Different organisations have adopted different structures for the IT department. Outline the traditional structure of an IS department and explain the main activities of the key sections.

CPA-Quantitative-Analysis-Section-4 BLOCK RELEASE

Traditionally the IS department was divided into three main areas. These were:
 Systems development
 Operations
 Systems support

The managers of these areas were answerable to the information technology manager. The responsibilities of the information technology manager included:
Giving advice to managers on all issues concerning the information technology department;
 Determining the long-term IT policy and plans of the organisation;
 Liaisons with external parties like auditors and suppliers;
 Setting budgets and deadlines; and
 Selecting and promoting IT staff.
1. Systems development
The systems development manager is responsible for the offline development of systems and their implementation. He assigned projects to the analysis and programming teams.

The analysis section
Functions include:
System investigations;

System design;
 System testing;
 System implementation; and
 System maintenance.
The programming section
Functions included:
 Writing programs;
 Testing programs; and
 Maintaining programs.
System programmers write and maintain system software. Application programmers wrote programs or customised software to carry out specific tasks.

2. Operations
The operations manager is responsible for the efficient day-to-day running of the computer operations and the operating staff. Duties include:
 Planning procedures, schedules and staff timetables;
 Contingency planning;
Supervision and co-ordination of data collection, preparation, control and computer room operations; and
Liasing with the IT manager and system development manager.

Data preparation
Data preparation members of staff are responsible for converting data from source documents to computer sensible form. They usually operated a key station to prepare data. Duties were:
 Correctly entering data from source documents and forms;
 Keeping a record of data handled; and
 Reporting problems with data or equipment.
Data control
Data control staff are generally clerks. Duties include:
 Receiving incoming work on time;
 Checking and logging incoming work before passing it to the data preparation staff;
 Dealing with errors and queries on processing; and
 Checking and distributing output.
Computer room
The computer room manager‘s duties include:
Control of work progress as per targets;
 Monitoring machine usage; and
 Arranging for maintenance and repairs.
The shift leader‘s duties included:
 Scheduling work for the shift;
 Supervising the work;
 Ensuring a proper operations log was kept; and
 Liasing with the operations manager.
The computer operators control and operate hardware in the computer room. Their duties include:
 Starting up equipment;
 Running programs;
 Loading peripherals with appropriate media; and
 Cleaning and simple maintenance of equipment.
The file librarian keeps all files organised and up to date. Typical duties are:
 Keeping records of files and their use;

Issuing files for authorised use; and
 Storing files securely.
The database section
The database administrator is responsible for the planning, organisation and control of the database. His functions include:
 Co-ordinating database design;
 Controlling access to the database for security and privacy;
 Establishing back-up and recovery procedures;
 Controlling changes to the database;
 Selecting and maintaining database software; and
 Meeting with users to resolve problems and determine changing requirements.
3. Support

The maintenance section
• Fixing software and hardware problems

The network section
The network administrator/controller/manager‘s functions include:
Assignment of user rights;
 Creating and deleting of users;
 Training of users;
 Conflict resolution; and
 Advising managers on planning and acquisition of communication equipment.

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