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The information technology (IT) department has played an increasingly important role in growing the modern business, whereas the marketing department was formerly responsible for most new business.

The modern IT department is not merely oriented toward managing technology. In addition to providing technical support and training, IT departments are also involved in developing business strategies, designing and building networks, and managing information security practices. Simply put, an IT leader must coordinate with multiple lines of business outside of IT to help the company achieve its goals.

The IT department acts as an intermediary between other departments like accounting, HR, marketing, and operations to ensure the company runs smoothly. This can include, for example, managing shared network resources like data storage and printers, department-specific software suites, and email management systems.

Growing a business using data-driven marketing strategies is dependent on understanding copious amounts of data. IT provides a means to collect, store, manage, analyze, and distribute that data in ways that are meaningful to users, making goals more achievable and allowing for more effective marketing strategies.

Information security is essential to success in business today. It is generally the responsibility of IT to ensure technical measures are in place to protect sensitive data. The IT department is also tasked with training end-users with regard to security practices.

The IT department’s overall purpose is to ensure others can use the current technologies to do their jobs efficiently. To accomplish this, an IT leader must be not only well-versed in the tech, but also in business as a whole. It is important to have a high-level understanding of the processes involved with each part of the business.

For instance, one should understand the basics of accounting, HR, marketing, and the company’s daily operations to know how the data should be managed effectively between the departments.

To reiterate, in addition to ensuring functionality of information systems, the IT department is responsible for training end-users to use the tech and providing the ongoing support necessary for users to work efficiently.

Today’s small business owner must be able to recognize the crucial moment to hire IT professionals, and whether to emphasize customer-facing technology, internal, or both. With a thoughtfully designed IT department, a small business will function like a well-oiled, yet highly scalable machine.