Job Title: Assistant Vice President Of Information Systems
Type of Company: I work for a federal savings bank with offices in the greater Boston area.
Education: BS, Computer Systems, Daniel Webster College
Previous Experience: I started as a computer technician for Radio Shack back in the 80s. I have advanced through the levels of system administration and computer engineering to become a department manager and assistant vice-president.
Job Tasks: I am responsible for all areas of information systems and data processing within the various business units of the bank. I direct the daily operation of the data center and the end-user help desk. My data center team performs routine system administration and maintenance on servers and network equipment located in eight offices in the greater Boston area. The bank utilizes more than 20 servers to run the financial accounting and customer service functions. Database servers store customer account information and banking transaction histories for seven years. The data center team is also responsible for data security and privacy, data back-up and restoration, and disaster recovery planning and testing.
The help desk team responds to requests for assistance from over 100 employees. The requests include helping people with their login names and passwords, sending and receiving email, printing, scanning, and faxing documents, and operating word processing and spreadsheet programs. The help desk team also maintains and repairs desktop computers and laptop computers for the end-users. The company relies on timely response and expert advice from the help desk team to insure that the employees can perform their job functions.
The productivity of the employees is critical to the success of the company, and the Information Systems department plays a large role in that.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of running an Information Systems department is the satisfaction of seeing the various hardware and software components operating in an efficient and coordinated manner in support of a productive and happy group of employees. When the systems are operating properly, the employees are able to provide prompt and accurate customer service to our banking customers.
The worst part of the job is experiencing criticism and second-guessing from employees who have unrealistic expectations. Although my teams and I work very hard to have all of the systems working at maximum efficiency 24 hours per day, no systems are perfect. Sometimes systems crash or get bogged down because of unplanned events. Despite our best efforts to recover from these events and restore services quickly and effectively, some employees think that we could have handled the situation better.
Job Tips: A good Information Systems manager needs to have a diverse background. I recommend taking classes in several areas of computing including computer hardware, logic, data structures, programming languages, networking and communications, and business management. I also think that actually working in several areas for a period of time builds a real understanding of the challenges and opportunities that your peers and subordinates face.
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