Since Managed IT Infrastructure Services drives most of the mission-critical tasks and thereby keeps organizations ahead on the curve of production and competition, it has almost achieved the status of being “unavoidable.”
Its incompatibility or inflexibility does affect the business value of information technology in the organization. Moreover, inefficient IT infrastructure management can put a severe dent on your economic backbone.
In fact, Gartner has observed that the average cost of network downtime is around $5,600 per minute. That’s precisely why managed IT infrastructure services are been considered as a critical success factor for operations. But before diving into its diverse multitudes, it’s important to have a better grasp of the underlying concepts of information technology infrastructure management.
But before diving into its diverse multitudes, it’s important to have a better grasp of the underlying concepts of information technology infrastructure management.
In the information system, the term infrastructure denotes the basic supporting systems that are shared amongst users. Keeping with this parallel drawn, information technology infrastructure is the basic shared platform for all business applications.
Basically, information technology infrastructure can be seen as the basic technological platform for other systems that are used in various business activities and processes. Generally, technological infrastructure is the enabling foundation upon which business depends. Advancements in information technology, thus, directly affect the development of an organization’s IT infrastructure and managed IT infrastructure services that are based on it.
However, the granular look at the concept of information technology infrastructure reveals that there are several dimensions to it:
● Embeddedness: Infrastructure becomes an integral part of other technologies, organizational and social structures
● Model of Membership: Infrastructure is definite to each organization. New staff members get acquainted with the new infrastructure and learn as they get familiar with it
● Transparency: Information technology infrastructure should be transparent in the sense that it does not have to be separately reinvented or modified for each application
● Reach and Scope: Infrastructure can extend beyond a single place, process or event. Its purpose is to serve over a long period of time, in many locations and for a variety of reasons
● Significance of Standards: Standards do play a vital role in infrastructure, as they make it possible to expand the system and connect it to other managed IT infrastructure services
● Constructed on An Installed Base: Development of infrastructure is a slow process. Most of the times, the development of existing infrastructure makes it reliant on its strengths and limitations.
Moreover, the concept of information technology infrastructure can further be divided into two related components: technical IT infrastructure and human IT infrastructure. This is because information technology and managed IT infrastructure services cannot be seen only as a combination of different technical devices, as they cannot function without a sound human intervention.
As the name suggests, the technical component includes different devices that connect computers and systems, mainly networking devices. Also, technical information technology infrastructure includes servers, systems, and devices that are commonly shared among users. Human component, on the other hand, is made up of individual and organizational skills, expertise, competencies, and commitment. Many experts have articulated the idea that human information technology infrastructure is a combination of expertise in four areas:
Note that infrastructure management, and thus, managed IT infrastructure services is a holistic approach that combines technology, procedures, and knowledge which ultimately powers the services that support business processes. This demands a sound business understanding from organizations who wish to deploy or replenish their existing IT infrastructure. Without clearly defined business goals and process functionalities, selecting the right technologies, systems, and applications that meet business needs is impossible.
Since technology constitutes the majority of the IT infrastructure, basic understanding in areas such as software development, data communications along with hardware and software technologies is paramount. IT staff should have deep technical knowledge. This is especially true with the smaller organizations. As a smaller organization is deprive of quality and quantity in terms of manpower, knowing a wide range of different technologies and systems can be difficult for them.
In the clamor of this technological overwhelmingness, it’s important to know that interpersonal skills are increasingly important in managed IT infrastructure services. Management activities need an understanding of business and user requirements. Lack of sufficient communicative skills may hinder that understanding.
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