As IS ("information services") departments of an organization such as a business1 is the group which maintains technological infrastructure such as networks and computers, and MIS2 implies resource management, usually that the department maintains central servers (The name is commonly used in Novell and IBM shops), Information Technology (IT) implies the features of an IS department -- "But without the service."

  1. Also: "info services", often abbreviated inside of large corporate environments, especially with mainframe-era technological roots, to INFOSVCS.
  2. "Management and information services")

While an IT department can simply mean a technical staff managed from without (rarely a good idea) the phrase is usually used as a term of derision and applied to an (M)IS department considered incompetent. It can also indicate a hostile technical staff or admin (See BOFH.)