The main objectives of an IT department are to develop, deploy and support software. Some software may be created by programmers to help internal processes and procedures that proves to be a return on investment. Other software will be created for clients if the company develops software as part of their business plan. In that case it's just as important to provide support for software already in place as it is to provide the software itself. The mission statement of the IT department should be to "Keep software running at all times of the day" and to have a quick response time to clients that have systems down.
The first goal of the IT department is to develop software that make the eyes of CFO's widen immediately. Developing new software should only be done when it can quicken the current process that already proved to work, and essentially, save the company money. For instance, customers like when we follow up our shipments with a confirmation email, but we have to send each email manually. An IT employee could develop a program that automatically sends the confirmation emails and saves the sales team time.
Once the program is developed, and the CIO and CFO agree on the time and money savings for the company, it's time to deploy. There could also be a generic survey sent along with the email so that the IT department can see feedback on their creation.
The feedback received turns into support that the company must give in order to maintain a good relationship with the client. Offering quick support for products is important for companies because word-of-mouth travels faster nowadays due to social media websites. It's not the end of the world to a customer if the product fails and they receive quick support, but it's a different story if they don't receive support in a timely fashion.
In conclusion, IT departments need to develop, deploy and support on a consistent, and sometimes simultaneous, basis. They might have to fix software at Company A while Company B is asking for a proposal on something new. They also have to support their own company which doesn't show up in the profit margins, but remains a top priority. If you want to get paid to develop it, you better be there to support it when it breaks down. That goes for many business models, not just IT departments.
Brown, C. (et al) (2012). Managing Information Technology. 7th ed. Pearson. Saddle River, N.J.
Just a Development Department. Retrieved from: