developed by the British Central Computer and Telecommunication Agencies. It has since then been improved and has undergone several revisions currently comprising five books.
Each of these ITIL books covers processes and stages of the I.T. service lifecycle. It provides a step by step approach to I.T. service management. The goal of which is to help organizations take better control of the different aspects of their operations. With the implementation of ITIL, businesses can establish an I.T. environment that promotes growth, scalability, and change.
Benefits of ITIL for your Business
- Increased productiveness and resource management through the establishment of cost-effective practices.
- Empower the different departments in your business by taking advantage of the benefits of an ITIL strategy.
- Create a stable environment that promotes ongoing change.
- It helps you develop a customer-focused approach that lets you deliver services targeted to their needs and build long-term relationships.
- Identify potential risks with your services and creating a solution that is not only focused on I.T. development.
- Ensure continuous operations without disrupting your service.
- Create better opportunities for your business by incorporating ITIL methodologies.
- Improve brand profile by using a globally recognized certification.
- Lets business take advantage of the latest developments in technology and implement these immediately to maintain competitiveness.
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What is the ITIL Lifecycle Stages?
Just like business processes and products, I.T. services have a lifecycle. The practice is incorporated in the best practices of ITIL service management. Understanding the lifecycle of I.T. services makes it possible to manage and implement I.T. services with maximum efficiency. The ultimate objective of this is to ensure consistency in I.T. services.
Stage 1: Service Strategy
This stage deals with understanding the I.T. customer, their needs, and how to meet those needs. It also includes the different I.T. resources and capabilities required to develop these services. The service strategy outlines the different requirements, plan of delivery, and support services. It must ensure that the cost of services is proportional to the value desired by the customer.
Stage 2: Service Design
The service design contains the changes and required improvements to maintain its effectiveness over the lifecycle of services. It contains information to manage all the processes to ensure that all procedures are cost-effective. ITIL includes planning for all the tools required to monitor and support the new services being considered including the processes for calculating service levels, technology, and effectiveness of the program.
Stage 3: Service Transition
This stage of the lifecycle is where the design is built, tested, and moved into production. The service transition phase objective is to connect the gap between the project and operations. It is where all assets are fully utilized and integrated for testing. The service transition will help minimize unexpected variations.
The service transition deals with the changes in assets and configuration, including hardware and software required for the new system. It ensures a smooth transition for users and all personnel who will be affected by the changes.
Stage 4: Service Operation
After the transition stage, the service operation then delivers the services. The operation team is responsible for the complete operation, which supports the stable delivery of the services. During the operation, a service desk is tasked with supporting incident management and receiving feedback. The service also manages any disruptions to service and restore it after an incident. They also determine the cause of the problem and any recurring issues. The service operation team handles daily end-user requests and manage service access.
Stage 5: Continual Service Improvement
This stage is involved with all the phases of the lifecycle. It is continuously in contact with all the services to measure the effectiveness of the program or identify areas of improvement when the opportunity arises.
What are the Different Levels of ITIL Certification?
To be ITIL certified is one of the most coveted I.T. certifications. It is because of its importance in the effective delivery of I.T. services. ITIL can provide business a method for managing risk, improving operations, deliver cost-effective solutions through stable I.T. services that enable it to grow, scale, and change.
For I.T. professionals hoping to get ITIL certified, there are several levels of I.T. certifications to be completed. It starts with the basic ITIL Foundation level to the ITIL Master Level certification. A brief overview of the different ITIL certifications can be seen below.
To be ITIL certified, individuals need to complete and pass the foundation exam. There are no prerequisites, and anyone interested in being ITIL certified need only express their interest to enter the exam. The certification includes all five levels of practice in the ITIL service lifecycle. Those who can pass the ITIL Foundation level will need to complete the succeeding Practitioner or Intermediate certification to qualify for a management position.
ITIL Practitioner Level
The Practioner level is an entry qualification in the ITIL certification program. It was first offered in February 2016 and based on practical knowledge of the different ITIL processes and how these can be implemented in real-life working conditions. An I.T. professional who holds an ITIL Practitioner certification is expected to implement the ITIL framework in an organization. They can explain how the ITIL framework was designed to support an organization's different objectives.
The ITIL Practitioner level can only be achieved after passing the ITIL Foundation level. The ITIL Practitioner level also provides three credits for Expert certification.
This ITIL certification focuses on the different aspects of I.T. service management. It takes a module-based approach, with the various modules categorized under Service Lifecycle or Service Capability. The Intermediate level contains two paths: Service Lifecycle and Service Capability.
ITIL Service Lifecycle Modules:
- ITIL Service Strategy
- ITIL Service Design
- ITIL Service Transition
- ITIL Service Operation
- ITIL Continual Service Improvement
ITIL Service Capability modules:
- ITIL Operational Support and Analysis
- ITIL Planning, Protection, and Optimization
- ITIL Release, Control, and Validation
- ITIL Service Offerings and Agreements
ITIL Expert Level
The ITIL Expert level is a more advanced certification that contains the ITIL processes and practices across all ITIL disciplines. This path is only available for those who have been previously certified for the ITIL Intermediate level. To be certified as an ITIL Expert, a candidate must obtain 17 credits from the Foundation, Practitioner, and Intermediate modules. They must also pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam, for a total of 22 credits.
ITIL Master Level
The ITIL Master level certification is the highest level of certification awarded to qualified professionals. It represents all the ITIL principles and processes contained in the ITIL certification. To qualify, an individual must be ITIL Expert certified and demonstrate at least five years of ITIL experience in a management or leadership role.