IT infrastructure is a combination of computer hardware, software, and services provided to maintain the infrastructure. From a technological perspective, IT infrastructure includes various computing platforms such as desktop computers, mainframes, handheld computers, and cloud computing services that connect customers, employees, and suppliers. Telecommunication technologies are used in the IT infrastructure to transfer data, voice, and video between the users of the system. Data management software such as databases is used to manage and analyze corporate data. Various applications are used to enhance the capabilities of the organization in different management spheres, such as resource management and knowledge management.
The service perspective includes the efforts of the IT team in four different aspects. The first is focused on the development of the infrastructure. The team coordinates with the business units to oversee the construction process, manage expenditures, and other management services. The second concerns the creation of IT standards that decide all the questions about technology. These questions include which models should be chosen, how they should be used, and in what situations. The third aspect is focused on providing training for the employees of the company. This training involves teaching the employees to operate the new hardware and software, as well as training managers in how to manage IT investments. The last aspect concerns the research and development of potential future IT projects. Technological advantages can play a big role in the modern competitive market. This fact makes R&D an important part of any company that works with technology.
Throughout the last 50 years, IT infrastructure gradually evolved. This process is usually divided into five distinct stages of evolution. At the first stage, IT infrastructure was focused on the use of general-purpose mainframes and minicomputers. A large number of online terminals were connected to a powerful mainframe computer that allowed access to shared information through proprietary communication protocols and data lines. Computers were centralized and had to be operated by professionals. Eventually, minicomputers were introduced. They allowed computer systems to be less centralized and more customizable.
The second era is called the “personal computer era.” With the introduction of personal computers, they quickly became the main computing force in many businesses around the world. Graphical interfaces and the availability of applications that enhanced the capabilities of the machine-made them attractive for both private and work use.
The third era is called “client/server era, ” and it continues directly from the introduction of personal computers. Not unlike the mainframe system, this era is focused on the connection of computers together. Unlike mainframes, however, the server computer is usually just a more powerful PC with a special hardware configuration. Multi-tiered client/server architectures are very common in big businesses even to this day. This type of network lets the business divide a large computing task between multiple computers that are much less expensive than a centralized system.
The fourth stage is titled “enterprise computing era.” This era started due to the desire to connect different networks into one large one. This was done by using internet protocols such as TCP/IP. The connected network can share information between any of the internal networks, as well as with the outside world through the internet.
The latest era of IT infrastructure is called “cloud and mobile computing era. Because of the growth of Internet bandwidth, computer resources were able to connect to a shared pool over a network. The connected computers can deal with complex issues much faster than individual PCs. Mobile computing lets the users take this power with them and makes work much more flexible.
This evolution is driven by such factors as the declining communications costs, the introduction of the internet, new standards and multiple laws. Moore’s Law of processing power states that the power of microprocessors doubles every 18 months. The second is the law of mass storage. It states that amount of digital information storage doubles every year, while the cost is falling. Robert Metcalfe’s law states that the power of a network grows exponentially as a function of the number of its members.