systems management definition

Systems management is the management of the information technology systems in an enterprise. This includes gathering requirements, purchasing equipment and software, distributing it to where it is to be used, configuring it, maintaining it with enhancement and service updates, setting up problem-handling processes, and determining whether objectives are being met. Systems management is usually under the overall responsibility of an enterprise's Chief Information Officer (CIO). The department that performs systems management is sometimes known as management information systems (MIS) or simply information systems (IS).

Network management and database management can be viewed as part of systems management or they may be viewed as co-equal parts of a total information system.

Trends and issues in systems management include:

  • The total cost of ownership, which emphasizes that updating and servicing equipment is likely to be a major cost
  • The right balance of resources and control between centrally-managed and network-distributed systems
  • The outsourcing of all or part of information systems and systems management
  • Tactical versus strategic purchasing decisions
  • The choices between proprietary, compatible, and Open Source software
  • Exploitation of the Internet and Web interfaces
  • Graphical user interfaces for controlling the information system
  • Security management, including security for mobile device users
This was first published in September 2006

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