Manager positions for computer and information systems estimate an increase of 11% by 2030. With that kind of growth, IT infrastructure management will become more critical.
When the word infrastructure comes to mind, most people think of roads and bridges. It can also refer to the systems that allow businesses or organizations to function.
Take water, electricity, and transportation, for example. We often don’t overthink things that work well.
But when they don’t, it can be a big problem. The same is valid for IT infrastructure.
Want to understand the nitty-gritty of IT infrastructure management? Keep reading to learn more.
What is IT Infrastructure Management?
It’s the foundation of a business’s information technology center. The parts that make it up must stay up-to-date and well-maintained. That way, it can support current and future needs.
It includes managing hardware, software, networks, data center resources, and other IT components. The goal is to ensure these elements unify to support the organization’s goals.
Why is IT Infrastructure Management Important?
A solid system is crucial for any business that depends on technology. Here are some of the reasons why.
Reduces Operational Costs
Let’s say you need to add more users to your email system. You might be able to do this by reconfiguring what you already have instead of buying new equipment.
Improves Efficiency and Productivity
With the right tools, employees can do their jobs better and faster. They won’t waste time trying to work around problems with the system.
Avoiding Potential Disasters
It can help you avoid or fix problems before they cause too much damage. For example, if you know a hard drive is about to fail, you can replace it before it takes your entire system down.
Agility and Flexibility
IT management solutions help you keep track of all your devices and the software installed on them. This tracking includes both cloud and virtualized infrastructure.
Enhanced Customer and Employee Experience
You can use IT management tools to keep track of your IT environment. It will help ensure that your employees and customers have a good experience.
If your website experiences unexpected downtime, you can plan for it in advance and tell your users ahead of time. This foresight will help them prepare for any planned outages or maintenance.
The Infrastructure Components
To manage your IT infrastructure effectively, you need to understand the different types of components involved. Here is a brief overview of each one.
Computer Hardware Platforms
These platforms include desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. They also include mainframes and server machines.
Operating System Platforms
A computer system cannot function without an operating system. An operating system makes it easy for users to communicate with the computer and leverage its full capabilities by providing a primary graphical user interface (GUI).
Enterprise Software Applications
The IT organization uses enterprise software applications to integrate, automate, and optimize business processes. Enterprise middleware products occupy the enterprise software space, with PeopleSoft, BEA, Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP being some of the most notable.
Middleware products are critical to the organization because they provide essential services. These services include content management, business intelligence, identity management, business process management, and application services.
Data Management and Storage
Organizations that collect a lot of data need a good data storage solution. SQL, MYSQL, IBM DB2, and Oracle are well-known database management and storage tools.
Networking and Telecommunications
Network software products like Cisco and Microsoft Windows Server fall under the category of networking and telecommunications. It also includes the physical networking infrastructure.
Internet platforms include a range of different tools that work exclusively on the internet. Platforms such as UNIX, Apache, Java, and .NET are common.
Consultants and System Integrators
Management isn’t always an easy task. Sometimes it can be helpful to hire an experienced consultant who can guide you in the right direction. The most popular consulting firms for IT issues include Accenture, KPMG/IBM, and EDS.
Challenges That IT Infrastructure Face
IT professionals have to manage infrastructure efficiently while also facing many challenges. Here are some of the common challenges they face.
Outdated Systems and Technology
Systems management must constantly evolve to meet the needs of a modern business. Considering how fast technology improves, it’s easy for systems to become archaic. Staying up-to-date can give you a competitive edge over the competition.
Faulty Networks and Connectivity
Faulty networks and poor connectivity are significant challenges for IT management. In the digital age, it is crucial to keep track of how well your network works and focus on improving connectivity. This network management will ensure your infrastructure stays updated with clients’ needs.
Storage, Data Acquisition, and Management Issues
Data is the lifeblood of any business. IT infrastructure management ensures that data is appropriately acquired, stored, and managed.
Data collection has become more accessible, but the volume of data has increased exponentially. Lack of storage and data management can lead to data loss. And the cost of that loss is not small.
A business needs to prepare for changes in its IT needs to scale efficiently. That means including integration with scalable infrastructure monitoring software. By doing this, the company can be sure that it is ready for any change in its needs and will not waste resources by over consuming IT capabilities.
As infrastructure becomes more complex, so do the security risks. Security breaches can have a significant impact on business continuity and cause damage to an organization’s reputation.
IT infrastructure management must continuously adapt to new risks and threats.
Best IT Infrastructure Management Practices
A well-run IT infrastructure is critical for any business, big or small. If you’re looking to get the most out of your IT infrastructure, here are tips to help you get started.
Keep Your Hardware and Software up to Date
It may seem like a no-brainer at first. But it’s essential to ensure that your devices are running the latest operating system version and that all other software is up to date. Outdated hardware and software can leave your system vulnerable to security threats and performance issues.
Use Remote Management Tools
These days, there’s no need to have someone on-site 24/7 to manage your IT infrastructure. Plenty of great remote management tools will allow you to monitor and manage your system from anywhere in the world.
Automate Where Possible
Automation can help you reduce costs and improve efficiency by reducing the need for manual intervention. Many tasks, such as patch management, backups, and monitoring, can undergo automation.
Implement a Robust Backup Solution
Backups are crucial in the event of a data loss incident. Ensure you have a reliable backup solution that provides quick and easy restores when needed.
Adopt a Proactive Approach to Problem-Solving
Don’t wait for problems to arise before taking action. Instead, proactively identify potential areas of concern and address them before they cause any issue.
Monitor Your System Carefully
By monitoring your system closely, you’ll be able to identify issues early on and take steps to prevent them from becoming more significant problems down the line.
Make Use of Alerts and Notifications
Configure your system to receive alerts and notifications whenever something goes wrong. This way, you can take action quickly to resolve any issues.
Good documentation is essential for good IT infrastructure management. Ensure you document everything, including network diagrams, device configurations, change logs, etc. It’ll come in handy if you ever need to troubleshoot an issue or make changes to your system.
Regularly Review Your Procedures
As your business grows and changes, so will your IT infrastructure needs. Make sure you regularly review your procedures to remain relevant and up-to-date.
Train Your Staff Members
Your staff members are key players in the success of your IT infrastructure. Ensure they get proper training on how to use it, handle common issues, etc. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your IT infrastructure is well-managed and running smoothly.
Start Improving Your Infrastructure Today
Now you should have a better understanding of IT infrastructure management. Technical operations can be complex, but you can ensure your system runs optimally with the right tools and processes.
It might seem too much to handle when you look at things all at once. But you can make infrastructure management much more manageable by breaking it down into smaller pieces. If things happen correctly, the infrastructure will be beneficial and support more than one side.
Do you still have questions about IT infrastructure management? If so, then contact us for more information.