Beginner’s guide to Infrastructure Management Services

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Beginner's guide to Infrastructure Management Services

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In today’s digital landscape, it is the need of the hour for businesses to have a robust IT infrastructure management system in place. It is the foundation of an organization and essential for smoothly running its day-to-day operations. The absence of the same can be disastrous for a Company’s existence and may require a lot of time, effort, and money to stay afloat in the turbulent sea of business. Here is all you need to know about Infrastructure Management services. 

What is IT Infrastructure Management?

What is IT Infrastructure Management

First things first, IT Infrastructure management is the process of managing and maintaining the hardware, software, and network components that together constitute an organization’s IT infrastructure. This includes everything from servers, databases, and networking equipment to operating systems and storage devices. For an organization to function properly, its IT systems and equipment should not only run efficiently but also must be utilized to their fullest potential. If not, the systems may collapse, become outdated or even fall prey to security threats and malware attacks. It is similar to looking after the plumbing and wiring of a building, just like a building without proper plumbing and wiring can be vulnerable to leaks and power outages. 

The main objectives of IT Infrastructure Management include

  1. Ensuring that the IT systems are available and accessible when required;
  2. Ensuring that the IT systems are secure and protected from unauthorized access and data breaches;
  3. Ensuring that the IT systems are performing at optimal levels, and identifying and resolving any issues or bottlenecks;
  4. Managing and maintaining the IT systems to ensure that they are up-to-date and secure;
  5. Managing the IT systems to ensure that they are scalable and can adapt to the changing needs of the organization;
  6. Managing and maintaining IT infrastructure documentation, inventory, and configuration management.

Organizations can deploy this task to an in-house team of dedicated IT professionals or can even outsource the same to a third party that offers IT Infrastructure Management services. These providers offer a wide range of services from server and network management to security, disaster recovery to cloud services, and even IT project management. 

Importance of IT infrastructure management

Infrastructure Management plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and efficient operations of an organization and in achieving its goals and objectives. Here are the major reasons why an organization must invest in sound IT infrastructure management services:

1. Boosts efficiency –

If the systems and equipment of an organization are well-managed, running correctly, and being used to the fullest potential, the efficiency of the business operations would certainly improve. The processing time would be faster, and the data management would be improved, thereby enhancing productivity. 

2. Increase productivity  –

When the complex task of managing IT Infrastructure is being handled by a dedicated team of experts, you can focus on your core business activities thereby saving your time, effort, and money.  Organizations can focus on innovation and developing new products and services rather than worrying about IT infrastructure management.

3. Reduce downtime –

Downtime, as the name suggests, is the time when the system was not in use which could be due to several factors like software updates, hardware failures, power outages, etc. Downtimes not only disrupt business operations but can also damage the system which could further be a costly affair. This may also harm the reputation of the organization and lead to dissatisfaction among customers. A well-managed IT infrastructure reduces downtime and accordingly saves the management from its repercussions. 

4. Better security –

By implementing advanced security measures, it can be assured that valuable company data and resources are in safe hands without being vulnerable to cyberattacks, which are otherwise very common these days. 

5. Ideal for expanding the scale of operations –

As organizations expand their operations, their infrastructure must be able to handle the increased workload. IT infrastructure management services can assist in scaling up the infrastructure to meet these demands.

6. Ensures business continuity –

In the case of a natural disaster or any other inevitable disruption, these services can be of immense help to an organization to recover from the data loss quickly and bounce back into business.

7. Competitive advantage –
If your IT infrastructure is being managed reliably and efficiently, this may help you stay ahead of the competition due to improved performance and better customer satisfaction. 

The digital landscape is super dynamic and keeps on evolving from time to time. Infrastructure management services help to stay updated with all these constant developments and adapt to them quickly.  

9. Important from a compliance perspective –

Finally, it is crucial for organizations to adhere to specific regulations and standards to prevent severe penalties and damage to their reputation. For example, businesses that accept credit card payments are required to comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) to safeguard clients’ sensitive payment information and minimize the risk of data breaches. Consequently, IT infrastructure management services play a significant role in ensuring compliance. 

Components of IT Infrastructure

Components of IT Infrastructure

Although the components of IT Infrastructure may vary according to the type and size of the organization, generally, its ecosystem comprises the below-mentioned components, namely:

  1. Hardware: This includes servers, storage devices, computers, laptops, and all such other physical, tangible equipment that supports the organization’s functioning.
  2. Software: This comprises operating systems, databases, application software, and other software that runs on the organization’s hardware.
  3. Network: The communication infrastructure that connects all of the organization’s hardware and software components forms part of the network. This includes the Local Area Network(LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), and other communication technologies such as routers, switches, and firewalls.
  4. Data centres – Data centres are the physical location where the organization’s servers and other equipment are stored and maintained.
  5. Cloud infrastructure: Organizations utilize cloud-based services like Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to store and process data.security measures that organizations use to protect their IT infrastructure and data, including firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and encryption.
  6. Backup and disaster recovery: This includes the processes and systems that organizations use to protect their data and ensure that they can quickly recover in the event of a disaster or data loss.
  7. Remote access: This includes the technologies and systems that allow employees and other authorized users to access the organization’s IT infrastructure from remote locations.
  8. Monitoring and maintenance: This includes the processes and tools that organizations use to monitor their IT infrastructure and perform regular maintenance tasks to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
  9. Helpdesk: This includes the support functions that organizations use to assist users who are having problems with their IT infrastructure.

Conventional vs Modern-day IT Infrastructure

Conventional vs Modern-day IT Infrastructure

Irrespective of the size and type, an organization can only function with some sort of IT infrastructure in place. In traditional times, the standard IT infrastructure comprised only hardware, software, and network. Simply put, every company had its own on-premise data centre or server room that connected all the physical equipment (all under one roof) and the respective software. Although the current setup was functional, many companies have recognized that it is no longer practical in our rapidly evolving digital landscape. Remote work may become necessary for their staff, or expanding business operations may not be possible with this setup.

There are generally 3 different types of cloud-based services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). SaaS providers host, manage and maintain the software applications and their underlying infrastructure.

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When looking for services that offer increased accessibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency, it’s crucial to find the one that suits your organization’s unique needs and nature. Consider the following factors:

  1. Requirements of your business 
  2. Costs involved (upfront costs, ongoing costs, and cost of scaling up or down)
  3. Security features (including encryption, data backup, and disaster recovery plan)
  4. Integration with existing systems and applications
  5. Level of technical support and customer service offered
  6. Scalability options offered
  7. Market goodwill of the service provider

Conclusion

IT Infrastructure Management services help organizations to improve the availability, security, and performance of IT systems while also reducing costs, increasing scalability, and ensuring compliance. By effectively managing and maintaining hardware, software, and network components, organizations can ensure that their systems are available, secure, and performing optimally. 

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FAQs

What are Infrastructure Management Services (IMS)?

Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) refer to a set of comprehensive solutions and practices designed to efficiently oversee and maintain an organization’s IT infrastructure. This encompasses managing hardware, software, networks, data centres, and cloud services to ensure optimal performance, security, and reliability.

Why do businesses need Infrastructure Management Services?

Effective infrastructure management is crucial for businesses to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and reduce downtime. IMS helps businesses focus on core competencies while leaving the complexities of infrastructure management to experts, leading to cost-efficiency and improved IT performance.

What services are typically included in Infrastructure Management Services?

Infrastructure Management Services cover a wide array of services such as server monitoring, network management, data backup and recovery, security management, database administration, cloud migration, and 24/7 technical support. These services can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each business.

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