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Definition of IT operations

What is IT operations

IT Operations (ITOps) is a discipline responsible for managing and maintaining a business's tech infrastructure to ensure the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the systems. It involves overseeing daily operations, implementing new technologies (such as cloud computing and software automation), and creating a foundation for sustainable growth. The main goals are to streamline processes, reduce manual labor, and enhance overall IT performance.

Weak or non-compliant ITOps can result in below-average business service quality, negatively impacting customer experience.

ITOps consists of a team managed by an ITOps manager or a cross-functional team with various roles like network engineers and systems engineers.

What are IT operations roles? 

ITOps involves a range of roles and responsibilities dedicated to maintaining the seamless operation of tech services. Let's explore the essential functions: 

Resource management

  • IT managers allocate budgets and manage personnel, choosing between generalists and specialists. 
  • Service desk data facilitate a clear understanding of resource usage. 

Incident handling

  • Transform chaotic incidents into managed actions with repeatable results. 
  • Optimization involves post-mortems and synthesizing workflows based on lessons learned.

Security oversight

  • Focus on security with well-documented processes, efficient tools, and collaboration (DevOps). 
  • Create escalation paths and record workarounds to minimize security breach impacts.

Service desk operations

  • IT teams offer services via a service desk, allowing customers to self-serve by creating tickets. 
  • Clear communication through SLAs and service catalog offerings impacts team structure and resources.

What do IT operations do? 

There are six categories for ITOps tasks aligned with strategic objectives:

1. Run solutions 

Perform data backups, restore systems after outages, configure and optimize servers, and allocate IT resources for effective service delivery. 

2. Manage infrastructure 

Oversee computing, networking hardware, software applications, hybrid cloud environments, network security, facilities, and hardware components. 

3. Manage configurations 

Document hardware configurations, and solution dependencies and implement new configurations for optimal infrastructure performance. 

4. Evolve infrastructure 

Act as innovators, identifying change impacts, applying patches, and introducing new hardware/software to enhance service performance. 

5. Mitigate disasters 

Plan, simulate, and practice disaster recovery to minimize downtime and revenue loss in case of unexpected issues. 

6. Govern ITOps 

Monitor tech infrastructure performance, assess security, develop operational metrics, manage software license compliance, and conduct infrastructure audits to meet security and performance targets. 

What are the differences between ITOps, application management, and technical management? 

ITOps, application management, and technical management collectively contribute to tech service management, each with its specific role and focus in ensuring the effectiveness and reliability of IT services. 

Application management focuses on the technical management of essential applications involving design, testing, deployment, operation, and optimization. Technical management offers strategic technical expertise, assigning leads or analysts to contribute technical knowledge to the tech infrastructure's design, management, and support decision-making. 

While technical management provides high-level technical guidance, ITOps focuses on day-to-day operational tasks and maintenance. Unlike application management teams, which concentrate on the technical aspects of application management, ITOps specifically focuses on services and infrastructure, contributing to application monitoring.