Information Technology Officer

This could be a mission statement for any local authority:  "To develop the technical infrastructure and environment for all council services to flourish using information technology as a cornerstone to the business."  In local government, IT is central to the council's ability to deliver a quality service to the taxpayer.  IT officers work in small teams that provide desktop services to every department. The role may also include some IT related administration such as maintaining hardware and software inventories, and internal invoicing.  The post exists in all types of authority.

Work Environment
The work is office-based.  In an average situation, technical officers will operate mixtures of mainframe, UNIX, Windows 95/98, Windows 2000, NT v 4 and Server 2000 platforms supporting corporate and business unit applications in a TCP/IP network environment utilizing LAN and WAN technology.  The standard working week is 37 hours and may allow flexitime and job share.

Daily Activities
IT services provide infrastructure and support to council members, officers and numerous software suppliers.  The unit delivers access to corporate data through a communications network which also reaches officials' homes as well as offices (some remote) in the area.

On a daily basis, information technology officers help with evaluating IT solutions and advise service units on the use of technology within the following key areas of activity, as directed by the supervisor. Each requires different skills.  Strategy and consultancy service provides strategic guidance and direction on how information systems can be developed for the benefit of the whole council, but especially the business needs of its cost centre managers.

Project management service provides technical guidance and direction on possible IS systems and IT solutions for the business needs of the council.  It is also involved with tendering procedures.  Systems development service incorporates developments, enhancements, corrective and legislative changes into existing applications.  It also customises most packages supplied by third party vendors.

Technical support service ensures uninterrupted access to front line systems.  It covers the provision, evaluation, management, maintenance and support of software, in particular operating systems and their security in a live environment.

Operations service provides operational support for full access to on-line systems and to help meet processing deadlines.  Network service is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.  The service provides critical data quickly and securely and monitors traffic levels to ensure they do not jeopardise service availability.  NS also covers Internet, Intranet, external and internal e-mail, virus and security control services.   Help desk support service covers the help and advice needed on the use of PCs and associated peripherals and software and their maintenance (including hardware).  The aim is to ensure that the council has a high quality re-active support service, using technology to best effect.  IT officers are also responsible for keeping accurate records for service performance targets.

Skills & Interests
You would need to be:

  • a team player;
  • committed to good service;
  • organised, carrying out work in a methodical and well documented way;
  • able to communicate effectively with all levels of staff both verbally and written.

Entry Requirements
'A' Level in a computer discipline or equivalent and at least one year's experience working within a computing environment are essential.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There are always opportunities for advancement in information technology.  In IT Services the next step up is Supervisor.  With further training and experience, it is possible to aim for other posts such as Information Systems Officer and IT Helpdesk Co-ordinator.  There are opportunities in the private sector, too.

Further Information & Services
Apprenticeship information
Computer Weekly
E-skills UK
Institute for the Management of Information Systems
Society of IT Management
The Chartered Institute for IT

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

Careers Wales have produced a Spotlight article on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths):  

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