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What is IT Infrastructure Management and Why Do You Need it? 

November 23, 2021 / by Frederid Palacios

Each year, companies are adopting more and more technologies into their organizations, enabling them to digitize and optimize their operations. While this can be highly beneficial, it can also increase the complexity of their operations. For this reason, IT infrastructure management is critical, ensuring that all systems, networks, servers, and devices are compatible and functioning as intended. If a company fails to properly manage its infrastructure, it will face significant technical and operational challenges. 

Server hallway in the blue sky

What is IT Infrastructure Management? 

IT infrastructure management refers to the management of all IT policies and processes within an organization, including any equipment and data. Essentially any networking and technological infrastructure must be carefully managed to ensure that they can work together cohesively and function as designed to then deliver business services. A company’s IT infrastructure management team is traditionally responsible for, but not limited to, these essential functions:

  • Hardware and software management 
  • Systems and database administration
  • Backup management & data storage
  • Cloud integration
  • Capacity planning & monitoring
  • Network utilization and availability (Internet-related infrastructure)
  • Virtualization
  • Cybersecurity
  • Mobile devices & connectivity
  • Maintenance and service updates

As IT infrastructure encompasses a wide variety of technologies, it is split into three categories to simplify management processes: systems, network, and storage management. 

Systems Management

Systems management encompasses the administration of all IT assets typically found within a company’s data center. An organization’s CIO or CTO is most often responsible for the oversight of daily operations of the data center, in addition to integrating new applications and services into its cloud environment. 

Specific systems management tasks include security-focused activities such as intrusion detection and prevention, security information, and event management. Other tasks that fall under this category may include log management, workload automation, configuration management, and cloud integration activities

Network Management

While systems management touches upon security practices, network management is the specific discipline of managing security networks. This category is managed by IT security and operations analysts. It primarily serves to manage and configure networks to ensure that resources are appropriately allocated to the applications and services in need. Analysts will also verify that the quality and availability of services are maintained. 

This category also includes elements of cybersecurity as IT operators must maintain visibility and transparency into their company’s network to control its security posture, thus protecting the organization from unauthorized access attempts and data breaches. 

Storage Management

Storage management focuses on the oversight of all data storage technologies and resources within an organization’s IT infrastructure. This is particularly crucial as data storage space is limited for businesses, yet a valuable asset as data must be stored. With storage management, IT operators will oversee virtualization, storage provisioning, data compression, and data security. 

These tasks ensure that data is stored safely and work to reduce data processing times and improve the overall performance of the data center as a result. Consequently, businesses can quickly reallocate resources throughout their storage databases, allowing them an enhanced level of flexibility and resiliency. 


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Best Practices of IT Infrastructure Management 

IT infrastructure management covers a significant portion of an operation’s IT activities, which enable most of their daily operations. For this reason, it is vital that IT managers utilize the best possible practices to ensure that these operations are performed efficiently. This will ensure that a company’s IT infrastructure is functioning optimally, thus supporting other business operations. These best practices include:

  • Knowledge gathering. Gathering knowledge of your IT infrastructure is a critical first step and must be done carefully. It is important to gather just the right amount of information, as too little could leave you without the right information to make decisions, and too much could be confusing and leave you with management protocols that are too resource-intensive. 
  • Creation of standards. Following knowledge-gathering, the next step is to create operational and management standards. It is important to personalize these standards to your specific organization and make sure they are comprehensive to security standards. 
  • Implementation of consistent standards. Once standards have been established, they must be consistently implemented. Clear, consistent standards are essential as it provides IT engineers and other employees with the same set of instructions and protocols to follow, ensuring cohesiveness across the entire IT infrastructure. 
  • Documentation. Finally, in-depth documentation is integral to the successful integration of a company’s IT infrastructure management standards. All infrastructure business process flows, standards, infrastructure diagrams, and component configurations should be documented to ensure quick onboarding and widespread consistency. 

How You Could Benefit from IT Infrastructure Management

The proper IT infrastructure management can be highly advantageous to an organization, equipping them with significant financial and operational benefits. Some of the most lucrative benefits that an organization receives relate to proactiveness and resiliency. With proper management, IT infrastructure can run more agile processes, thus enabling companies to improve their response time to changes in operations, disasters, and any IT disruptions or breakdowns. In reacting proactively, rather than reactively, companies can respond rapidly to changing conditions, ensuring that problems are resolved before they become detrimental if they are not avoided entirely. 

Furthermore, with more agile systems, companies open themselves up to new technologies such as AI, which can cultivate improved capacity planning. If time-consuming and tedious manual IT operations are automated, employee operations and responsibilities can be streamlined to optimize work efficiencies while reducing labor, costs, and incidents. As a result, organizations can minimize application and system downtime and benefit from reduced financial costs as decisions can be made faster and more accurately. 

While IT infrastructure management is implemented to simplify processes, it can be strenuous and time-consuming to an organization’s internal IT department. Fortunately, there is a way to reap the benefits of IT infrastructure management without devoting the majority of your IT teams’ time and labor towards it - by outsourcing to a third-party provider. In outsourcing your infrastructure management needs, an external team of experts can take on the responsibility of managing everything under the umbrella of your IT infrastructure. 

With expert experience and the tools and knowledge required to manage a complex IT environment, a third-party provider will ensure that your IT infrastructure is working optimally at all times. Your provider will manage all aspects of your IT environment, ensuring that it is functional, secure, and compatible with your organization - cost-effectively, without the time and labor of your internal department. As a result, your IT department can focus on more strategic and pressing tasks, working confidently with the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is working as designed and in good hands.

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Tags: Infrastructure, Technical Support Services

Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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