Tech & Work

Members offer advice on restructuring IT department

How do you structure IT? According to a recent TechRepublic discussion, it depends on the situation. Read the questions you should answer before restructuring your IT department, and join the discussion.

Y. Moeljono, a TechRepublic member from Jakarta, Indonesia, is restructuring an entire IT department. He plans to create four sub-departments:
  1. Networking services
  2. Operation Services
  3. Information Services
  4. PDCA services (Planning, DO, Control, Action)

Is this a good structure? That is the question Moeljono recently asked in the Managing Your People section of our Q&A Forum.

Members told Moeljono that the answer depends.

"There is no 'best way' to structure a department," replied member B. Geary. "It is very situational."

Questions to consider
Geary suggested that Moeljono begin by asking these questions:
  • How many people are in the IT department?
  • How many users are they supporting?
  • What are the most common user requests?
  • What are the various skills in use in your location?

"Normally, I would try to group workers based on the their skills," Geary added.

Also, if possible, try to structure the technical workers so they are supporting a designated group of end users and becoming familiar with the needs of particular divisions.

It could be a good structure
Member Angelo Serra posted that Moeljono’s proposed structure could work, but he thought certain details were missing. He made the following assumptions:
  • The four area managers will report to a single manager.
  • Networking services will be responsible only for networking and connectivity.
  • Operation Services will be responsible for traditional operations issues, such as backups, printouts, help desk, and software installation.
  • Information Services will address application development, application support, analytical services, server/hardware installation, and database services.
  • PDCA Services will handle budgeting, project management, communications within the organization, purchasing, contract negotiation, and other administrative services.

"With these assumptions, I have seen structures like this work," he wrote. "Depending on the organization, you will need multiple layers of management the larger you get, and it may turn into too much of a bureaucracy. Keep the reporting structure to a minimum, and it should serve you just fine."

Angelo suggested Moeljono also consider these questions:
  • Have you placed too many responsibilities in one area?
  • How do the areas interact?
  • Will you have or be able to get enough people to staff what you have planned?
  • Do your workers have the skill-sets needed to staff this structure?
  • What does the current local job market offer to fill potential gaps?

What's your take?
What advice would you offer Moeljono? Do you agree with the answers given? Are there any other questions or issues he should consider? Join the discussion in our Technical Q&A. (Please note that though the discussion is marked answered, you can still post there.)


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