A company’s productivity and efficiency depend on more than just capable, hardworking employees and high-functioning equipment like computers and phones.
Most businesses rely on the network to process customer orders and maintain client records. Communication between your business and your customers is vital, and it depends significantly on your network infrastructure.
What is an IT Infrastructure?
Information technology infrastructure or IT infrastructure is an integrated infrastructure that provides services for enterprise technology, services, or IT environments. Technology is used for many business aspects today, including operations to the manufacture of goods or services. Optimizing technology through networked systems improves communication efficiency and increases efficiency. A good information technology infrastructure can assist with business goals and provide a competitive advantage for any industry.
IT infrastructure consists of all components that somehow play a role in overall IT and IT-enabled operations. It can be used for internal business operations or developing customer IT or business solutions.
Typically, a standard IT infrastructure consists of the following components:
This is the “physical” part of an IT infrastructure and comprises all the elements necessary to support the basic functioning of the machines and devices constituting the infrastructure itself.
Servers, computers, storage and data centers, switches, hubs and routers, as well as all other equipment such as the power, cooling, cabling and dedicated rooms.
It refers to all the applications used by the enterprise both for internal purposes and to provide its services to customers. Software includes web servers, Enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), productivity applications, and the operating system (OS).
The OS is the most important software component and is responsible for managing the hardware itself and connecting the physical resources to the network infrastructure.
Although is not strictly necessary for an IT infrastructure to function, the network is essential to establish internal and external communication of all elements and devices.
The network part includes all the hardware and software elements necessary to ensure network enablement, internet connectivity, firewall and security. It ensures that personnel get access to stored and transferred data only from strictly controlled access points to reduce the risk of data theft or damage.
Since they contribute to constituting the enterprise environment and guarantee its functions, associated personnel and processes such as ITOps or DevOps are also part of an IT infrastructure.
Human users, such as network administrators (NA), developers, designers, and end users with access to any IT appliance or service are also part of an IT infrastructure, specifically with the advent of user-centric IT service development.
Traditional Vs. Cloud Infrastructures
All the components mentioned above that constitute a traditional infrastructure are usually owned by the enterprise itself and managed within their own facilities.
Needless to say, the larger the IT infrastructure, the more space, power, personnel, and money will be needed to run it. Today, part of this infrastructure can be virtualized and rented from third-party services to cut the costs.
Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are all relatively new options that allow businesses to rent software, infrastructure, services and human resources from external vendors who will deliver them using the internet. All the components rented are hosted and managed in cloud servers that employ their own IT infrastructures.
Since all these resources are built on virtualization technology, they can easily be scaled up or down as the needs of the business employing them change.
Why a new IT infrastructure will improve business growth
Regardless of their size and industry, companies have to prioritize their IT infrastructure above all aspects, especially in today’s business world, where technology has a firm hold on everything. According to a Fuse Technology Group survey, companies have started investing a considerable sum of their capital in their IT infrastructure, specifically in cloud computing(34%), social media(36), mobile devices(37%), data analytics(43%), and business management software(50%).
Does your existing IT infrastructure help your organization thrive, or does it create unwanted obstacles on your pathway to growth? Lets take a look at some reasons why a robust IT infrastructure is vital to your business’s growth.